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Counseling

There are three phases during counseling which include: the initial interview, treatment planning, and discharge and follow up.  The goal of the initial interview is to figure out what type of treatment you will need and how intense the treatment will be.  This will develop your treatment plan.  Treatment planning is the implementation of strategies and to establish goals for your treatment.  The goal of discharge is to create follow up plans for when you are out of recovery.

Chemical Dependency Counseling  vs Regular Counseling

There are many ways that chemical dependency counseling compare and contrast to general counseling.  First, chemical dependency counseling is almost never paid for in the same way other mental health cases are.  This makes it difficult at times for the patient to get the proper care they deserve.  There is also a lot of stigma in regards to chemically dependent individuals.  Many times over again, these clients are not treated with respect or looked at as a real person.  When people find out that they are addicts, they are oftentimes denied services in which they are technically entitled to.  The mountain is much steeper for many who are chemically dependent which is much different than treating someone who doesn’t have the entire stigma in their life.  For example, if someone seeks counseling for anxiety most people wouldn’t bat an eye at that person since many of these drug companies have normalized a lot of the mental health issues many face today.  Unfortunately, most people think the exact opposite of a chemically dependent person which is anything but normal.

A Counselor's Attitudes and Beliefs

A counselor should not stereotype or use their previous life experiences to obtain an opinion on how or what a person who is addicted to drugs or alcohol looks or acts.  Counselors with false beliefs may fail to diagnose a patient properly.  For example, if the mental health professional has a belief that alcohol or drug  addiction or dependency is caused by moral weakness or a character flaw it could have a very bad effect in finding the correct route of recovery for the individual.

A Therapeutic Alliance

Therapeutic alliance is the relationship between the counselor and the client.  The goal is to establish trust with the patient.   Respect, ethics, and communication are vital to the therapeutic relationship between a patient and their counselor.

It is important to establish a therapeutic alliance  because by doing so you will establish trust and hope.  By establishing trust and hope you will gradually be able convey thoughts and feelings that have never been shared.

Counselors can establish a therapeutic alliance with their clients by educating, supporting, and encouraging.  To encourage new clients a counselor must trust that the patient can do things if they try.  A good way to do this is to assign homework or a specific task the the  patient will succeed at.  To support a client a counselor must be able to help the client do something that they cannot do on their own.  And to educate a client means to instruct a client on how to work the program and develop a plan that is unique to them.  A counselor must show the client how to do this and make very clear statements on how they can accomplish their goals.