Here are some effective drug abuse counseling tips for staying clean and sober. Many people who see a drug abuse counselor do not really do what they need to do in order to take full advantage of the services they are receiving. So here are some strategies to help you get the most out of your therapy:
1) Stop doing drugs and alcohol – Many addicts and alcoholics are under the false assumption that treatment services of any kind, including therapy or counseling, are actually doing them any sort of good while they continue to abuse drugs or alcohol. In fact, just about NO treatment services are even moderately effective in the least if the person continues to indulge in any mood or mind altering substances. You have to be completely clean and sober in order to get any real benefit from counseling.
If you happen to be seeing a therapist or counselor while you are still using drugs and alcohol, it would probably be better to just stop going to see them until you are ready to try it while clean and sober. Focus on getting detoxed first and get a few days of sobriety under your belt before you tackle counseling sessions again. Going while you are still using is not helping anyone, especially you.
2) Take at least some suggestions from the counselor and turn them into action – A good therapist or counselor will likely make several suggestions to a person in recovery as to how they might change their life or what they might do differently. This is the whole point. Now if you are seeing a therapist and you pretty much do not take any suggestions and actually do anything with them, then again–you are wasting everyone’s time. Even if you only take one suggestion per month, as long as you act on it and follow through with it, then you are probably getting enough benefit out of the therapy to justify it.
Action is the whole point really and if you are not changing anything in your real life then counseling or therapy is completely pointless. You are seeking direction by talking with a counselor and when you receive that direction it is up to you to do something with it and act on it. Recovery is all about action. Intentions and wishes mean very little in the world of recovery. All that matters is actions. All that matters is what is. So you need to have the proper mindset and attitude when it comes to counseling in order to get the maximum benefit from it. Merely talking about your life and your problems is only a small sliver of the total action that you need to take. Ninety percent of your effort needs to happen outside of the therapist’s office, when you are back in the real world and you try to put some changes into effect. It is all about action!
3) Move on when you hit a plateau - If you work with a therapist, even a lousy one, taking some positive action based on their suggestions will still result in some pretty awesome growth in your life. The real growth happens from your own motivation and from your own actions, and really, the therapist is just sort of “giving you permission” to take action in your life. This is fine.
But when you have taken some direction from a counselor, seen the benefits, and sort of hit a plateau, then it might be time to move on at some point. You might seek another therapist or counselor who might have different lessons to teach you, or you might be ready to fly on your own and push yourself to grow in the future.
No matter what you do, keep pushing yourself to grow! It is always all about the action you take. Don’t get lazy…..