Types of Substance Abuse Counseling

A drug and alcohol counselor also known as a substance abuse counselor is a mental health professional who helps patients struggling with addictions. The main responsibility is to work with individuals and their families to treat both mental and emotional disorders, as well as to promote overall mental health.

Sometimes called “therapists,” mental health counselors train in a variety of therapeutic techniques. They treat emotional conditions, such as depression, addiction and substance abuse, suicidal impulses, stress and overall problems with self-esteem and grief. SEE:Qualities of A Good Substance Abuse Counselor


Types of Substance Abuse Counseling

Alcohol and drug addiction counseling is an important part of many treatment programs in rehab centers across the world. There are many different counseling approaches and frameworks. Counseling is usually conducted within the auspices of the mental health model of addiction. Addiction is seen as an illness that can be treated through a combination of techniques and strategies. Counsellors in a residential treatment programs will usually have a “favourite” style of counseling but be aware of other frameworks and paradigms. This helps them to adapt their technique to suit the individual and not become bound in rigid methodolatry. A drug addiction rehab may employ counselors from different frameworks in an effort to broaden the skill set of its team. There are different types of counseling used in addiction they include;


Family Counseling: When you have an addiction, it can be very difficult for friends and family to come to terms with your condition. Prior to counseling, and often unwittingly, it can be all too common for well-meaning family members and friends to become trapped in a cycle of co-dependency and enabling behaviors. It can be hard for them to open up and talk with you about seeking help. It is also common for friends and family members to ignore the problem for fear of alienating you.

For these reasons, it is so important to understand just how powerful the family dynamic can be in terms of addressing addiction and helping to overcome it. Getting communication back on track between you and your loved ones is one of the most powerful aspects of family counseling. Positive family involvement will help both you and your loved ones gain a new perspective in terms of your addiction. In turn, you will then be able to support each other throughout your shared recovery journey.

Counseling will help reconnect you with relatives and friends who have become distant and resentful. When those closest to you are able to assess and identify behaviors they can adjust and modify to help you break the cycle, the process of healing can begin.


Behavioral Counseling: this can help significantly in terms of changing self-destructive behaviors. Alternative names for the counseling are Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and behavioral modification. The main aim of this type of counseling is for you to replace negative habits with positive ones.

Behavioral counseling will also help you cope with any difficult situations you may be facing or may have to face throughout your recovery journey.


Counseling During Detox: this type of counseling is often called “talk therapy,” is one of the most important aspects of your addiction treatment. Counseling during detox helps you to deal with and understand the many different emotions you are experiencing. It also helps you to change unhealthy responses and live your life positively. Counseling during detoxification supports you during your journey from a substance addiction to developing a healthy, productive life.


Group Counseling: is a method of peer group rehab that offers you both the advice, and the experience of others who have walked down the same addiction path as you are right now. One of the most positive aspects of this type of program is that it shows you that recovery is entirely possible, as you will be involved with others who have overcome their addictions. Most group therapy sessions are small and intimate, so opening up to the group is non-intimidating and very individually supportive.


Individual One-on-One Counseling: group therapy is helpful for many rehab clients. However, it may not be enough for you. Many people in recovery also prefer individual counseling as it affords them more privacy. Everyone is an individual, and not all feel comfortable talking within a group situation, as might be the case for you. Sometimes counselors use individual therapy to prepare you for group counseling sessions. During individual sessions, the counselor can connect with you on a more personal level. This is perfect for teaching you coping techniques and to help you gain a real understanding of the roots of your addiction. The counselor will help you re-channel your cravings and address the underlying issues that made you turn to alcohol misuse in the first place. This method of counseling is very personalized and designed to best help you reach your recovery goals.


Intensive Counseling for Short-Term Rehab

Intensive counseling is relatively brief in nature. However, if you find yourself unable to find the time to commit to a traditional rehab model, this could work for you. Intensive counseling focuses on reducing the risk factors in terms of relapsing and on reconnecting with your inner strength. You learn to gain control of your own feelings, thoughts and actions. The principal benefit of intensive counseling as part of short-term rehab is the minimal disruption to your everyday life.


Aftercare Counseling

Successfully completing rehab is a major accomplishment in your life, and one you should be very proud of. However, this doesn’t mean that the work stops there. Throughout the weeks, months and even years after rehab, it is important not to become complacent about the risks of relapse. This is particularly true if you have a co-occurring disorder (a mental health issue that occurs in tangent with a substance misuse disorder).

It is imperative that you minimize the risk of falling back into destructive behavioral patterns and addictive behavior. Aftercare counseling minimizes this risk, and ensures that you continue to progress along the road to a clean and sober life. SEE: Techniques In Substance Abuse Counselling 

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