Going to substance abuse counseling means that you’ve made an important step toward recovery. It means that you recognize a problem and want to resolve it. If you’re preparing for your first counseling session, use these five questions to better connect with your counselor, better analyze your situation, and better understand the next step toward your recovery.
1. Have you treated anyone with issues like mine?
Your counselor’s experience plays a big part in your substance abuse treatment. If they have no previous experience with treating issues like yours, you may need to find another professional. However, the lack of experience doesn’t always mean a lack of knowledge. Perhaps your counselor has recently started their practice but knows exactly how to guide you to a full recovery.
Whether the counselor brings experience, knowledge, or both, it’s important that they can recognize the ways that substance abuse can be symptomatic of an underlying issue. For example, substance abuse is often a symptom of depression, which can stem from and lead to damaged relationships.
2. What types of therapy do you use to treat these issues?
It’s essential to know what approach your counselor will use to address your situation. This will help you set expectations for your future counseling sessions. Some of the common types of therapy include:
- Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
- Contingency management (CM)
- Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT)
- Rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT)
- 12-step facilitation therapy
There are many other methods for substance abuse treatment, so be sure to ask which of them your counselor uses. At ARcare, you can get a coordinated care plan that may involve:
- Inpatient or outpatient care
- Specialist care
- Long-term care
- Lab work and test results
- Support for your family members
3. How can you help me overcome substance abuse?
By this point, you’ll have a clearer idea of the treatment plans at your chosen clinic. Now it’s time to learn about the counselor’s treatment plan for you and what recovery would look like with this approach.
Perhaps your counselor won’t have a full plan to share right away, and if they don’t, there’s no reason to worry. The more you discuss your situation, the better of an idea they’ll have about how to treat you most effectively. After all, counseling isn’t a one-size-fits-all concept. At ARcare, for example, counselors have many ways of supporting you, and they personalize treatments to fit your needs.
4. What is your approach if a patient relapses during treatment?
This will tell you how your counselor would respond if you happened to relapse. Would they change their behavioral approach, or continue with the same treatment? Would they prescribe some medication to stop your cravings? Would they schedule more weekly sessions?
A good counselor will also know how to spot the signs of pain pill addiction or any other addiction. That way, they may even stop you from relapsing. They’ll observe potential changes in your behavior, thoughts, and energy during your counseling sessions to see when and if you may relapse.
5. How do you know if a patient is recovering?
Although your counselor can’t predict your rate of recovery from your first visit, they’ll pay attention to signs of depression or any other mental health problem as your sessions progress. Once they see that you’re doing well, they’ll have a better picture of when you’re likely to recover.
For more information
If you’re looking for effective substance abuse treatment in Arkansas, ARcare is here for you. We have several locations across the state for providing addiction treatment and support. For more information, please contact us at (866) 550-4719 to schedule an appointment, and start your journey to recovery.