What Does the Addiction Counseling Process Look Like?

Getting help for addiction takes a great deal of courage. If you or someone close to you is looking for support with sobriety, you might hesitate if you don’t know what the addiction counseling process entails. The counseling process often includes individual and group therapy sessions for most levels of care. 

While there are three phases you can expect during the addiction counseling process, it’s not uncommon for you to move in and out, or take a few steps backward before moving forward. The counselors you work with are there to support you no matter how you move throughout the recovery stages.

Starting Your Addiction Counseling Process

When you start your addiction counseling process, you’ll meet with your team members to review your current situation and your goals. It’s important that you work with a facility that specializes in personalized care, giving you the chance to meet with your potential counselors and ensure that it’s a good fit before you dive in.

Clients who move through the addiction counseling process can expect to transition through three main phases:

  1. The first phase represents the early stages of the addiction counseling process where you might be ambivalent about changing, hesitant, and emotionally unstable.
  2. The second represents the middle stages, and this is when you’ll start to identify the problems that substance abuse poses and recognize the legitimate need for change.
  3. The third represents the moment when you start to focus on the future, finding who it is you want to be in the life you want to live without substance abuse.

Early Stages of the Addiction Counseling Process 

The early stages of your counseling sessions will focus on immediate goals like:

  • Achieving sobriety
  • Managing your cravings
  • Preventing relapse
  • Participating in group sessions

During the early stages of your addiction counseling process, you might struggle with ambivalence, hesitation, and contemplation about your desire or ability to get sober. This will be a difficult stage for many clients because substance abuse brings with it significant cognitive impairment, and that can make it difficult to see solutions to problems or to apply things like critical thinking to your long-term recovery.

During these initial stages you’ll work with your counselor to help you deal with any fear you might have, any hesitation or resistance.

Middle Stages of the Addiction Counseling Process

The middle stages of your counseling sessions will start to change as you start to change. This is the point in treatment where you have to take action. During this phase, you will:

  • Receive guidance
  • Learn to find healthy substitutes
  • Develop coping mechanisms
  • Curate emotional regulation

Generally, you’ll begin to recognize the way in which substance abuse has caused problems in your life and the lives of those around you, preventing you from achieving the things you want.

During these stages, your counselor will work with you, providing guidance so that you can manage the impact that addiction has had, sever your reliance on addiction, find healthy substitutes for drugs and alcohol, and start to move forward by achieving emotional regulation.

Late Stages of the Addiction Counseling Process

The late stages of your addiction treatment are where you start to:

  • Resolve personal guilt
  • Do away with shame
  • Focus on how you want to live moving forward
  • Turn your attention inward
  • Build self-esteem and support

During this stage, your counselor will work with you to sustain your progress, help you create and achieve new goals, and learn how to avoid triggers or situations that might encourage a relapse.

During these sessions, you’ll focus more on what environment you want to live in, one that is conducive to your long-term sobriety. You’ll learn to resolve conflict and triggers without resorting to drugs or alcohol. Your counselor will work with you as you manage your improved emotional and cognitive state, build healthier relationships, develop new job skills, and start to move toward a life worth living.

Start the Addiction Counseling Process with Sequoia Recovery Centers

The addiction counseling process represents regular sessions where you can meet with a counselor individually or in a group setting as you move through these stages. At each stage, your counselor will work with you to provide you with the support and skills you need most.

If you are looking to start this journey, turn to Sequoia Recovery Centers for support. Our drug and alcohol detox center offers several levels of care, including inpatient drug rehab services and outpatient care. Reach out to Sequoia Recovery Centers to learn more about how our addiction counseling services can help you.