So you got through your detox and you’re officially ‘clean’. The physical cycle of addiction has been broken. Congratulations!
While your first steps towards recovery have been taken and are worth celebrating, you have only passed the first few milestones. Your journey to a drug-free life has got off to a good start, but now is not the time to sit back and relax.
Here’s why follow-up in the form of counselling is so important:
- Counselling can save you from a relapse
Although you are no longer a physical addict, the psychological cues that caused you to become an addict may still be present. Family circumstances, stress, old friends who still use drugs – even a neighborhood that evokes memories can tempt you into relapsing back into your old habits.
- You may have other psychological issues
Your addiction may have been caused by problems such as anxiety and depression – or the substance that you used may have caused you to develop psychiatric problems. For your recovery to be complete and for the sake of your wellbeing, these problems need to be identified and addressed.
- Group counselling gets you extra support
There’s nothing as helpful as being able to talk to someone who is going through the same thing as you are. Your family members can try to understand what you’re going through, but only someone who has actually experienced something similar can really understand. They can support you and challenge you in was that nobody else can. That’s why group therapy, clichéd as it may sound, is extremely helpful.
- Develop coping skills that can last you a lifetime
Group therapy and individual therapy will set you up for success. And it isn’t just a transitory benefit. The opportunities for personal growth that counselling offers will last you a lifetime. That has to be worth an investment of your time!
- Get motivated!
Your recovery is a golden opportunity to start realizing your true potential as a human being, but without counselling, it may be hard to stay motivated. Get the inspiration and encouragement you need to get motivated and stay motivated.
- Use family counselling to rebuild relationships and get extra help from those you love
Your old habit may have alienated the people you love most. You need to overcome barriers and connect again. They need to understand what happened to you then and what is going on in your life now. While you can’t turn back the clock, your recovery can be an opportunity to not only rebuild relationships but to make them stronger than ever. If you have kids, family counselling could help them even more than it helps you!
- Learn to live with reality
Your drug or alcohol habit was once one of your ways of dealing with the rough and tumble of reality. Now you don’t have substances to fall back on and reality isn’t always pleasant. That can be tough, but you can make things a whole lot easier on yourself through counselling.
- Set goals and achieve success
There are many dimensions to success. Sure, it involves your career and family life, but it’s also about being happier, healthier and stronger. Counselling can help you to set realistic goals that matter to you and that are worth striving for.
- Get in touch with your own feelings
You used to use substances to numb negative feelings, but in time, they began to numb your positive feelings too. You were never able to understand yourself because you were never able to process your feelings. Counselling can help you to understand and deal with negative emotions and create an environment in which you can enjoy positive ones.
- Be in a position to help others
You’ve learned some hard lessons in life and you’ve overcome the obstacle of substance addiction. Discover how you can use your recovery to help others who are in need. Your counsellor can equip you with the knowledge you need – and the wisdom to know just how much and when to intervene. Be sure to ask about this! You need to know how to help without getting ‘sucked in’ to a situation you shouldn’t be in. Remember: this is a longer term goal. You should be fully sober for a year or more before you even try to help someone else!
Counselling offers you opportunities: use them!
You may have joked about those who visited ‘shrinks’ in the past, or you may have ridiculed group therapy. But the opportunities that various therapy interventions offer are too good to miss. Swallow your pride. Man (or woman) up and give it a chance. You may be surprised at how helpful you find counselling to be!