Counseling and therapy sessions are instrumental to the recovery process. Many people start the process by working with a therapist, and they may go to treatment or a 12-Step program at their therapist’s recommendation.

It is extremely important to choose a therapist with some experience and background in addiction and addictive behaviors. You may want to seek out a professional who uses the term, “Addiction Therapist,” or, “Substance Abuse Therapist/Counselor,” as this will tell you that they have the expertise you need. Some additional credentials to look for may include: Certified Addiction Treatment Counselor or Registered Addiction Specialist.

Many treatment centers will work with your personal therapist to keep them abreast of your progress, any additional diagnoses you may receive, and to talk about aftercare and relapse prevention planning.

If you are looking for a new therapist after receiving treatment, make sure you choose someone who will provide the compassionate and non-judgmental support you need, and someone who is familiar with addiction and the recovery process.

Psychology Today provides a valuable resource.

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We have a responsibility as family members, friends, employers, colleagues, physicians, educators, religious leaders and neighbors—to reach out to help those suffering with this disease and lead them back to substance abuse-free lives. The earlier we reach them, the greater our likelihood of success.

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