When a person cannot find their way out of substance abuse, they require the services of a professional substance abuse counselor. This may be the only treatment a person receives if their substance abuse is manageable, or it may be part of a substance abuse rehabilitation plan in more extreme cases of substance abuse. A counselor who specializes in substance abuse is highly proficient in their counseling emphasis. They are trained to respectfully probe their clients to discover the underlying causes of their substance abuse and then help them create a plan for recovery by practicing mentally healthy lifestyle choices.
The first thing a counselor does when they are assessing a new client is ask them questions and get them to talk about themselves. A substance abuse counselor cannot assess why their client is abusing substances unless they have a clear picture of their lifestyle, their circumstances and their past. They do not ask invasive questions or guide their client's responses, but simply point them in the direction of what to discuss and reveal. Substance abuse counselors are trained to interpret their client's behaviors, thought processes, actions and statements to gain an understanding of why they abuse substances.
The substance abuse counselor then applies their understanding of their client to a recovery plan for them. Every person's recovery plan is individualized to meet their unique needs. This is where the counselor's training and expertise is most valuable. The counselor identifies the harmful patterns that their client has been perpetuating and uses their knowledge to advise how they can reverse them. A path of recovery is laid out through mental exercises, positive self talk and goal setting, which the client will embark on with the support of their counselor. Mental health solutions are not common sense, and the advice of an expert can mean the difference between substance abuse recovery and substance abuse relapse. If you are struggling with a substance abuse problem and you do not know where to start in your recovery, seek the help of a professional substance abuse counselor to begin formulating your treatment plan.