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How to Choose a Substance Abuse Counselor in West Palm Beach

Substance abuse counseling is a key component of addiction treatment. This unique approach to therapy focuses on every aspect of a person’s life that influences his or her addiction and recovery. While titles and expertise may vary, there are many dedicated and trustworthy individuals who fulfill the vital role of a substance abuse counselor in West Palm Beach.

What is a Substance Abuse Counselor?

Substance abuse counselors, also known as addiction counselors or drug and alcohol counselors, are expert therapists who specialize in treating substance abuse and mental health. When you go to an addiction treatment center in West Palm Beach, you will be paired with a primary therapist who facilitates your small group and individual therapy sessions. This person is your substance abuse counselor. 

You will meet with your counselor on a daily or weekly basis to monitor your progress, set goals, and celebrate milestones. This is the person you will confide in during rehab and trust with your treatment plan. As a result, it is important that you feel safe and compatible with your counselor.

Qualities of a Good Substance Abuse Counselor

So, what exactly makes a good substance abuse counselor? Well, the answer isn’t black and white. Everyone is unique and has different treatment needs, so the counselor who is right for you may not be right for your friend. And, everyone has different preferences, communication styles, and cultural beliefs – all of which can influence who you feel safe with and who you do not. Here are a few qualities that you should recognize in your counselor. And, if you don’t, you may consider requesting to switch therapists.

Easy to Understand and Easy to Talk to

It is crucial that you and your drug and alcohol counselor communicate effectively. This means you should not only be able to understand your counselor, but your counselor should also be easy for you to talk to. Sometimes, two people just don’t click – and that’s okay. If you have a hard time talking to or understanding your therapist, it’s important that you stand up for your treatment needs and request a different placement. In most circumstances, the rehab facility will be more than accommodating in placing you with a therapist that is a better fit for you.

Creates a Compassionate and Trustworthy Environment

Counselors should create a compassionate, safe, and trustworthy environment. If you don’t trust or feel safe with your counselor, you will never be able to open up to them completely about your innermost thoughts and feelings. It is vital that you are able to get vulnerable and be transparent with your therapist. If you cannot do so, you may not get the most out of treatment. A good substance abuse counselor in West Palm Beach will be trusted by you as well as by everyone else in your group.

Has Similar Views and Beliefs As You

Not all addiction counselors take the same approach to therapy. For example, some use a 12-Step approach that incorporates the idea of a Higher Power, peer support, and sponsorship to overcome addiction. Others will specialize and focus on mental health and well-being. On the other hand, some substance abuse counselors have a very delicate way of providing counseling, while others use a more aggressive and straightforward approach. If you realize that your counselor’s therapy style isn’t working for you, there is nothing wrong with requesting a new counselor.

Other beliefs, views, or attributes you may consider include:

  • Faith/religion
  • Culture 
  • Race
  • Language
  • Gender (Gender-matching is a common practice in addiction treatment. This means sticking men with men and women with women)

Addiction treatment is a life or death ordeal, so making sure your counselor and you are compatible makes a huge difference.

Questions to Ask Before Choosing a Substance Abuse Counselor

The most important thing to consider when choosing a substance abuse counselor is whether or not you feel safe and understood by them. If you don’t, you may not make much progress in treatment. Additional questions you can ask your therapist include what licensing and experience they have and what therapy styles they use.

What Experience/Licensing Do They Have?

Drug and alcohol counselors may have a variety of certifications and licenses. For example, any of the following may qualify to be a substance abuse counselor in West Palm Beach:

  • Licensed Social Worker (LCSW)
  • Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC)
  • Alcohol and Drug Counselor (ACD)
  • Certified Drug and Alcohol Counselor (CDAC)
  • Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC)
  • Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC)

Most counselors will either have a bachelor’s, master’s, or Ph.D. education, as well. With that being said, it is more important that you focus on your comfort and compatibility than your counselor’s licensing. However, if you have a specific health condition – such as borderline personality disorder or PTSD – you will want to choose a substance abuse counselor who specializes in that kind of care.

What Therapy Style(s) Do They Utilize?

Some therapists use experiential therapies or recreational therapies while others stick with traditional behavioral and psychotherapy. In addition, certain disorders, such as PTSD, will need a specific approach to treatment. As a result, it is important to ask your addictions counselor about their therapy styles to make sure they will work for you.

Find a Substance Abuse Counselor in West Palm Beach Today

Substance abuse counselors can help you overcome your addiction, improve your mental health, establish healthy coping mechanisms, and introduce you to a better quality of life. They will help you set and accomplish goals while monitoring your progress throughout treatment. By choosing a substance abuse counselor with whom you feel compatible can make a huge impact on your success in treatment.

Here at Daylight Recovery Center, our thorough admissions and intake process evaluate your individual needs so we can make an informed decision as to which counselor to match you with. We will consider your treatment needs, medical history, and cultural beliefs to connect you with a reliable and trustworthy therapist. 

Begin your recovery journey by contacting one of our dedicated addiction specialists in West Palm Beach today.

Get Confidential Help 24/7

If you or a loved one are suffering with drug abuse or alcohol addiction, reach out to Flyland Recovery Network for addiction help.

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