Does It Matter What Qualifications My Therapist Has?

Substance abuse counselors help addicts with long-term drug issues, because they offer immediate medical care and teach them to prevent the return of addiction on an ongoing basis. Therapists or counselors also help their clients find adequate housing, employment and peer support through groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA). Not only do these workers help with the daunting task of navigating treatment, but they also provide moral support throughout the changes that are needed to support recovery.

Because recovery is a life-long process, recovering addicts should feel confident that the individual who is helping them begin treatment has been properly trained for the task at hand. Although the recovering addict is responsible for her own personal daily decisions, her counselors should give her the skills and resources that will help her make decisions that support recovery rather than lead to relapse. When compared to the medical field, a doctor who has more training and certifications is better equipped to treat numerous illnesses and conditions, and the same goes for addiction counselors. Although not all facilities or states require treatment professionals to have specific degrees or licenses, treatment professionals can typically provide more services if they have more education and training. In short, the more educated someone is, the more services he can usually provide.

Why Qualifications Matter for Addiction Recovery

Sobriety is a lifelong commitment, so recovering addicts need the best treatment available from people who are properly trained to help. Although specific guidelines for state licensing, training and certification vary by state, the more training, education and certifications a coordinator has, the more options she has for treating someone who struggles with addiction. For counselors to maintain their license to treat substance abuse, they must take a fixed number of continuing education classes each year. This kind of staffing helps ensure that they remain up to date on the most effective practices that treat substance abuse.

An addiction counselor may be required to obtain a high school diploma, but other facilities may require their staff to have Master’s Degrees in a related field of treatment. Although the individual with the most training and certification is often able to treat more people without direct supervision, those with a high school diploma have been proven effective, especially if they too have struggled with addiction. Such staff members are highly successful in group settings, such as AA and/or NA. The following reasons evince why an addiction counselor’s education, training and certification can affect a recovering addict’s treatment:

  • Training in mental health versus addiction
  • Knowledge of various treatment methods
  • Access to various recovery resources

Regardless of the facility or work setting, most substance abuse counselors typically provide the same form of services as others. These counselors usually work on a firsthand basis with their clients: they start by interviewing the addict to assess her addiction and mental health issues. With that knowledge, they can determine the best course of action for helping the user get and stay clean. An effective and supportive addiction counselor will develop a treatment plan that benefits the client, her family and community as a whole. Because addiction and mental illness are often a common pairing, many addiction counselors are also well versed in mental health treatment as well. However, it is important to make sure that the therapist is equipped to treat both the addiction and mental health, especially if the recovering addict is desiring treatment for both. If someone avoids treatment for both conditions, then he may end up relapsing, because his struggle with mental health may undermine his addiction, and vice versa.

Addiction counselors encourage one-on-one work with their clients in a therapeutic environment. During these sessions, they try to pinpoint the recovering addict’s triggers to determine the best route of treatment. Treatment plans may include either weekly or even bi-weekly appointments and they may require the recovering addict to engage in group treatment and behavioral planning. Counselors may also seek the assistance of the recovering addict’s partner, loved ones or friends to determine the best course of action for behavioral treatment.

Qualified addiction counselors also provide addiction prevention resources to the community as a whole along with the recovering addict. They work in public outreach programs by informing others in the community how to spot addiction by learning about the condition’s warning signs. Addiction counselors also help recovering addicts find employment and safe, adequate housing. With such help, recovering addicts can regain their independence as they also promote long-term recovery.

Cocaine Addiction Treatment

If you or a loved one is suffering from a cocaine addiction, then please call our toll-free helpline today. Our admissions coordinators are available 24 hours a day to answer your questions and to help you find the best treatment available. Take back control of your life and call us today!

Print Friendly, PDF & Email