• 8 Ways a Counselor Can Help with Your Recovery
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    8 Ways a Counselor Can Help with Your Recovery

    Learning how to cope with the stress and daily challenges of life without the use of substances is extremely challenging for those in early recovery. Coming from a world of self-medication, avoidance and escapism, having to actually face reality can be quite a foreign behavior. Even once an individual ends treatment, there is still a need for professional help. In fact, his or her journey of finding a supportive recovery community and professional counselor has just begun.

    Initially, and even down the road, emotions and experiences may begin to surface; feelings and traumas that have been suppressed, blocked out, numbed or drowned out for years. These feelings and experiences are typically the root origin of active addiction and the triggers (for those in recovery) for relapse.

    Here are 8 ways that counselors can step in and help you in the rest of your recovery.

    1. Support

    Counselors provide a great deal of emotional and psychological support while moving through the initial and continued stages of the recovery process. Some even provide spiritual support, depending on their training and education.

    2. Emotional Recovery

    Counselors can provide the support needed to sift through any surfacing feelings or cognitions, long-suppressed in active addiction. Additionally, they can help you heal from past traumas and reframe those experiences.

    3. Sounding Board

    They can listen while you process the frustrations of your life and the recovery process, itself. There’s nothing like having an entire hour with a professional counselor who is devoted to listening to you, objectively, while you share your story.

    4. Grief Counseling

    Counselors will help you cope with and move through the grief process associated with letting go of active addiction and all it entails. Since the various stages of grief can often be a trigger for relapse, this is a vital piece of successful recovery.

    5. Family Dynamics

    They can assist with the issues resulting from and contributing to the family dynamics of addiction. Because addiction is a systemic disease, this one is particularly important for confronting any codependent, enabling or toxic relationships and ensuring lasting recovery.

    6. Personal Growth

    Counselors can assist with personal growth and development, much of which has likely been quite stunted by active addiction.

    7. Accountability

    Of course, counselors also play a vital role in encouraging your personal accountability. Not only do they hold you accountable for your actions, feelings and thought processes with the use of careful confrontation. They also provide another objective relationship for which you must be responsible, financially and personally.

    8. Empowerment

    They help you pursue and achieve your full potential as a survivor of the disease of addiction and your life, itself, rather than a victim of circumstance or genetics.

    Counselors help individuals achieve a holistic recovery—the kind that involves the whole person, not just one aspect. Besides, there’s no such thing as too much support in recovery.

    Toshia Humphries is a Texan freelance writer, artist, life coach and talk radio co-host of Girl Power Hour on Blog Talk Radio. She has been writing for two decades and possesses three degrees in counseling and psychology with a focus on addictions and women’s studies. She is also the creator of Threads Locks & Rock—a performance art show which utilizes personal experiences and stories to inspire each show and its performers, healing and empowering them and audience members alike. Much of her work is fueled by her own life experience and education.

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