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Addiction Counseling Questions

What is addiction?

It is an uncontrolled physical and/or mental dependence on a substance or activity that causes harm to the user (e.g. alcohol addiction, gambling addiction, sexual addiction, etc).

What are the symptoms of a chemical addiction?

These include loss of control over the addictive substance, such that you are unable to stop despite making any effort to do so. Your tolerance levels to the substance also increase, such that you need more and more of the substance in order to achieve the desired high.

What does the term "denial" mean with regard to drug addiction?

Denial is the refusal or inability to acknowledge that your dependence on a substance is causing harm in your life.

How long does it take for a patient to be treated through addiction counseling?

This varies with each individual, with some taking longer than others. Depending on your level of addiction, we can schedule your sessions to suit your needs.

Can counseling treat the addiction problem alone?

Counseling is only one facet of the entire recovery process. Depending on the degree of your addiction, you may initially need clinical detoxification, followed by behavioral therapy and counselling. Aftercare support groups are often used long-term after the addiction has been controlled..

How do I know I need to visit an addiction counselor?

If you need to gain clarity of your addiction, change old behaviors and patterns, or are generally unable make a firm resolve to quit your addiction, you are highly encouraged to visit an addiction counselor.

How do I know which addiction counseling approach is suitable for me?

There are several therapeutic approaches to addiction therapy, such as humanistic counseling (or person-centered), existential, psychoanalytic, psychodynamic psychotherapy and cognitive analytical therapy. While you may have an idea of which particular approach is suitable for you, we encourage you to contact us beforehand so that we can explore which approach is best suited for you.

Will the addiction counseling sessions be treated with utmost confidentiality?

The sessions will be treated with confidentiality except when your actions pose a danger to you and others, which will prompt us to notify the relevant parties.

Will the addiction counselor prescribe any medication if I need it?

Counselors as a rule aren't allowed to prescribe medication. This can only be done by a psychiatrist or other physician who will assess you for the right prescription. Please note that fees for attending a psychiatric sessions are higher than for general addiction counseling.

What happens during a counseling session?

Normally, in an addiction session, we will talk about any topic that you wish to discuss; such as your feelings, regrets, thoughts, dilemmas, everyday events, dreams, aspirations and memories. The counselor will provide a comfortable, encouraging environment that allows you to freely speak about such issues.

Can I refer someone for counseling?

Family, friends and colleagues may be concerned about the toll an addiction is taking on a person. We encourage you to contact us on behalf of such a person, though you should have his or her full consent, unless the addiction is completely out of control.

Do addiction counselors require malpractice insurance?

Addiction counselors are encouraged , but not required, to purchase a liability insurance policy.

What can I do if I have a complaint against my addiction counselor?

The complaints should first be raised directly with the counselor. If this fails to achieve the desired objective, talk with the manager of the facility. If needed, you can escalate a complaint to the therapist's accredited body such as the NAADAC.

Can I pay for my addiction counseling sessions with my health insurance?

Yes. Most insurance plans do cover behavioral and mental health counseling sessions. Contact your insurance provider to see if there are any restrictions.

What happens if I have a relapse after completing my addiction counseling sessions?

Therapists are here to help you succeed. Relapse should not be construed as a sign of failure, but rather as part of your journey to full recovery. Contact us immediately so that we can help you get back on track again.

Who can visit an addiction counselor?

Anybody can visit an addiction counselor regardless of their race, sexual orientation, age, gender, religion and culture or employment category.

What issues can an addiction counselor help me with?

The counselor can help you deal with some of the negative underlying effects associated with the drug addiction such as low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, phobias and fears

I am nervous about attending a counseling session; can I bring a friend along?

Yes, you can if it will help calm you down.

Do I have to be drug or alcohol-free in order to be eligible for the counseling sessions?

You don't have to be abstinent from drugs and/or alcohol in order to attend the counseling sessions as long as you are clean and sober on your appointments, and that you have no intoxication hangovers from the previous evening.

Do you offer any evening addiction counseling sessions?

While most of counseling sessions held during normal business hours , many therapists do offer evening sessions on a client’s request.

Do you offer any home visitations?

Yes, we occasionally offer home counseling visits if requested.

Do the patient and the addiction counselor ever touch each other?

Clients can shake a counselor's hand. However, you need to understand that this is a therapeutic relationship that has safe professional limits. While this relationship is not the same as a friendship, it can feel close at times.

Who decides what we can talk about in a counseling session?

The patient is often the one who decides what is talked about in a counseling session. While at times, topics may be suggested, you cannot be forced to discuss something in specific.

Will the addiction counseling help me get my thoughts and feelings under control?

Based on experience, when we understand our behavior and feelings, we feel we have more control over the situation. During the addiction counseling sessions, your feelings and thoughts will be gently explored in order to help you understand yourself better. Therapists attempt to create an atmosphere whereby you feel you are in control and that you won’t go where you don’t want to.

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