Recovery is Ultimately Self-Directed
Self-direction revolves around the principle that our clients are the agents of recovery and it is their authority, through informed consent, that allows decisions to be made and recovery protocols to be implemented. As we navigate the waters of recovery with our clients, our goal is to empower them to the point that they understand the choices they have ahead of them and consistently choose the options that are best for their lives and their health.
New counselors and those wishing to become counselors are sometimes perplexed by the notion that recovery is in fact a self-directed process. We sometimes believe that we know best and while theoretically this may be true, in practice we must adapt to a client’s experiences, culture and way of life. If you have been around any diverse group of people, let alone addicts, you can see stark differences in every aspect of their lives. Even siblings can be as different as day and night. As counselors, we are here to help along the way, offering solutions to problems that an addict cannot face by themselves. But in the end it is up to the client to change their lives, kick their addiction and live a clean life in the future.
Further, every addiction is as different as the addict’s personality and experiences. That makes it all the more important to be mindful of the client’s needs and make sure that the client is an integral part of their recovery and the decisions that go along with it.
Our jobs, as counselors are fundamentally to empower our clients to make the right decisions for their lives. This leads the addict to achieve their true potential, free of drugs. They will be the ones who stay off drugs and change their lives. They are the ones that will regain their self-esteem and right their wrongs. They will ultimately be the reason for their success – and it shouldn’t be any other way.