Recovery is Unique for Every Client
Just as every counselor is unique, clients are individual in their needs and desires as well. The individuality of a client is both a challenge and an opportunity for an addiction counselor. This is especially true for a counselor new to the industry. A client’s individuality is a challenge in that “decoding” the client can be a time consuming and frustrating endeavor. This is why counseling is not effective for a few days or a week, but is necessary for much longer periods of time. This individuality is also an opportunity. If the counselor can, in fact, connect with their client, the results can be quicker, more effective and amazingly satisfying for counselor and client alike.
Helping us with the uniqueness of each treatment plan is the fact that we can utilize the clients themselves. Who knows the clients best? The clients themselves, of course. As such, we must be receptive to their needs and complement what they want with what is best for their recovery. We can also use their families and close friends to learn more about their lives and put their experiences into perspective. We can glean information from informal and formal individual counseling sessions as well as during group therapy, where they are among their peers. Their behaviors outside of formal counseling times can also be very instructive. All of this combines to offer a clearer picture of our client’s problems and possible solutions.
As counselors, we must make the commitment to treating our clients with the individual respect and dignity that they deserve. This is not the easiest path to take, nor is it the least frustrating. However, the addiction recovery industry is one based on trust and trust is built one step at a time, slowly but surely.