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What Is a Change Agent and Why Does it Matter?

Counseling session with counselor writing notes and patient's hands folded sitting on couch

In the video below, Ben Brafman, the founder of the Academy for Addiction Professionals, discusses a counselor’s role as a change agent, as he calls it. Counselors have an incredible responsibility when it comes to their job, and they can make a real difference not only in the life of their clients or patients but also in the lives of everybody who knows and depends on them.

Being a change agent is a skill learned through hard work, curiosity, and dedication to helping others. It is important to remember, however, that not every client or patient will succeed in therapy, and you may find out later that some will have relapsed, maybe many times. Being a change agent does not mean you are 100% successful, but rather putting the elements in place to give your client the best opportunity for long-term sobriety and success. Of course, to be a successful change agent, you must also advocate for yourself. Being a counselor can be a grueling and somewhat thankless job at times. Thus, self-care becomes a critical part of being present for your clients, now and in the future. We encourage you to watch the video below to learn more from Ben.