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How Do I Choose The Right Substance Abuse Counselor in West Palm Beach?

Asking for help with addiction is a huge first step towards recovery. Admitting you have a problem is never easy and the earliest days of recovery can be particularly challenging. However, when you have a substance abuse counselor in West Palm Beach with whom you are compatible, you will be on the right track.

Whether you are doing inpatient or outpatient treatment, you will be paired with a substance abuse counselor who is your primary therapist throughout the duration of your care. He or she will work closely with you to develop an individualized treatment plan, evaluate your progress, and help you meet your goals.

This person will be an integral part of your recovery. As a result, it’s important that you trust and can rely on your therapist. Here are some tips to help you choose the right substance abuse counselor in West Palm Beach.

Reviewing Their Credentials

Many states don’t require people to have a degree to become a certified addiction counselor (CAC). However, many therapists will have an associate’s or bachelor’s degree at minimum. Others will have a master’s or Ph.D.

Those who have earned their CAC have completed three years of supervised work experience and 300 hours of relevant secondary education. This means you could have a counselor who is a CAC without a college degree. Or, you could have a therapist who is not a CAC but is a licensed mental health therapist (LMHT) or licensed social worker (LSW).

In the end, the level of education and exact credentials don’t matter as much as your level of comfort. While you may think you prefer a highly-educated counselor, it’s more important to work with someone who makes you feel safe and understood.

Many substance abuse counselors in West Palm Beach are in recovery themselves, have friends or family members in recovery, or have years of experience working with people in recovery.

As long as your counselor makes you feel comfortable and is qualified to treat substance abuse and mental health, you’re on the right track.

Assessing Your Comfort Level

The therapist-patient relationship is very vulnerable and personal. You may feel uncomfortable sharing certain details about your life, your past, and your beliefs with certain types of people. This is normal. After all, many people prefer working with a counselor who is of the same beliefs, opinion, gender, and even religion.

Gender-matching is one of the most common practices when it comes to addiction treatment. At the same time, treatment centers may try to match patients of one religion with therapists of the same religion. This is to help optimize a patient’s comfort level.

If you are matched with a counselor who does not have the same beliefs as you, it’s important to speak up and request a new counselor. If you are going into rehab knowing you would prefer a therapist of a certain gender, you should make that known to your admissions counselor.

If you don’t feel comfortable with your therapist, you won’t be able to develop trust, do intensive work, and fully heal from your addiction.

Establishing a Trusting Relationship

Your relationship with your drug and alcohol counselor is one that must be built on a foundation of trust. If you truly want to heal from addiction and change your behaviors for the better, you must be willing to get open, honest, and vulnerable about your emotions and experiences.

It is difficult to open up to and confide in someone you don’t trust. You deserve to have a substance abuse counselor who makes you feel safe, protected, respected, and cared for.

If you have trouble developing trust with your therapist, you should discuss this with him or her. He or she will be able to make suggestions on how to improve your relationship or help you find a therapist who is a better fit for you.

Finding The Right Fit

Sometimes, two personalities that would theoretically mesh simply do not. If you end up in a West Palm Beach rehab center working with a substance abuse counselor who doesn’t meet your needs, it is up to you to advocate for yourself and speak up for what you do need.

Not everyone sticks with the same counselor throughout treatment. You may need to switch counselors at some point in your care. Whatever the case may be, it’s important that you are working with a counselor who has your best interest at heart.

Find a Substance Abuse Counselor in West Palm Beach Today

At Mandala Healing Center, we go beyond the conventional approach of addiction treatment to help you heal both inside and out. All of our substance abuse counselors in West Palm Beach are committed to treating each person as a whole, integrating a healthy lifestyle that will help our patients truly heal from the inside out.

To learn more about our treatment program or to get matched with a drug and alcohol counselor near you, give us a call today.