Addiction is nasty business. It consumes us – takes us over and can even leave us unrecognisable to ourselves. We see the way we behave and treat others, as if from a distance, and we can’t help thinking, This is not who I am. However, the signs along the way indicate that this is who we have become.
And that is exactly the problem. Addiction has the power to lead us so far astray from the person we know that we are, to the extent that we no longer know how to deal with ourselves. It’s as if we spent our whole lives learning to be one person – a person we believe to be good and virtuous. Yet after all that, we find ourselves dealing with a very different persona. In so many words, we need help getting reacquainted with ourselves.
Addiction is very often related in one way or another to unresolved emotional problems. This come in a variety of forms, but they almost always lead to emotional distress, physical pain and destruction. And as they progress, addictions begin looking more and more like harbingers of death.
But there is most certainly hope for those who recognise the destructive nature of their own addiction and wish to resolve it. It’s a long road and requires a great deal of discipline and commitment, but with the right counsellors and a strong base of support, this is a battle that can be won.
Treating an Addiction
There are many ways to treat an addiction, nearly all of which involve some level of professional intervention and group accountability. Group counselling is often a component of a standard rehab clinic treatment programme, and these can have strong, favourable results for those with the resolve to stay with it.
These are the addiction treatment groups most likely to benefit from group counselling:
- Alcohol addiction
- Drug addiction
- Gambling addiction
- Sex addiction
- Some eating disorders
In all of the above cases, meeting with a group of people who have similar struggles to your own, combined with the oversight of an experienced addiction counsellor, can put you on the road to full-on recovery. Just remember, this is a long and drawn-out process that will, in all probability, need to be addressed on some level for the rest of your life.
The Danger of Relapse
One issue that has to be repeatedly addressed in the course of recovery is the possibility of relapse. It is so essential to address in large part due to its near inevitability. The problem is that many persons in recovery view relapse as a fundamental failure, and they allow it to pull them back into the throes of addiction.
This is where a counsellor will step in and encourage the person to view their relapse as a natural hang-up on the road to recovery. Dealing with a one-off relapse event gives the person an important experience that they can put toward staving off future relapses. Not only that – being aware of our capacity for relapse helps us better understand the addiction that plagues us. It gives us another weapon in our arsenal against addiction.
In such a way, counselling can make a huge difference in the addiction struggle. These professionals are well aware of the hazards and difficulties on the road to recovery, and they can provide insight at important intersections along the way. Perhaps most importantly, the wealth of professional and personal experience that they have gathered along the way means that they’ll be able to address each person’s struggle with the right mix of objectivity and empathy.
About the Author:
With a team of nurses and counsellors, Triage Healthcare is a company that provides reliable and confidential advice regarding how to find a local rehab clinic and more.