How Do I Create a Good Relationship With My Counselor?
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “Within a treatment program, successful clinicians [should] establish a positive, therapeutic relationship with their patients,” which can help individuals stay in treatment for longer periods of time and achieve better recovery outcomes. A counselor can foster the kind of positive relationship that many individuals require in rehab, but there are also ways in which you as the patient can help facilitate this kind of therapeutic connection.
It is important to remember always that your counselor is there to help you. This assertion can be necessary to make in the possible instance that they say something you disagree with or do not like. Ask yourself if what they said may actually be true, whether it felt good to hear or not, and if it may have actually helped you to hear it.
Understanding and remembering that your counselor’s job is to help you is essential to creating a good relationship. Then, even if you may not always see eye-to-eye, the connection between the two of you can remain strong and essentially positive. However, if you start to feel over time that the individual is being decidedly unhelpful to you, there is always the possibility of switching to another counselor.
Be Open and Honest
You need to be open and honest with your counselor in order to establish a positive relationship.
You can’t have a strong relationship with anyone in your life if you are not open and honest about the things you feel and need. This goes doubly for a therapeutic relationship, which is based on your ability to discuss your thoughts and feelings with your counselor and their ability to help you navigate and control them. You need to be communicative and sincere when you speak to your counselor if you are ever going to trust them enough to have a positive relationship.
Be Willing to Change
Many people are uncomfortable with therapy, refuse to make the changes in their life suggested by the counselor, withhold during sessions, and then wonder why they aren’t getting any better. You need to be willing to make changes to your life in order to create the kind of relationship that will foster recovery and sobriety.
Some individuals are very resistant to the therapy at first, which makes it even harder for the counselor to create a good relationship. Others may be willing to create a friendship but do not want to take on any difficult aspects of recovery. It is important to realize that attempting to recover from drug addiction will not be easy and that you will need to make changes to your life that facilitate a drug- and alcohol-free lifestyle. When your counselor suggests changes you can make, like exercises you can try or advice you can follow, be open to it, and this will help create a better relationship between the two of you.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “Counseling and other behavioral therapies are the most commonly used forms of treatment,” and having a good relationship with your counselor will usually make the treatment more effective. If you have questions about counseling or want to find a rehab center in your area, call 800-481-6320.
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