Individual counseling for substance abuse can help adults to jump start their recovery without making them feel like their privacy is being broken. During individual counseling, you are protected by patient / doctor privilege which means that whatever you tell your counselor will be kept between the two of you. You can talk with your counselor openly about any aspect of your addiction or your lifestyle.
Privacy and accountability is always a top priority of substance abuse counselors, especially during individual counseling sessions. During individual counseling, you can expect to face some struggles in opening up and discussing your addiction, your recovery, your past and other instances of your life but that’s perfectly normal. The idea here is to openly address these issues in a safe environment where you are guided by the counselor.
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Most of the time, your sessions with the counselor will only last about an hour or so but in some cases you may talk for a longer period of time as needed. Many sessions are open which means you can discuss anything that’s on your mind while others are heavily guided by the counselor which means there may be a list of topics and questions that your counselor wishes to go over during the session. Keep in mind that it is very important for you to be open and honest during these sessions to ensure that you are getting the most out of your session with the counselor and that he or she is able to provide effective treatment.
Advantages of Individual Counseling
There are many advantages to individual counseling. First off, you can feel safe and rest assured that your privacy is protected in individual counseling sessions. Additionally, it is normally during these sessions that your counselor may come to the conclusion that you are suffering from co-occurring disorders which may also require treatment. Thousands of people who suffer from addiction also suffer from co-occurring health conditions that require treatment—finding out that you are one of those people could make the difference in how effective your treatment actually is.
Some people simply feel too overwhelmed to listen to others talk about their problems. This is natural during the early stages of addiction treatment. Individual counseling allows you to focus only on your own problems without the burden of listening to what other addicts in recovery have to say. It’s not to say that you shouldn’t take part in group counseling as well, just that in the early phases of treatment, you might find that individual counseling is just a more comfortable zone for you.
Individual counseling sessions can be scheduled around your schedule if you are going to outpatient therapy. Instead of having to attend a specific group session at a set time that may not work within the parameters of your schedule, you can often schedule a time to meet with your counselor after work, during the day when the kids are at school or at another set time that works within your means.