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Seeking Rehab: Researching and Speaking to a Counselor

Seeking Rehab: Researching and Speaking to a Counselor

Ask friends and family member about experiences with particular counselors.

When people decide to pursue treatment for addiction to drugs like clonazepam, there are many possible paths. For individuals with serious or longstanding addiction issues, a residential treatment facility is often the best choice. Others, however, may choose an outpatient program or begin by seeing a private counselor or therapist. Sometimes patients will attend an addiction treatment program and begin seeing a private counselor when the program has been completed.

Considerations When Choosing a Therapist

When patients decide to look for a counselor, there are many factors to consider including the type of mental health practitioner they would prefer. There are a number of options. Psychiatrists are doctors with medical training who have studied psychotherapy and are licensed to prescribe drugs. Counseling may also be provided by psychologists, who have advanced degrees in psychology and often specialize in cognitive behavioral therapy. Licensed professional counselors have advanced degrees in counseling and meet state licensing requirements. Counseling may also sometimes be provided by social workers, clergy members or others.

There are a variety of factors to consider when choosing a counselor. For many people, financial considerations play a role. Sometimes health insurance will cover some types of counseling but not others. Network considerations may also affect coverage. Those with limited budgets for counseling may find affordable options through government or non-profit services. Another option is to be treated by an intern, someone who is still completing training. The medical website WebMD  suggests the following when looking for a therapist:

  • Get recommendations from a university psychiatry or psychology department.
  • Contact a large clinic, and ask the receptionist to recommend a counselor based on your desires and the specialties of the clinicians.
  • Ask friends and family member about experiences with particular counselors.
  • Check with professional associations such as The American Psychological Association and the American Psychiatric Association.
  • If you are currently in therapy and are moving, ask your current counselor for referrals.

Counselors often have areas of specialty. When looking for substance addiction treatment, it is wise to find someone with expertise in that area. Other mental health conditions often co-exist with addiction, so it is also important that a counselor be able to treat all identified conditions or to refer patients to other counselors with appropriate expertise and training in treating the other disorders.

The Right Match Between Counselor and Patient

The therapeutic alliance is the relationship of trust between a patient and counselor. A 2012 Huffington Post article reports that the alliance is the most important predictor of treatment outcome. It is not possible to predict the potential strength of the relationship between a therapist and possible patient, but sometimes individuals have a general sense of who might be a good fit for them. Some people, for example, because of past experiences, feel more comfortable with counselors of a specific gender or age.

Patients may also enter the process with other ideas about what they might prefer in treatment. If they think they would like medication, it is wise to consider that. Some patients prefer a goal directed approach and some would prefer a more open-ended exploration of unconscious motivations. If patients think they would like to include couples or family therapy as part of their treatment, it is important to find a counselor who is willing to incorporate that into the treatment plan.

Finding a counselor often begins with making phone calls and asking questions. Some questions can be answered by a receptionist, and others must be answered by the counselor directly. Sometimes a counselor’s website or printed material will provide information. Questions to consider asking potential counselors include the following:

  • What kind of training and background do you have?
  • How long have you been practicing?
  • Do you have any particular area of expertise or favorite therapies?
  • Have you treated many patients with addiction issues?
  • If so, how successful was the treatment?
  • What are the costs?
  • Are they covered by insurance?
  • What are cancellation policies?
  • Do you offer an initial trial session for free or at a reduced rate?

Additional Components of Addiction Recovery

The first step in addiction treatment for drugs like clonazepam is detox. During detox, patients are kept safe and comfortable as they undergo withdrawal from their substance of choice. Because most counselors in private practice do not have the training to supervise detox, patients may need to begin with their family doctor or with a detox clinic associated with a hospital or addiction treatment facility before they can begin counseling.

Peer support can also be very important in addiction recovery. This generally takes the form of support group attendance. A 2007 article in the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment reports that active involvement in support groups significantly reduces people’s risk of relapse. Some counselors will recommend or facilitate peer support groups, and others will expect their patients to find such groups on their own.

We Can Help

If you are ready to start a recovery journey from addiction to drugs like clonazepam, give us a call. Our helpline is toll-free and staffed 24 hours a day. Our helpful consultants are always ready to answer your questions and help you find your recovery path. They can help you identify all your treatment options including checking your insurance coverage for you if you wish at no cost or obligation. Addiction is treatable. Why not call now?