There is no such thing as a perfect counselor. Even if you were a perfect addictions counselor, you would still have clients who relapse. You are going to make some mistakes along the way. The good news is that in most situations these mistakes are not catastrophic and they can help us grow and become better counselors. As counselors we tell our clients that relapse is part of the recovery process and we help them learn from these experiences, so that they will be better able to avoid relapse in the future. Mistakes are part of our learning process. While we may never attain perfection, it is important that we master our trade. You have people who are trusting you with perhaps their biggest problem in life. Each client is ultimately responsible for their own success or failure, but you have an opportunity to influence change in someone that could dramatically improve their quality of life and the quality of life of their family and friends. While this is an incredible opportunity, it can also feel like an overwhelming responsibility. Listed below are several ways to become a better counselor (more…)
How do most substance abuse counselors get started in this field? I have noticed three common scenarios, but I’m sure there may be others.
Scenario #1: They battled addiction themselves and through recovery found that they want to use their life experiences to help others.
Scenario #2: They have someone very close to them who has battled addiction, or maybe have even lost someone due to drug or alcohol problems. (more…)
In order to become credentialed as a substance abuse counselor, you will need to be supervised for a number of hours. This is an area where the requirements can vary significantly from state to state. You will have your supervisor on the job, which means that you will have to be an employee, intern or volunteer. You will also have a supervisor, who is your trainer that guides you through the certification process. In some situations this will be the same person and in those situations, you may not have much choice who supervises you through this process. In many cases, however you will have a separate supervisor that may not be your boss or even work for the same organization. This often is the case because your boss may not have the right qualifications to be your supervisor. (more…)
Having worked as a substance abuse counselor for over 16 years, I have worked for, worked with and supervised a lot of counselors. I have seen some who were excellent counselors that found their jobs challenging and rewarding. I have also seen counselors who got discouraged, burned out and even regretted ever getting into the field. So before you invest time and money, be sure you have what it takes to be a quality counselor and to be happy doing it. I have listed some qualities that I believe are important, if you are planning on becoming an addictions counselor, or if you are in a position to hire addiction counselors.