Most people who develop actual addiction by engaging in addictive behaviors find it challenging to overcome the habit. Because they end up believing that addiction is a myth, and that they can quit anytime they want. Addiction is real for all behavioral activities, such as healthy and unnecessary activities—people who engage in some behaviors without being addicted. Most people start by believing addiction to be a voluntary act and, unfortunately, end up being addicted to specific actions. It is always too late when they realize they need a change, and in most cases, they may not even want it.
However, there are several strategies available for an addict to change to a healthy lifestyle. Such strategies include: making the decision to change, preparing to change, quitting an addictive behavior, getting treatment to overcome a behavior, coping with withdrawal symptoms, avoiding relapse, dealing with the decline, control behavior after an addiction, avoid replacement of addictive behavior and change in friendships and relationships (Holman, 2018). However, in most addicts, the need to change is always accompanied by having goals in mind, which can be to quit altogether, reduce the resources spend on addictive behaviors, and reduce the effects of addictive behavior. Deciding how the change will look like, and deciding to change often takes a bit long (Holman, 2018). The best thing to do when choosing to change is to find a goal that will be accomplished by doing certain activities aimed at improving the entire behavior to avoid relapsing.
Prepare to change. It would be best if you also prepared to change since it requires commitments. Preparations may include eliminating triggers around you that can make you return to the behavior and remove addictive substances from your environment. For example, people addicted to overeating might need to get rid of stockpiles of cookies and candy from their cupboards. Addicts of gambling might need to arrange with their bank to have enough money to pay their bills and necessary expenses.
An addict might need to contact family or friends who will support their change without being judgemental when time becomes hard and tend to slip up (Holman, 2018). You can also let your friends who are addicted to the same behavior to know your plan to change and their help where necessary. Another measure to overcome addiction is getting treatment to overcome an addiction. Several therapies can be helpful during the changing process, which may be psychological or medical. Research shows that cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) helps addicts overcome several types of addiction. Other methods are also helpful to people who are not good at analyzing their thoughts and feelings.
Steps of Overcoming Addiction
Shaping normal activities can either break you or make you. An addict can also easily give up on achieving their goals through change. Chances of quitting always depends on the level of goals set and the time needed to change and form a new habit (Lassiter, Singh, & Mingo, 2018). However, to undergo a successful process of change, there are several steps to consider.
Make small steps to set patterns. Take time to change, which may include reducing the amount of substance or reducing the time of actions gradually to avoid significant effects of severe withdrawal. For instance, limiting yourself to smaller drinking patterns can make it easier to follow up and track your progress.
Avoid temptations that can make you feed your addiction. Familiar places with triggers contribute to addiction, therefore staying away from attractions is essential and also a lot easier than we might think. Evade from people who tend to incite you from getting back to your addiction since it helps in getting away, out of sight and out of mind any trigger they may cause.
Replace old habits with new ones. Find something is possibly similar to your bad habit, which will make you easily replace it. When you have several choices, it is better to choose a new practice, which will elevate you from the initial point. For example, if you are addicted to drinking alcohol, try a new non-alcoholic drink.
Love yourself. Loving yourself comes into play because fighting the need to give in into your habits can be exhausting, resulting in caving in. Note the effects of the bad habit and set goals to achieve.
Qualities of a Good Addiction Counselor
I believe there are qualities required when various institutions are hiring addiction counselors. However, from experience obtained throughout this period as a learner, I would like to know more about a noble addiction counselor’s requirements. Such merits include appropriate education and certificate, experience needed, the counselor’s confidence, the necessary skills, and the level of confidentiality required. Every nation has policies regarding suitable education for an addiction counselor, followed by their rehabilitation facilities. The level of experience needed for a counselor t qualify in various facilities is also vital. It is essential to know whether the experience an addiction counselor receives in an internship is necessary. It is right, an addiction counselor, to understand when and how to maintain a client’s confidentiality in a rehabilitation center.
Counseling Skills and Techniques: Substance Abuse and Addiction Counseling. (2018). doi:10.4135/9781526443984
Holman, L. F. (2018). Psychoanalytic Theory of Addiction. Theory and Practice of Addiction Counseling, 76-100. doi:10.4135/9781071800461.n7
Lassiter, P. S., Singh, A. A., & Mingo, T. M. (2018). Constructivist Approaches to Addiction Counseling: Feminist, Womanist, and Narrative Theories. Theory and Practice of Addiction Counseling, 299-319. doi:10.4135/9781071800461.n18
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