Addictions ravage the lives of vulnerable members of your community. If you’re motivated to help these individuals turn their lives around, you might be ready to start a meaningful career in the field of addictions counselling.
The right counselling courses teach you how to help addicts conquer their dependencies and regain their enthusiasm for a better life. This involves an in-depth experiential learning process; you’ll gain a grasp on established human development theory to help clients put an end to their destructive habits, problem behaviours, and harmful addictions.
With these skills, you can achieve meaningful employment within addiction centres, hospitals, residential treatment facilities, and governmental facilities, such as prisons, juvenile detention centres and community centres nationwide.
Along with the comprehensive knowledge and techniques you’ll develop in addictions counsellor training, the following skills will be key to your success.
1. Conveying Sincere Empathy
Today’s best addictions counselling programs will teach you how to work with a range of client groups, including youth, women, and various cultural communities. In every case, conveying sincere empathy toward the client’s struggle is a must.
Some who choose to pursue this career path have had firsthand experience with addiction in their own lives. If this speaks to you, your personal experience can contribute to the guidance you provide – though it is an absolute necessity that addictions counsellors possess and maintain a healthy relationship with addictive substances themselves.
You will learn how to show clients that you respect and empathize with them by mastering non-verbal communication skills as well as active and reflective listening skills. You will learn industry-standard rights to client confidentiality, how to maintain calm under duress, and prove to your clients that their wellbeing is truly your priority.
2. ‘Motivational Interviewing’ to Inspire Lasting Change
Addictions counsellor courses will teach you everything you need to know about motivational interviewing. Motivational interviewing is a goal-oriented, client-centred counselling style that involves asking pointed yet open-ended questions, analyzing why a client is looking for help, and guiding them toward making their own revelations.
Addictive behaviour can be cyclical, and good addictions counsellors recognize that repeated relapse is always a possibility. For those with addiction troubles, the road to recovery tends to be long and hard with many setbacks – that’s what makes their ultimate transformation such a triumph.
By using motivational interviewing techniques, you’re more likely to inspire a change that lasts. It can give clients the strength they need to break the metaphorical chains binding them by the power of their own free will. Studies show this technique can promote sustainable change in the long run.
3. Understanding Pharmacology
Today’s top addictions counselling training programs include specialized training in basic pharmacology.
You will learn about various sources of psychoactive drugs, drug classifications, drug effects on the central nervous system, methods of administration, drug interactions, and more. For addictions counsellors, this knowledge can be put to life-saving use. It will prepare you to better assess your client’s physical and mental health, communicate with them about treatment plans, and even respond effectively to client crises if necessary.
Compassion must drive your desire to work in this field, as the clientele may resist treatment or even respond confrontationally. Counsellors must be able to maintain their composure throughout occasionally challenging situations.
Along with patience, optimism, and an enduring motivation to make a difference, the development of these skills will help you grow into a truly talented and valued addictions counsellor.
Are you interested in pursuing an addictions counselling program that offers training in each of the skills mentioned above? Visit Rhodes Wellness College to take the first steps toward your new career.