Choosing whether to pursue a career as an addictions counsellor is a big decision. Becoming an Addictions Counsellor is a challenging career choice. However, for the right individual who is propelled by passion, dedication and commitment, this kind of work can be extremely rewarding.
Good addictions counsellors come from all walks of life. Whether you already have a background in psychology, you’ve recovered from substance misuse yourself, or you’re looking to start a career where you can make a difference, your one-of-a-kind experience will bring a unique element to your training and career as an addictions counsellor.
Read on to discover what characterizes a career in Addictions Counselling, and find out if this may be a career for you.
Addictions Counselling Training Is Perfect for People Who Have a Passion for Helping Others
Counselling individuals who struggle with addiction isn’t an easy task, which is why successful addictions counsellors need to be driven by a deep passion for helping others. This passion will help drive your commitment to your clients and their success.
Recovery from addiction is not an easy road. Relapse is common. Your passion and commitment will help you overcome these setbacks and continue looking towards the future in order to help your clients. It takes a level of emotional maturity to walk with a client down these difficult roads.
Some of the best addictions counsellors are guided by their own experience with substance misuse, gambling, or another additions. Having recovered from addiction yourself, or having close friends and family who struggled with addiction, can help you become an effective counsellor (All About Counseling, 2017). Your first-hand experience with addiction will not only fuel your passion for wanting to help, but will give you a crucial perspective and understanding of what battling addiction is actually like and how it affects your clients and their loved ones.
Individuals who are Open Minded and Non-Judgemental Are Well Suited to Addictions Counselling Training
Many individuals suffering from addiction have endured harsh traumas and life-altering experiences, or may have a physical disability or mental illness (Elements Behavioral Health, 2013). Because of this, a career as an addictions counsellor is best suited to people who are able to defer judgement and understand life’s different journeys (All About Counseling, 2017). Many people who have substance misuse disorders have grown up in poverty, abusive environments, or both, and have succumbed to the cycle of addiction as a result (Seafcliff Recovery Center, 2013) (Szalavitz, 2011).
During addictions counselling training you will learn how to counsel clients from all different backgrounds and provide the skills needed to assist them to make constructive decisions. Being able to do so while remaining open to and understanding of different life experiences is a crucial element to building rapport with your clients and helping them through the difficult journey to recovery.
Good Communicators and Motivators Make Excellent Addictions Counsellors
If you’re considering completing a professional counselling diploma and becoming an addictions counsellor, it’s important to consider your communication skills (All About Counseling, 2017). Many clients who struggle with substance misuse can be resistant to recovery, or might have little confidence in their ability to live a normal life (Lindzon, 2015). As a counsellor, you need to feel comfortable speaking openly with people who may not be receptive. Knowing how to listen, what to say, and how to phrase it are all key skills addictions counsellors develop during their training.
Another key component of effective communication is the ability to be motivational and inspirational. Harnessing your passion and your belief that everybody deserves a life free of addiction will help you motivate your future clients to believe in themselves and make healthy, positive decisions.
Are you interested in enrolling in addictions counsellor courses in Vancouver?
Contact Rhodes Wellness College to learn how you can get started towards a rewarding career.
All About Counseling. (2017). Drug rehab counselor. Retrieved from https://www.allaboutcounseling.com/library/drug-rehab-counselor/
Elements Behavioral Health. (2013, September 4). Understanding addiction: why do some people become addicts? Retrieved from https://www.recoveryplace.com/blog/understanding-addiction-why-do-some-people-become-addicts/
Lindzon, J. (2015, April 29). I want to be an addiction counsellor. What will my salary be? Retrieved from The Globe and Mail: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/careers/career-advice/i-want-to-be-an-addiction-counsellor-what-will-my-salary-be/article24140892/
Seafcliff Recovery Center. (2013, 6 June). The connection between poverty and drug abuse. Retrieved from http://seacliffrecovery.com/addiction-recovery-blog/the-connection-between-poverty-and-drug-abuse/
Szalavitz, M. (2011, 25 September). How childhood trauma creates life-long adult addicts. Retrieved from https://www.thefix.com/content/trauma-and-addiction9180