Treatment Professional

What Role Do Counselors Play During Addiction Recovery?


Addiction counselors are integral members of the clinical team and treatment process. The Edge Treatment Center is here to help, call today!

Addiction counselors play an integral role in an individual’s treatment program. Counselors act as another ear, shoulder, and voice clients can lean on during their recovery. Like other supporting partners, they're critical people to have in recovery. 

But what exactly do counselors do, and what role do they play? 

Another Ear 

Addiction counselors act as an additional ear for clients going through treatment phases. The mark of a good counselor is one that can listen to their clients without judgment. During an individual’s journey to addiction recovery, they’re experiencing emotions of varying intensity. Having an additional person to talk to and lean on makes the client’s process that much easier. 

Align With Clients 

A client’s relationship between them and their counselor is deeply personal. It’s essential as a counselor to develop this bond and create a sense of trust. This bond is known as a therapeutic alliance

This alliance allows the client to feel safe opening up and being vulnerable. Through this vulnerability, the client can make progress towards recovery at a faster rate. 

Encourage Clients 

Counselors often act as a sort of cheerleader for their clients. A counselor always has their client’s best interest in mind and waves the flag of encouragement from their corner. Counselors know recovery doesn’t happen overnight and is by no means a walk in the park. They understand that clients need reassurance and encouragement to succeed. 

For these reasons, counselors do their best to motivate their clients to continue making positive changes. 

Attend Family Meetings 

Families can become messy and complicated during the recovery process, as addiction affects everybody surrounding the struggling individual. This is understandable and is par for the course.  

Addiction counselors can act as a mediator and help ease this process. Counselors can attend meetings and provide additional information to the families. Additionally, counselors can refer the families to different support groups if need be. 

Help Clients Develop and Stick to a Plan 

Addiction counselors understand the nature of substance abuse and what it entails. Although it can be a touchy subject, relapse happens and is part of this condition’s unfortunate reality. 

That said, a fall from grace doesn’t mark the end of the world. This is where counselors can come in and provide additional guidance by creating a series of checks and balances to avert potential relapses. 

Counselors often create a comprehensive relapse prevention plan for their clients. These plans are suited for the individual’s needs, circumstances, and personality. They might include possible triggers to avoid and look out for. It may also list healthy habits the client should keep up with to maintain their sobriety. On top of that, it may include a list of people that act as a support system for the client. 

Refer Clients to Outside Support Groups 

Every individual has different needs with regard to treatment. Because of this, other support groups and systems can benefit different clients. Counselors recognize and understand this and may aid their clients in such.  

Counselors may also refer their clients to different support groups. Addiction counselors may encourage their clients to attend a 12-Step group such as Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous. 

Communicate and Build Trust 

Addiction counselors act as an additional ear, shoulder, and voice for their clients. The most important aspect of being an addiction counselor may be building trust and communicating with their clients. Counselors have the role of guide, supporter, and accountability partner for clients struggling with overcoming daily challenges related to recovery. 

Drug & alcohol addiction recovery is an intensely emotional experience. This experience can be marked by fear, uncertainty, pain, and more. Because of this, clients are especially vulnerable and need someone they can rely on. Counselors understand this and provide the necessary support to their clients from a place of genuine care.  

By communicating effectively with their clients, counselors help individuals work through unresolved issues and build trust. Building trust allows the client to be more open and honest, which creates further growth. The foundation for the client’s future health and happiness starts with achieving small successes like sticking to a plan or attending peer support groups.  

Handle Logistics 

Although addiction counselors seem like superheroes, they still play a role and have work to do. Besides aiding the client and being there for them, addiction counselors can handle logistics.  

Counselors may lead different therapy or group sessions during treatment. They may also help clients find jobs or reestablish their careers. On top of that, they may evaluate a client’s health and develop treatment plans accordingly. 

When your client succeeds, you succeed. When your client struggles, you feel every scrape and bruise. At The Edge Treatment Center, we believe counselors play an integral role in the clinical team. If you or your loved ones are considering becoming an addiction counselor or would like to apply, call us at (800) 778-1772 for more information.

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Written by

brian-mooreBrian Moore

Content Writer

Reviewed by

jeremy-arztJeremy Arzt

Chief Clinical Officer

Treatment Professional

January 13, 2022