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Should Recovering Addicts Choose Addiction Counseling as a Career?


February 26, 2018
When you are in addiction recovery, you are probably considering options for your future. These options can include life changes such as a shift in your job. Would a career in addiction counseling make sense for you as a recovering addict?

You Should Be Stable

Sharing your experience with others could be the best idea for your recovery and your future career. However, you need to make sure that you are stable enough in your own recovery to begin to help others. Make sure that you have gone through your own process and that you have worked with a counselor yourself before you sign up for a program to learn how to help others.

You Can Bring Your Experience to the Table

Of course, as an addiction recovery counselor, you will bring your experiences as a recovering addict as well. These experiences may not be immediately relevant to each client, but you will have a deeper understanding of what your clients are going through. According to Addiction Doctor, “the ex-problem drinker who has found this solution, who is properly armed with facts about himself, can generally win the entire confidence of another alcoholic in a few hours.” You will be able to have a huge amount of empathy for your clients. This can help you be a better counselor. However, as mentioned below, you do need to maintain professional boundaries as well.

You Can Find Meaning

It can be challenging to look for a deeper meaning in the addiction that you have experienced. However, as a drug or alcohol counselor, you can give back to the community that supported you during your addiction recovery. While you are helping others, you will help yourself feel more grounded in both your recovery and your ability to help others. Addiction recovery

The Focus is On the Patient’s Recovery

Some people consider becoming counselors because they want to be able to relate to their patients and think that their life experience will be helpful to those they assist. While it is true that your life experiences will always work into your role as a counselor, “a basic drug and alcohol course will tell you that you are there to give support, education and calling them out on issues as needed,” according to New Creation College. You need to be careful how much you disclose to your clients; this process is not about you. It is about helping others.

Know That Your Clients Are Unique

To be a counselor, you will need to focus on the client’s needs and not your own. You have done a lot of work to get where you are today. However, each person’s work is different. In fact, what your client needs to do may be the opposite of what you needed to do to move into addiction recovery. If you decide to become a counselor, you will need to educate yourself so that you have many different recovery techniques to draw upon, not only the ones that worked for you. At Advanced Recovery Systems, we value your experience as a person in addiction recovery. We want to support you in your process of recovery and development. Contact us today to learn more about our addiction recovery support and programs.
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