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Addiction Counsellor vs Other Forms Of Counselling Services

Choosing a Counsellor can be a daunting prospect. If you have a drinking problem, drug problem or gambling problem then the first step is to engage with a Specialist Addiction Counsellor. The main difference from other counselling treatment is that you will be receiving specialist addiction therapy and support which is based on your actual addictions and addictive behaviours. Once you have successfully started to fully understand the addictive process and the root causes more, then you can start to move forward with your life.

Start Recovery's addiction Counselling service delivers a process of learning, then unlearning, and then re-learning behavioural and emotional aspects of peoples lives that have been "wired together" in your neural networks, in the brain. An addiction counselor will look specifically at triggers, urges and cravings and help you to make more rational responses to any external or internal stressors.


When you work with an addiction counsellor rather than any other type of counsellor, you have to acknowledge that you have an addiction problem, before then going on to explore other aspects of yourself. Admitting to yourself that you have a drink, drug or gambling problem is the first step.


Start Recovery believes that only a person who has, not only been specially trained and worked within the addictions field, but also actually been through it themselves can truly help you with your search for the answers to your problems.


Why? Because there is no way that anyone who has not been through the torment of addiction can ever understand what it is like to be addicted to a substance or a behaviour. When you work with an addiction counsellor the amount of empathy and trust built between client and counsellor is amplified when the counsellor has witnessed a similar experience themselves. 

Differences Between Counselling and a Specialist Addiction Counsellor

Addictions counsellors are usually a slightly different breed to the more traditional counsellor. Often having been through addiction problems themselves and finding that they would like to carry on their recovery journey, by helping other people who are affected by addictions. Addiction counsellors can start their careers working in drug and alcohol services as volunteers and work towards becoming a drug and alcohol keyworker. The next step is to then work towards becoming a drug and alcohol or addiction counsellor. This route into counselling gives addiction counsellors an edge of realism and genuine empathy and passion to their work. 

Addictions Counselling Adresses Urges, Thoughts & Cravings First

A more traditional counsellor will typically have a large list of mental health problems that they offer clients talking therapy for. and can lack the specialist focus on one area of expertise. Often addictions and substance misuse are grossly misunderstood and for the addicted individual, this can be very misleading, confusing and at worst.. quite dangerous. 

This is a very generalised overview and is, of course, Start Recovery's opinion only.  I try to bring awareness to people that the role of an addiction counsellor is very different from that of a general counsellor or psychotherapist... no matter what school of counselling theory that they come from, or aspire to, lived experience is a key element in the complex world of addictions.

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