In my 10 years of professional practice and treating individuals for drug and alcohol abuse, it baffles me that many treatment facilities refuse to treat co-occurring disorders as well as substance abuse addictions when they so clearly intertwined.
Addiction is not a disease where you can give a person a bed number and prescribed them pills to make the problem go away. These are inherently good people who have been suffering with a disease that has gone untreated for months if not years. This type of disease needs and deserves client-focused care.
I knew I needed to find a substance abuse treatment facility that believed that clients needed individualized treatment that was focused on their mental health as well as their addiction. A Better Today Recovery Services shared my views for client-focused care and encourage that I practice Rogerian Therapy for their clientele to better identify co-occurring disorders.
How does Rogerian therapy help identify co-occurring disorders & Why are treatment centers not practicing this type of therapy?
Rogerian therapy is not practiced by many drug and alcohol therapists because it requires a level of treatment that takes time, genuine care and, of courses, unconditional positive regard for the person’s full potential to change.
You may think this concept is easy and should already be the foundation of every treatment plan for drug and/or alcohol abuse, however it is not. In regards to Rogerian Therapy, the therapist is responsible for educating, empowering, and healing the client’s self-esteem so they can identify their capacity and desire for personal growth.
Drug and alcohol addictions tend to brainwash the person with destructive thoughts and negative self-image. They do not think it is actually possible for them to find recovery and that if they do try to get clean and live a lifestyle of recovery; they will be miserable for the rest of their life.
Furthermore, if the person is struggling with a co-occurring disorder like major depression, PTSD, or bipolar disorder while struggling with a heroin or alcohol addiction; any treatment that does not address both the co-occurring disorders and substance abuse addiction will not promote long term recovery.
Rogerian therapy is built on a foundation were every client is perceived as inherently good and with the right treatment, can achieve their own concept of success because they believe in themselves and have confidence their path in recovery.
These foundational elements in A Better Today’s approach sets us apart from other treatment facilities because our level of treatment promotes client-focused care resulting in long lasting results.
Yes, I can go on and on about how this therapy should be the standard for drug and alcohol treatment but what really matters at the end of the day is:
Does the client have confidence in themselves to dream, set goals, and explore their full potential without engaging in substance abuse?
Are our therapists providing the level of care that is so desperately needed for substance abuse and co-occurring disorders treatment?
Practicing therapy methods that are client-focused is what sets A Better Today’s standard of care apart from all the rest.
What Does Co-occurring disorders look like in drug and alcohol treatment?
This approach requires a qualified therapist to properly diagnosis each client for co-occurring disorders, family history of substance abuse and properly evaluate the root of their addiction.
Co-occurring disorders is defined as a client that has both a mental health disorder and a substance abuse disorder. Those who struggle with an undiagnosed mental disorder often self-medicate with heroin, alcohol and/or marijuana to cope with the symptoms of their mental disorders. (i.e. Major depression, childhood trauma, PTSD, or bipolar disorder)
This destructive behavior forces the person to abuse their drug of choice to the point that they are dependent on the substance to just feel normal or cope with the hardship of life.
When providing long lasting drug and alcohol treatment, I feel you must treatment the mental disorders and the substance abuse disorder together. A Better Today’s approach to substance abuse treatment is client-focused with comprehensive treatment that properly evaluates each client for co-occurring disorders.
How does ABT provide this treatment that other facilities do not:
There is no overpriced manual or proper dosage for providing the right type of treatment for alcohol and drug abuse. Addiction effects each client differently proving the need for individualized care. This individualized care must consider the mental health of the client and the substance abuse disorder. Having an inpatient treatment facility like ABT can make the world of a difference for someone’s time in treatment. Adapting a client-focused treatment plan that is tailored to their needs will promote long lasting recovery and more importantly a better quality of life for the client.
Educating the Client Empowers Relapse Prevention
One of my favorite lectures I share with my clients is called the addicted brain. The therapist must be qualified and confident in their understanding of the effects that drugs and alcohol have on the brain enough to explain the concept. Sharing that knowledge with each one of my client’s gives them power over the craving that has warped their judgement and moral compass the extent of their abuse. Bestowing this knowledge upon the client provides a strong foundation for relapse prevention.
Client- focused therapy provides the mental health treatment needed to find the root of the addiction, identify and treat co-occurring disorders, and learn what triggers tempt them to use drugs again. Providing the client with the knowledge of addiction as disease/disorder empowers them and deepens their understanding.
Facilities that do not have qualified therapists may not provide the proper diagnosis the client needs. Knowing that the client exhibits symptoms of a co-occurring disorder could influence the type of therapy the client would benefit the most from. Providing the client with the right type of knowledge to avoid and cope with triggers is key for long lasting sobriety.
Personal Stories that Strengthen the Client to Therapist Trust
A Better Today’s therapist take HIPAA laws very seriously and provide the client with confidential care. Even though that made known to the client, not every client wants to open up and discuss influencing factors that contributed to their level of abuse. Shame and disappointment are just a few emotions they are forced to feel after years of brain numbing substances like alcohol and heroin. Building strong relationships with each client because you inherently want to see them achieve their full potential is important to quality care.
Sharing stories of personal achievements of overcoming substance abuse strengthens the client to therapist bond. I am proud to be 29 years sober and strong on my path in recovery. My triumph of overcoming my own addiction provides hope and trust in my guidance. Empathize with their struggle and the trauma they are forced to relive when they were in active addiction.
The key concept to remember when practicing client-focused care is that there is a good person beneath the tragedy that is drug and alcohol addiction. Shining light on that goodness and encourage them toward self-actualization of being worth more than their next fix influences their personal desire to living a life abstinent from drugs and alcohol. Many of my clients who have graduated a drug and alcohol individualized treatment program pursued a higher education to better their new life in recovery. Inspiring them to choose their hopes and goals over a quick high, is what real quality drug and alcohol treatment should be.
Unconditional Positive Regard: Foundation of Client-Focused Care
I speak with such passion when I lecture about Unconditional Positive Regard (UPR), the heart and soul of client-focused therapy. UPR provides the client with unconditional acceptance and genuine care toward the client and their wellbeing. Hollywood blockbusters love to depict the darker situations a person may find themselves in when caught in the destructive spirals of addiction to heroin or crystal meth. Accepting that person’s questionable past to further encourage mental healing is important for treating substance abuse. The client has to trust that when they discuss the more shameful acts done during drug and alcohol abuse, that their therapist will still show them the true goodness that they were born with.
Many may believe that this is unnecessary when treating substance abuse but I have found Carl Roger’s contributions to the fundamentals of psychology to be most effective in long term recovery from substance abuse with co-occurring disorders.
Building self-esteem, Self-ethnicity and Success: Empower Clients to reach for their full potential
Those who spend years in active addiction know the depths of their darkest thoughts while struggling to find their drug of choice. The suicidal thoughts, shame of their memories, the morals they compromised to feed the thirst of the addiction; now more than ever, they need to be reminded how good it feels to have confidence in the direction of their life, establish boundaries that provides a strong sense of code of ethics, and most of all, inspire them to achieve their own versions of successful.
Whether it is the mother fighting for custody for her children or a recovering addict living long enough to hold his infant niece after years of heroin abuse; everyone has their own version of success. Having that goal and believing that you can achieve it provides confidence in saying no when they find themselves tempted to abuse mind altering substances.
A Better Today’s Concept of Successful Long Term Drug and Alcohol Treatment
When I decided to dedicate my life to properly treating those who struggle with a substance abuse disorder, I knew that co-occurring mental disorders that had a negative impact on the length of sobriety and their quality of life. By adopting Carl Roger’s Rogerian therapy method, I began to uncover the root of my client’s addiction to find mental disorders like Post Traumatic Stress Disorders (PTSD) and major depression. If the co-occurring disorders were not addressed along with treatment, the client would be more likely to abuse drugs and alcohol to cope with the symptoms of bipolar disorder or any other mental disorders.
This client-focused type of therapy encouraged the client’s receptiveness to a lifestyle in recovery. A Better Today’s concept of successful treatment is that the quality of our client’s life improves due to their path in recovery. To trust in me when I say, you too can recover and your life will be filled with meaning and purpose.
Individualized treatment that addresses both co-occurring disorders and substance abuse addictions will provide the client with long lasting recovery and an improve their quality of life.