How Can a Therapist Help Me Overcome My Addiction?

Throughout the course of addiction recovery, a therapist performs a variety of functions. He or she will listen closely to you and work to arrange a treatment plan. You can expect to learn coping mechanisms for emotional distress and techniques for staying motivated. Your therapist may also recommend additional resources to assist with your rehab.

Trust and effective communication are crucial to achieving success in rehab, so the choice of  the right therapist and the right rehab center is crucial. It’s a good idea to understand common treatment techniques used by therapists as well as what kind of accreditation to look for.


It’s important to review the credentials of your therapist before making a decision, especially because many state laws don’t explicitly require rehab center employees to have specialized training. The Florida Certification Board, for example, offers three levels of certification:

  1. Certified Addiction Specialist (CAS)
  2. Certified Addiction Counselor (CAC)
  3. Certified Addiction Professional (CAP)

Therapists with higher level certifications generally have more education and experience in substance abuse treatment. All certified therapists have undergone extensive training and direct supervision from experts in addiction recovery. They also receive instruction in counseling for problems commonly related to substance abuse, such as AIDS and depression. Finally, all three certifications require that the therapist pass a Florida-specific examination.

Approaches to Treatment

Therapists use a number of different techniques during rehab to aid recovery. One of the most common approaches is Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT). CBT is a pragmatic, evidence-based approach to changing thoughts and behaviors. Patients undergoing CBT analyze the thoughts and emotions that accompany unwanted behaviors, and learn to “retrain” their minds.

Another term you might encounter when researching therapists is motivational interviewing. This technique is ideal for patients who recognize the need to change their behavior, but are struggling to commit to a plan for recovery. The therapist uses a non-judgmental form of questioning to elicit motivation and help overcome ambivalence.

Relapse prevention involves helping the patient identify situations outside rehab where relapse is likely to occur. A common example is spending time with friends who still drink or use drugs. In order to achieve recovery from addiction, a patient must learn to avoid these situations.

Where to Find Help

Florida residents who are ready to seek treatment should consult Florida’s Substance Abuse and Mental Health Program. The SAMH website contains a directory of therapists as well as links to other helpful resources.

Getting help from a substance abuse expert is the first step to taking control of your life. The next step is the most important. You should also look at effective professional treatment at a reputable drug rehab center such as Chiron Recovery Center in Florida. Call us to find out how rehab treatment can help you end your nightmare of addiction forever.