How to Choose a Substance Abuse Counselor in Delray Beach

substance abuse counselor in Delray Beach

How to Choose a Substance Abuse Counselor in Delray Beach

Recovering from alcohol or drug abuse is no easy task, especially when individuals attempt to do so alone. Thankfully, there are licensed and experienced therapists who specialize in helping people recover from their substance abuse. These professionals are referred to as substance abuse counselors.

Deciding to attend substance abuse counseling is one of the biggest steps an individual can take in their recovery. However, finding a reputable substance abuse counselor can be difficult. When looking for a counselor, individuals must consider their qualifications, what they need to get out of treatment, whether the counselor has good reviews, and much more. As a result, it is helpful for people to have a guide to refer to while they are going through this process.

Here are some things to consider when choosing a substance abuse counselor in Delray Beach.

What are Substance Abuse Counselors?

Because there are many types of mental health professionals, sometimes people get one kind confused for another. The types of substance abuse professionals include:

  • Psychiatrists – Described as mental health professionals who prescribe medications for mental health conditions and substance use disorders.
  • Psychologists – These individuals are experts in cognition and human behavior who provide testing for an array of conditions. Most provide counseling that focuses on changing behavior, rather than processing emotion.
  • Therapists – Professionals who utilize a holistic approach to mental health treatment.
  • Substance Abuse Counselors – Professional counselors who have obtained a master’s degree in something related to the mental health or addiction field. Substance abuse counseling focuses on changing behaviors, healing emotions, and working towards goals for the future.

Substance abuse counselors are also referred to as addiction counselors. These individuals are licensed professionals who have trained in human behavior, psychology, substance abuse, and evidence-based therapy. Addiction counselors help individuals with substance use disorders by discussing the complexities of their addictions.

The goal of substance abuse counseling is to treat the root causes of a patient’s addiction, develop goals, and learn strategies for maintaining sobriety. Counselors work in a variety of inpatient and outpatient settings, including hospitals, rehab centers, prisons, private practices, and even halfway houses.[1]

How to Find the Right Substance Abuse Counselor in Delray Beach

Typically, the best way to find a substance abuse counselor is to research different professionals online and receive referrals from family, friends, doctors, and other addiction experts. This often leads individuals to find a few different substance abuse counselors to choose from. But how will they know which substance abuse counselor to choose?

Check Their Licensing and Qualifications

The first thing an individual should do is check the substance abuse counselor’s qualifications. It is important for the counselor to be knowledgeable, experienced, and licensed.

Typically, good addiction counselors have the following qualifications:[2]

  • At least a Bachelor of Science in Psychology, if not a Master’s degree
  • 2,000 to 4,000 hours of supervised clinical experience
  • Passing a state-issued exam each year to remain up-to-date on evolving information

Each state’s requirements for substance abuse counseling licenses will vary, however, the previously mentioned qualifications are common among every state.

Determine Your Needs

Many individuals struggling with addiction also suffer from comorbid mental health conditions. Individuals with a dual diagnosis should consider whether the substance abuse counselor specializes in their specific condition.[3] Additionally, some people may have specific preferences to consider before committing to a substance abuse counselor.

When looking for a drug and alcohol counselor, consider these factors:

  • Do they specialize in dual diagnosis?
  • Do I need a gender-specific counselor?
  • Does the counselor specialize in trauma recovery?
  • Will I need a counselor familiar with my specific religion?
  • Do this counselor’s specific beliefs align with mine?
  • Will this counselor’s personality be a good fit for me?
  • Do I have a preference of age concerning my substance abuse counselor?

Check Reviews and Ask for Recommendations

When choosing a substance abuse counselor in Delray Beach, it’s important to check their reviews. Oftentimes, individuals will submit reviews on a counselor’s website when they have a very memorable experience with them. Reading these reviews will give an individual insight into whether the vast majority of the counselor’s patients had a good or bad experience during counseling.

Additionally, getting recommendations from trusted sources is extremely helpful. By doing this, individuals can get a few names of counselors that their peers have had success with. Friends, family members, and doctors are the best places to begin when looking for recommendations.

Interview the Counselor Before Committing

Substance abuse counseling is a very delicate process. Each counselor will have their methods and personality, causing certain people to prefer one counselor over another. Because of this, it is important to meet with your counselor to ask them a few questions before making a final decision.

Questions to ask a prospective substance abuse counselor include:

  • Have you recovered from an addiction?
  • Did you grow up in a family that struggled with substance abuse?
  • Do you believe that addiction is a disease, rather than a choice?
  • How much substance abuse counseling experience do you have?
  • Will you judge patients based on their past mistakes during active addiction?
  • Are you comfortable including my religious or spiritual beliefs in counseling?

People recovering from substance abuse must find a counselor that they are comfortable with. This is because counseling often requires individuals to discuss intimate matters, sensitive topics, and even traumatic experiences. Without trust, substance abuse counseling will not work. In other words, individuals should emphasize getting to know their prospective counselor before committing.

Start Substance Abuse Counseling in Delray Beach Today

Substance abuse counseling is a vital step in a recovering addict or alcoholic’s journey. If you or a loved one require counseling for addiction, Florida Recovery Group might be right for you. To learn more about how to choose a substance abuse counselor in Delray Beach, contact us today.


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