Individual counseling focuses on addressing the underlying emotional and psychological aspects of addiction and preparing patients to handle the everyday challenges of life. AppleGate counselors are trained to work with patients to determine their unique areas of focus, addressing issues that have had a negative effect on patients emotionally, psychologically or spiritually. These may include:
- Overcoming cravings for opioids or other mind-altering substances
- Understanding the disease of addiction and relapse prevention techniques
- Learning healthy coping mechanisms and strategies to manage stress
- Building life skills to improve quality of life in all areas
- Finding a safe place to work through past trauma, family issues and other problems
- Repairing and maintaining healthy relationships with family and friends
- Developing support systems for ongoing recovery
- Planning and goal setting to build a happy and productive life in long-term recovery
Goal setting is an important part of a patient’s recovery counseling. Setting goals provides much needed motivation and structure throughout all phases of treatment and into long-term recovery. Goals can be difficult to set and follow without guidance. AppleGate Recovery counselors work with patients to develop healthy, attainable goals and track their progress by answering the following questions:
1. What are my “big picture” goals?
Goals such as “be happy” and “live a healthier life” may be difficult to measure, but can help get started in the goal setting process.
2. What specific things in my life do I want to improve?
Patients should be able to track their progress toward attaining these goals and measure their success over time.
3. How do I prioritize my goals?
The number of goals generated can be overwhelming as patient try to repair the various areas of their live. Counselors can help patients determine the goals which are most vital to their mental or physical health to be addressed first, and then prioritizing the remaining goals as appropriate for each patient.
Group counseling can be an extremely effective part of a comprehensive treatment plan. AppleGate counselors facilitate groups to help patients see that they are not alone in their addiction. Many patients coming into any type of treatment program feel overwhelmed, ashamed and afraid. Group counseling offers an opportunity to share those feelings with others who’ve had similar experiences, creating a sense of belonging. Additional benefits of group counseling include:
- Sharing experiences and solutions provide patients with the opportunity to learn new tools and strategies for problem-solving from others in recovery.
- Feelings of guilt and shame are reduced as patients realize that others have had similar experiences in and out of addiction.
- Patients are able to provide support and hold one another accountable to their individual and group treatment goals.
- Building a support network of both family and friends, but also others in recovery provides a patient with the support needed to persevere through difficulties in sobriety.
Outside of the counseling options provided in-house, AppleGate encourages patients to build and extend their recovery support systems. This may include their families, friends and loved ones, or other groups specializing in addiction recovery. Such groups may include AA, NA or other peer recovery groups. They may also include Intensive Outpatient Treatment Programs (IOP) or other professional programs which complement the AppleGate program.