Top 6 Ways for Choosing a Substance Abuse Counselor

By Olaotan Richard | Mar 14, 2018 If you are battling an addiction, you’ll need a counselor to help you battle your addiction and put you on the right path to recovery.

New York —

If you are battling an addiction, you’ll need a counselor to help you battle your addiction and put you on the right path to recovery. Counselors will help you identify significant influences to your addiction, create a treatment plan for you and provide support for you throughout your journey. A good counselor must be patient, understanding and compassionate.

However, you need to take your time when selecting a counselor. There are some things that you must watch out for. The following are six ways of choosing a substance abuse counselor.

1. Referrals:

Referrals are a good way of choosing a substance abuse counselor. Ask for referrals from those in your support group, your addiction treatment center, your doctor, your local hospital and your family and friends. You will come in contact with someone who knows a good counselor, and they can help you set up a meeting with the counselor.

2. Area of specialization:

A lot of counselors are trained psychiatrists, but they all have their area of specialization. Watch out for counselors that their area of specialization is on what you are facing. They will understand you better, and they will be able to cater to your needs better and put you on a faster path to recovery.

3. Experience:

Before selecting a counselor, speak with the counselor and find out how much experience that they have. A well-experienced counselor will have had patients with conditions similar to yours and will know what to do to handle your situation better. There are some things that can only be gained by experience.

4. Qualification:

A good counselor must have good qualifications from reputable institutions and organizations. To prevent selecting quacks, verify and confirm the authenticity of their qualification. Research on the qualifications that professionals in that field are supposed to have and check if the counselor has those qualifications.

5. Location:

Location is important for finding a counselor. There is no point in finding a counselor if you stay thousands of miles away from each other. Find a counselor in your locality so that periodic meetings won’t be an issue for you. You can check local advertisements. A lot of counselors and practices often list their services there.

6. Comfortability:

If you are not comfortable with your counselor, you won’t be able to work with him/her. Your counselor must be someone that you are free and open with. Go for someone that you can pour out your heart to without any fear. This is an important factor that must be considered. No matter the level of education, specialization and the experience that a counselor has, if you are not comfortable with the counselor, it is all a waste.


Choosing a substance abuse counselor is a delicate procedure that should be handled with maximum care and sensibility. Take your time and make a good choice. To save a lot of money, you can check for counselors under your health insurance scheme. Go for counselors that have helped people with similar cases to yours. They should have the qualifications, certifications and wealth of experience to help you. You can conduct an initial interview with a counselor to confirm that they are a good fit for you. Ask for their opinions on things that matter to you.

Above all, you must be comfortable with the person you decide to go for. Don’t select anyone that creeps you out or makes you feel worse. If you do so, your substance abuse case might get worse! If you are having problems with your counselor, opt out and find another counselor. You shouldn’t get stuck with anyone. There are other counselors that can help you out.


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