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Counselling and Psychotherapy

Counselling and psychotherapy are types of therapies where you can explore issues related to substance misuse, emotional or mental wellbeing in a private and confidential setting with a professional. They can involve group or individual sessions. Their aim is to improve coping or life skills and support changes in feelings or behaviour.

Psychotherapy focuses on uncovering and helping people to change the unconscious patterns of behaviour they developed in childhood to cope with stresses they faced at the time. Counselling usually focuses on current crises and the process is usually shorter than psychotherapy. Many drug and alcohol services provide counselling for substance misuse while some also provide counselling or psychotherapy for people who are struggling with other mental health issues.

Counselling for Substance Misuse

Counsellors who provide counselling for substance misuse use one or more of several types of psychological or talk therapies. The first step is to explore the affects substance misuse has had on the health and wellbeing of the client and whether or not he or she is ready for change. This process can help clients to explore in a one to one safe professional manner any difficulties s/he is experiencing.

Counselling for substance dependence can also support and motivate a client to pro-actively deal with their substance dependence issues. . The client must take responsibility for their recovery but are encouraged to seek support from counsellors, sponsors, recovering peers, family members and others. It is recommended that a person working with clients with substance misuse problems is accredited with Addiction Counsellors Ireland or another Counselling/Psychotherapy organization.

Counselling or Psychotherapy for Family Members

Many services provide one-to-one counselling to family members who wish to avail of support for themselves on practical and emotional issues. Some drug treatment services also offer family therapy. This is a type of psychotherapy that helps family members explore how substance abuse affects the entire family and supports them to change interactions among family members.