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How to Choose an Alcohol Counselor

Before you begin alcohol counseling, it’s important to find a counselor that you feel comfortable with. Finding a counselor who you can talk to and open up to will tremendously help in your recovery process. Recognize though, that your counselor can only guide you along your recovery journey. It’s up to you to be active in your treatment and apply what you’ve learned.

Take time when researching alcohol counselors. Once you find two to three that fit what you’re looking for, talk with them about any questions or concerns you may have. This will help you choose the right counselor for you.

Keep these tips in mind when you research alcohol counselors:

Find someone with experience treating AUDs

There are many types of conditions that a counselor may treat. Narrow your search by looking for counselors who specialize in helping people with AUDs. From there, you can organize your list based off of years’ experience, location, cost and types of therapy provided. Keep a list of any questions to ask them so you can find the best fit.

Check for proper licensing

Just because a counselor holds a degree in psychology doesn’t necessarily mean they are properly licensed in the field. Research your state’s requirements for licensed alcohol counselors and be sure each one is credentialed. This is also a good time to see if any complaints have been brought against a counselor, as well as see if they have other patient reviews.

Ask about the types of therapies used

Counselors use different types of therapies based on the conditions they treat. Some of most common forms of therapy for alcoholism include cognitive behavioral therapy, holistic therapy and biofeedback. Sometimes a counselor will use several types of therapies in their sessions. This often depends on existing co-occurring conditions and the progress made in recovery.

Confirm accepted insurance plans

Check your insurance policy to see if the cost of counseling is covered. Your insurance provider may be able to give you a list of counselors within your network. However, while some insurance plans will cover all or a portion of counseling costs, others may only cover the costs for a predetermined number of sessions.

Listen to your gut

Make sure to go with your gut when you ultimately decide on an alcohol counselor. If you feel any sense of hesitation or uneasiness after talking with a counselor, eliminate them from your options. You should be able to have an open dialogue with a counselor and above all, trust them. Don’t second-guess how you feel.

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