Recovery from substance use issues and other compulsive behaviours can be a daunting task. Support and guidance can make a big difference in success.
Education about the nature of substance dependence and compulsive behaviours will support interventions built on your new understanding.
You may underestimate your capacity for success. In counselling, we learn new skills that support adaptive and positive action, but more often it is about rediscovering that we are already well-equipped to tackle challenges.
Approach to Recovery
How we conceptualize addiction and recovery is important from the start. Addiction and compulsive behaviour is learned and has a developmental trajectory that is predictable. Recovery, likewise, has a predictable trajectory. Knowing what to expect will keep you directed towards success.
Success is expedited when you are intentional and oriented to wellness. Learning to set manageable goals and take action promotes motivation and enthusiasm through predictable if not immediate success. Our success also contributes to positive personal narrative.
Often when a person succumbs to addiction, the compulsive pursuit of stimulus despite negative consequences, she may additionally be plagued by self-doubt and negative self-judgment. Pursuing recovery means re-igniting a sense of worth and value through realistic positive self-evaluations. Understanding what motivates us and recognizing our capacity for success will promote confidence and self-efficacy.
I find that my role is to support people in uncovering or remembering skills that they already possess to address the challenges they are facing. Sometimes existing skills could use some practice to promote mastery, and occasionally I need to teach people specific approaches. The point is that there are skills to be learned and knowing when and where to use them will again expedite success.
Success is also dependent on the ability to recognize that you’re meeting your goals and exercising intentionality. Here too there are specific strategies we can deploy to ensure that our accomplishments continue to contribute to a positive and satisfied personal narrative.