Counselling Clients with Addiction • [Podcast for Student Counsellors]

218 - Counselling Clients with Addiction

Why Did You Become a Helper? - Learning from Our Mistakes

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In Episode 218 of the Counselling Tutor Podcast, Rory Lees-Oakes and Ken Kelly discuss this week’s three topics:

  • In ‘Counselling Foundations’, we’ll look at the importance of knowing why you want to work in the service of others.
  • Then in ‘Focus on Self’, Rory and Ken discuss learning from our mistakes.
  • And lastly in ‘Practice Matters’, Rory speaks with Marion Elkin-Greener about counselling clients with addiction.

Why Did You Become a Helper? [starts at 02:07 mins]

Knowing why you’ve chosen to work in the service of others will help you develop a level of understanding and motivation to do well.

The key points of this section include:

  • When you have a strong ‘why’, the ‘how’ you do things will fall into place.
  • When it gets hard or lonely, you can look back to your ‘why’.
  • Make sure you're in a position to help others – you’re putting yourself in emotional harm's way. You will require emotional robustness.
  • Self-evaluation – be honest with, and know yourself fully.

Learning from Our Mistakes [starts at 15:33 mins]

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Everybody makes mistakes; it’s owning up to them and deciding how to move forwards that matters.

The main factors of this discussion are:

  • Reflexivity – reflect, think over your actions and what you can do better in the future.
  • Own up to mistakes – this allows you to move past them, most mistakes can often be resolved with an apology.
  • Most mistakes are made without malice or intention.
  • We’re just human, it’s natural to make mistakes.

Counselling Clients with Addiction [starts at 30:31 mins]

This week, Rory speaks with Marion Elkin-Greener on treating clients suffering from addiction.

The key points include:

  • Working with addictions requires extra training, but the core needs don’t change (empathy, positive regard etc.)
  • There are differences in how you treat each form of addiction e.g. you will treat an alcohol addiction differently from drug addiction.
  • There is slang you’ll have to adapt to and recognise.
  • It’s referred to as treatment – goal centered.
  • Family therapy – addiction often affects those around the client.
  • Relapse will be a part of the recovery process – it’s important the client is aware of this to help prevent feelings of shame and failure.
  • Educate clients on other websites etc. that they can go to for additional help and support.
  • When counselling clients with addiction, it’s vital to have an open mind and be non-judgemental.

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