In discussing options for effective alcohol treatment, a dozen sources will give you a dozen different techniques, each one purported to be the most cutting-edge or the most time-tested or simply the most successful. Every treatment center, support group, and counseling service, in trying to set themselves apart, will paint their own program in as unique a light as possible. But at the core of every successful alcohol treatment program lies a single, common characteristic: they all boil down to trust – trusting your support network, trusting the professionals trying to help you, trusting yourself. By understanding the vital role that feelings of support, forgiveness, and trust play in the recovery and rehabilitation process, a recovering alcoholic can more effectively seek out the most caring, inclusive, and ultimately successful treatment options.
Finding a Trusting Support Group
A good alcohol treatment program will start with a foundation of strongly supportive friends, family members or fellow recovering alcoholics. This group will form the basis for a new sense of self-worth and provide motivation for your own continued improvement. As such, it is important that you trust the members of your support network and that they trust you. This can, ironically, be most difficult with family members. Although our families have the potential to be our closest allies, their very closeness sometimes means they are part of our cycle of addiction. If this is the case, it can be very useful for an alcohol treatment program to include formal guidance on how to overcome any distrust that may exist between an alcoholic and his or her family. Healing this kind of broken relationship is an integral part of the addiction healing process.
Another extremely valuable network that most effective alcohol treatment programs will formally organize is a system of peer mentors or sponsors — men and women who have been where you have been and who can help you find your way out. Their value cannot be overemphasized, if for no other reason than the fact that their advice can be more immediately relevant to a recovering alcoholic than anyone else’s. Take the time to get to know your sponsor and your fellow program-mates. As you grow in your trust for them and as they come to trust you, each of you will find additional reserves of strength and guidance.
Having Faith in Professional Assistance
Seeking and accepting help from a stranger is often the hardest thing any of us can do. It’s one thing to finally be able to admit that our friends were right when they said we needed help; it’s quite another to take the word of someone we don’t know when they say “I know what I’m doing, and you should be doing this…” Part of this is simple human psychology. We like to think we are in control of our own lives. We also like to think that we are acting in our own best interests. By accepting the aid of a trained professional, we are forced to admit that sometimes we don’t know the best road to take; we need to ask for directions. On this level, it really just boils down to pride. We can’t be too proud to admit that a formal alcohol treatment specialist might know better.
Believing in a trained counselor’s ability to help us recover from an addiction is especially difficult in those cases where the counselor has not himself fallen prey to an alcohol addiction. Successful alcohol treatment depends on the ability of the alcoholic and therapist to find a common point of view, and in the absence of common experience, this viewpoint can be hard to develop. It is, however, helpful to remember that someone with a different set of life experiences may be the best person to provide fresh perspective on your own. Once again, it comes down to trusting — sometimes as a complete act of faith — that this person CAN help you.
It is also good to find a formal alcohol treatment program that can work with your established support network to “fill in the gaps” in your recovery. Especially if your counselor has little or no experience with alcohol addiction, you need to maintain the high level of trust in your friends and fellow recovering addicts. Learning to trust your therapist should never lead you to place his advice or opinions above those of your support group. All parties should work toward a trust-based relationship with your ultimate recovery as its goal.
Learning to Trust Yourself
There is one final person who you’ll need to trust on the road to recovery: yourself. For all the help that a caring support structure and competent professional counseling can provide, most of the work will still end up on your shoulders, and you need to believe that you’re up to the task. This faith in oneself may not come easily, especially after a long, sometimes unsuccessful struggle with addiction. But this trust is what all the other forms of trust are built upon.
A good alcohol treatment program, then, is one that encourages and enables you to begin trusting yourself again. Whatever bad choices you may have made in the past, an effective program will help you learn to move past them and make new decisions, secure in the knowledge that you are in control of your addiction. There are a number of methodologies to this aspect of alcohol treatment, but you should be aware that retraining yourself to believe in your own inherent self worth is going to be a lengthy process. But although it may seem impossible, it’s not. Everyone has within them the ability to make the right decisions; you just have to believe in yourself enough to do so.
Every alcohol treatment center, every technique, every program has unique elements, aspects that set each apart from the others. But the most successful all share a common ability to instill in the recovering addict feelings of trust. By accepting that our friends and family truly want what is best for us, by believing that our counselors and rehabilitation specialists know what they’re doing and honestly have our best interests at heart, and by trusting ourselves to have the strength and discipline to make it through the hardest trials, we can learn to make each day better than the last and to make each step we take on the road to recovery a meaningful one.
If you need help now, please call us at 1-877-772-2616 today.