8 Tips for Choosing the Right Addiction Therapist

Addiction knows no boundaries. It begins as a "harmless" action, grows into a regular habit, and takes over an addict's life. Addiction becomes the main thing an addict thinks about, taking their focus from responsibilities like work, relationships, and financial accountability.

Meanwhile, addiction hurts the addict's loved ones. It creates barriers between the affected individual and the people they love, often causing painful conversations or even violent actions.

Simply put, no one wins when someone has an addiction. But, this condition can be overcome, especially with the help of an addiction therapist.

A therapist's efforts go beyond traditional 12-step programs and detox centers. An addiction therapist may be the saving grace you or someone you know have been waiting for. It's worth finding the right person for the job to get the best results.

Here's how to do just that.

1. Identify Your Needs

Whether you're the one who needs to admit you have a problem or you're helping a loved one overcome theirs, the road to recovery begins here. It's not enough to admit there's an addiction going on. You have to identify how serious it is.

Think about what the addiction is for. Sometimes, what begins as alcohol addiction or a gambling problem can cause other vices. The urge to fill a particular void or otherwise "feel better" grows and develops new issues.

You or your loved one may be suffering from dual diagnosis, too. This is when addiction is co-occurring with a mental health problem. Such cases deserve an addiction therapist who understands substance abuse as well as specific mental health issues.

2. Consider the Medical and Emotional Sides of Addiction

To get a truly good understanding of the kind of help that's necessary, consider the emotional aspect of addiction as well as the medical. It's not enough to approach recovery from just one perspective.

While a therapist does all they can to help an addict realize what their behavior is doing to themselves and others, a physical doctor can help the body begin to heal. Together, the efforts of two specialists start to pave the path to better days.

3. Check Your Budget

There are the physical and emotional needs of addiction recovery, and then there's the cost. Consider how much you're able to pay out of pocket to get the support you need or to fund it for someone else.

Keep in mind, though, the ability to live a sober, well-rounded life is priceless. Look into insurance coverage and payment options before you rule out a certain therapist or treatment center.

4. Research Multiple Choices

As you're comparing prices between different options, look into the specific details of each service available, too. Some therapists will charge per session while others will have long-term treatment plans in place. These may be paid up-front or throughout the time of treatment, depending on the therapist.

Beyond the finances, look into how in-depth each session actually is. Not every therapist treats addiction in the same way, and you will probably connect to one approach more than another. Maybe even research support groups or other communities you can join to further enhance the recovery efforts.

5. Look at Local and Remote Options

From one-on-one sessions and support groups to post-recovery meetings and assistance staying clean, it's worth considering remote options as well as local therapists.

The best therapist for you may be located across state lines or on the other side of the country. While such services are going to be more expensive than the ones in your backyard (due to travel, insurance, etc.), they may be just what you need.

Such is the case if a certain addiction therapist has a long track record of successful treatments or an innovative way of helping patients recover. Not to mention, sometimes the best thing you can do for yourself - or the addict in your life - is to create distance.

Taking addicts out of their everyday environment helps them create new habits. They won't be able to get their hands on their substance of choice as easily, and it will be much easier for them to focus on better things, too.

6. Talk to Your Friends and Family

Whether you're looking for your own addiction therapist or one for a person you love, you need to include others in the conversation. Reach out to friends and family of the addict and discuss all the possibilities available to them.

Maybe they have a cousin or close friend who is willing to take them in and drive them to therapist appointments. Maybe a few family members are willing to pitch in and cover the costs.

These are little things that make a big difference. Getting other people involved gives an addict the support they need to finally commit to the recovery process.

7. Meet a Few Addiction Therapists

After all, the research for therapists near and far is complete, and the family is filled in, it's time to narrow down options. The best way to begin doing so is to meet a few addiction therapists in person.

This helps you get a feel for who is the ideal person to treat the addict in your life. Talking over the phone or even meeting in person is enough to give you a sense of who this therapist is and how they can help. You will be able to recognize which ones you feel the most comfortable with and which don't feel like as good of a fit.

8. Set Your Goals and Get Started

The last thing to do is set the goals for your recovery plan. You should start this conversation when you first reach out to addiction therapists. Ask them about different treatment suggestions and the possibilities available with each one.

From there, make your final choice and clearly set these goals. You and your therapist will write them out together, or, you can offer support to the addict in your life to create their goals.

Discover How an Addiction Therapist Can Change Your Life

Addiction therapy is the key to getting all the good things in life back again.

For addicts, going to therapy is the turnaround point that sets them on a better path - one they'll never look back from. For the friends and family of addicts, an addiction therapist can give them back the person they love - the one who's not weighed down by substance abuse.

To find out more about how addiction works and the solutions available, click here.