How To Prepare For Your First Visit With An Addiction Counselor

As part of your treatment recovering from opioid dependency, many treatment programs will offer the services of an addiction counselor. These counselors are licensed mental health professionals who have specific experience dealing with dependency and substance use disorder. While these resources are an essential tool in treatment and recovery, therapy can be intimidating for some people. Many worry about being judged, treated unfairly, or not listened to during a therapy session. Additionally, for many people recovering from opioid dependency, this will be their first time meeting with any sort of therapist and the unknown factor can create anxiety. If you are thinking about meeting with an addiction counselor or have a visit coming up that you don’t feel prepared for, read on for a few tips on how to prepare for your first visit with an addiction counselor. 

Do Your Research

Most therapists and addiction counselors have short professional bios on the website of the treatment center or their own professional website. Reading your addiction counselor’s bio and examining their online presence is a great way to prepare for your first visit. Their bio contains pertinent information regarding their qualifications. Additionally, it introduces you to them before you even step into their office. By establishing a bit of online familiarity, the initial meeting becomes much less intimidating. It helps you to feel as if you are already acquainted with them. Their bio may even contain some personal details like hobbies and interests that may help you relate to them. Researching your addiction counselor is one of the best ways that one can prepare for your first visit. 

Bring Your Questions

Oftentimes during a first visit, it’s easy to get distracted with personal stories. Some let the counselor talk for the majority of the time; this is not good. In preparing for your first visit with an addiction counselor, bring a list of questions that you may have. These questions can cover anything from the treatment that they provide to other concerns you have. Writing down your questions on a small pad or on a notes app is a great way to get your thoughts organized. Make sure you ask; it’s in your best interest. Start off on the right foot! 

Be Open And Honest 

With opioid dependency, many people suffering also struggle from habitual lying to friends, family, and coworkers in order to keep the extent of their substance use disorder a secret. When preparing for your first visit with an addiction counselor, it is incredibly important to let go of that dishonest state of mind.

Prepare yourself for the fact that your counselor may ask you things that you have never told anyone. Take comfort in the fact that your addiction counselor is not there to judge you. In the same way that you would not lie to a doctor about what was making you sick, you should also not lie to your addiction counselor about the extent of your opioid dependency. They are only trying to help, and though you may feel shame in telling the truth, an open and honest first visit will set you up for great success down the line. 

Find A Way To Relax

Lastly, visiting an addiction counselor for the first time can cause many people to feel stressed or nervous about the visit. It can be incredibly nerve-wracking to meet someone new and open up to them about your substance use disorder. Take solace in the fact that it’s just going to happen and then it will be over. You can also plan to do something enjoyable after the first visit with your addiction counselor like cook a nice meal, hang out with friends or go see a movie that you have been wanting to check out. Finding a way to look forward to the meeting instead of dreading it is essential for your healing journey.

Finally, if you have been suffering from opioid dependency and want to meet with an addiction counselor, make sure to contact Fritz Clinic. With some of the top addiction counselors in Alabama, Fritz Clinic is the place to go to step off the path of substance use, and onto the path of healing. Call us or fill out our contact form. At Fritz Clinic, we believe in you … and you should too!