When people arrive at an addiction treatment center, they typically don’t want to be there. They’re agitated and apprehensive, and they doubt whether they even have a problem, especially one that is as bad as their families, employers or the courts believe.
In many cases, the last thing they want to do is sit down for talk therapy or attend a support meeting, though both are essential elements of treatment. What they do want is relief from the discomfort of withdrawal.
There is no better way to begin building rapport with a client – and to keep them in treatment – than to listen attentively and help them feel better as quickly as possible. This is where complementary and alternative therapies can be of great value to the addict, particularly in the early stages of recovery.
Whether a client agrees with the therapist’s perspective or not, they are appreciative of any intervention that addresses their insomnia, anxiety, muscle cramps and other withdrawal symptoms. Not only are these symptoms unpleasant, but they are also major factors in relapse.
Once the therapist shows an interest in the problem as the addict defines it, the addict is more willing to talk about the problem as the therapist defines it. And so a relationship begins.