Finding an Addiction Counselor in Louisville, KY - PAX Riverbend

What to Look for in an Addiction Counselor

patient and addiction counselor in Louisville, KY

There are many types of therapies used in addiction treatment programs to help people overcome their substance abuse. These therapies are all lead by an addiction counselor who works closely with each patient throughout their course of treatment. Substance abuse counselors are an important part of addiction therapy and their involvement in the recovery process is vital. As a result, it is important to find an addiction counselor that you trust so that you can begin making progress in your recovery.

Our drug and alcohol counselors in Louisville, KY are dedicated to providing individualized support to each and every one of our patients. This involves completing a thorough evaluation, creating an individualized treatment plan, teaching relapse prevention skills, and following up with aftercare. Plus, many of our therapists are in recovery themselves or have a loved one in recovery – so they know exactly what you’re going through from a first-hand point of view.

Anyone who has struggled with drug or alcohol addiction knows how difficult getting sober can be. Between intense cravings, emotional triggers, and unresolved issues that provoke substance abuse, professional substance abuse counselors can help people obtain and maintain sobriety.

The Role of a Substance Abuse Counselor

Drug and alcohol counselors help patients explore why they abuse substances, share and process their thoughts and feelings, develop healthy coping skills, and create long-term plans that will help patients stay sober. Both inpatient and outpatient rehab programs feature addiction counseling in both group and individual sessions.

The purpose of an addiction counselor is to achieve the following.

  • Provide thorough evaluations and assessments of patients
  • Develop individualized treatment plans based on unique needs and target goals
  • Offer emotional support for individuals
  • Facilitate group processes, exercises, activities, and psychoeducation
  • Administer random drug and alcohol screening
  • Facilitate one-one-one and family therapy sessions for each patient
  • Create aftercare plans to help patients maintain sobriety after rehab

Substance abuse counselors guide patients through group, individual, and family therapy sessions. They help patients identify negative behaviors, improve their self-awareness, and adopt new, healthier behaviors that are conducive to recovery.

A Good Addiction Counselor: Characteristics to Look For

Drug and alcohol counselors work closely with patients and their families to identify their unique needs and set realistic goals. Throughout treatment, counselors should practice good listening and express unending compassion and support. During your first counseling session, your therapist will focus on building a mutual foundation of trust with you. Trust is an important factor when it comes to therapy, as people who don’t trust their therapists are unlikely to make much progress. That being said, if you go to an addiction treatment center and feel uncomfortable getting honest and vulnerable with your counselor, you may consider requesting a new one.

A good therapist will be successful in creating a safe and secure environment in which patients can openly communicate with one another. They will also take the time to diagnose and create a treatment plan for any co-occurring mental health conditions that patients may be suffering from. Ultimately, the most important thing to look for in an addiction counselor is their passion and dedication to helping patients on an individual level as they move through the recovery process.

All counselors and therapists are different and carry different certifications, licenses, and degrees. In most cases, counselors must acquire between 2,000 to 4,000 hours of supervised clinical experience before they can become licensed to work as a substance abuse counselor. However, therapists who work at addiction treatment centers may come with all different types of backgrounds, including Licensed Social Workers (LSW) and Licensed Mental Health Counselors (LMHC). That being said, their credentials shouldn’t matter as much as whether or not they provide you with the level of care that you need.

Different Types of Substance Abuse Counseling

In addition to making sure you feel safe and comfortable with your counselor, you should also consider the treatment approach that the particular counselor takes. After all, every treatment center and therapy facilitator is different. For example, some addiction counselors in Louisville, KY use a 12-step or holistic approach while others focus on behavioral therapies, trauma, and thought processes. It is important to look at the different types of addiction therapists available so you know which approach will best meet your needs.

Some therapies that may be used during substance abuse counseling include:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) or Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) – CBT is a form of talk therapy that helps treat substance use disorders and mental illness. This approach focuses on the relationships between thoughts, feelings, and actions. CBT helps patients identify triggers and learn how to replace drug and alcohol use with healthier coping skills. DBT, on the other hand, is a form of CBT that focuses on helping patients gain coping skills and confidence.
  • 12-step facilitation – This is a spiritual approach where therapists work to encourage fellowship among group members while pushing for 12-step participation in groups like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA). Therapists who use this approach must be familiar with the 12-steps.
  • Holistic therapy – Holistic therapy helps patients learn and practice healthy coping skills that aren’t taught in traditional treatment settings. Some types of holistic therapy include art, music, yoga, equine therapy, and meditation.

Many substance abuse counselors in Louisville, KY will combine these therapies and more to offer a whole-patient approach that supports lasting recovery.

Get Connected With an Addiction Counselor in Louisville, KY Today

Although you may be tempted to try recovery on your own, counseling is a crucial part of addiction recovery. Of course, nobody enjoys sitting in a room, discussing their feelings and secrets with someone else – but doing so is how you identify problematic areas of your life and begin to heal. If you or someone you know is in need of an addiction treatment program in Louisville, KY, PAX Riverbend is here to help. Contact one of our dedicated treatment providers today.

Medically Reviewed: September 25, 2019

Dr Ashley

Medical Reviewer

Chief Editor


All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.

Dr Ashley Murray obtained her MBBCh Cum Laude in 2016. She currently practices in the public domain in South Africa. She has an interest in medical writing and has a keen interest in evidence-based medicine.

All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.