Relapse prevention counseling can help you stay sober or successfully manage a mental health disorder after you transition out of a treatment center. Although you may want to believe that you are cured after you leave treatment, there is more work to be done. Staying sober over the long term requires that you learn coping skills and strategies that can help you recognize and prevent a relapse before it happens.
This type of counseling is based on cognitive behavioral principles. Techniques used in relapse prevention counseling include:
Many people with addiction turn to substances or other destructive behaviors to relieve stress or other difficult feelings. Even with new coping skills in place, relapse rates are as high as 60%. Long-term recovery requires conscious effort and vigilance. Once you have gone through detox or inpatient rehabilitation, you have taken an important step toward recovery. But long-term recovery requires you to be prepared for the situations that may lead to you to return to substance abuse.
Staying sober may mean that you have to stop hanging around in certain places, and there may be people that you can no longer see. A relapse prevention counselor can help you make the transition to a new support system and away from those who may encourage you to give in to the urge to pick up a drink or a drug.
With the help of a therapist specially trained in relapse prevention, you can learn to recognize your triggers and make a plan for what actions to take when you feel compelled to drink or use. With this guidance, you can learn to make better choices that can help you avoid high-risk situations and plan ahead to know what you should do when you experience cravings.
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