Essay: Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counseling

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[. . .] The professional strengths that I have acquired and have seen counselors make use of their field of practice are elaborated in the following paragraphs. Meanwhile, for professional growth it is important that professionals should analyze the limitations pertaining to the field of practice.


When I make an analysis of the professional strengths related to the field of counseling I find that if a counselor has the ability to make effective cognitive interventions, it can be one of his or her most valued professional strength. Many accomplished counselors like Iwona (2012) believe that if you have the ability to make cognitive interventions, you will be able to modify the thoughts as well as the drug-related beliefs of the clients as well.

Being warm, non-judgmental and supportive also plays an important role in devising techniques that would help the client deal with the urge that he or she feels towards the use of drugs. Counselors who are observant and empathetic towards their clients are the ones who are always successful in making their clients give up their addiction and that too without any drug therapy. It is mandatory for counselors to respect their clients, irrespective of their background and problems.

I believe that once you give respect to your clients, they start believing in you. I would not say that it is something that comes easy while practicing in a rehabilitation house, but it is one of the professional strengths that are of utmost importance. It is very important for counselors to develop and then establish effective communication. When working in the field of counseling, communication should be open and two-way. By communication I do not just mean the use of spoken language, but also body language, non-verbal actions and gestures. The strength of effective counselors is that they listen to their clients more than they speak to them (2007: 2).


There are also many professional limitations in the field of practice that may to some extent hinder the process of counseling. However, these limitations can be overcome once the people in this field of practice work on their weak areas. What is noticed by many accomplished counselors about those who are young in the field is that they do not interact with the patients as much as they should. I agree that it is not easy to develop a comfort level with a person you have never met or talked to before, but every counselor needs to keep in mind that while he is working with a client he should not involve his personal likes and dislikes. Moreover, it is a very common site to see counselors, who are even working in the same group, hesitate to exchange ideas and help enhance the counseling ability of their colleagues.

Another aspect of professional limitation in the field of practice is that the counselors, at most times are unable to determine what the client wants in terms of advice and help because the clients themselves are going through a very rough patch and they are not stable emotionally to put forth their needs.

Impatience is also one of the very common professional limitations seen in practicing counselors. They want instantaneous results, however "Sellman (2012, pg 13) said that the importance of patience and persistence in practicing new behaviors over long periods of time is important."

6. Identification and Fulfillment of Professional Potential

In order for a counselor to identify his or her professional potential, he or she needs to make sure that he acquires the highest level of education in this field. I also plan to take short courses that offered by many organizations including Odyssey House McGrath Foundation as well as Australian Counseling Association. The short courses that are offered by these organizations help polish the counseling skills of counselors who are in the practice or will be starting shortly. I would also enroll in the Ph.D. program in counseling when I am eligible to do so. I will also devise strategies that would help me integrate the courses so that I am able to apply my knowledge in an effective way. I also plan to not only read research papers, but also work on writing these research papers. There is nothing more helpful to fulfill your professional potential than first-hand experience in the field.

Once I identified my personal professional potential in the field of counseling of people who are alcohol or other drug addicts, I decided to work on some strategies that would help me enhance as well as fulfill my potentials. I feel that I am very supportive and I do not judge my clients in anyway. By devising strategies on this professional potential of mine, I can help my clients in a better way. When patients come to me from different social and cultural backgrounds, I always analyze their situation in their point-of-view. I research on their background and talk to socially normal people who come from the same ethnicity, so that I can figure out what I need to do make them an effective part of the society.

I always make sure that a get an idea of what is going in the mind of the client. I talk to them and ask them what they are feeling about the self-help treatment that they are getting. I always observe them when they trying to abstain themselves from alcohol or any other drug that they were addicted and ask them what strategies have they made for themselves to cope with this addiction.

Another strategy that is also very valuable to me is that I make sure that I take ideas for motivating the clients for all the other counselors, juniors or seniors, for effective counseling.

7. Professional Diversity

Just like any other field, professional diversity in counseling is also an important determinant of the accomplishment of the counselor.

Potential Clients

First of all, I need to analyze the individuals, families or groups of people who are my potential clients and need any kind of help. As mentioned earlier, drug abuse is only a symptom of an underlying problem. As a professional, I need to identify this underlying problem before I proceed to management of alcohol and other drug abuse. As we all know that stress has been labeled as the major problem that drives people to get addicted to certain drugs. According to Khantzian (1985), "the hypothesis of self-medication predicts that some people abuse drugs when they try to self-medicate themselves to treat their intolerable state of mind." Although, stress can be caused because of any reason, people who have been exposed to some kind of trauma in the past are more prone to find themselves in stressful conditions than the normal population, reckon Vlahov, Gelea and Resnick (2002).

Apart from the people mentioned above, my potential clients are those who feel that they are social outcasts. They are young people who feel that they do not fit in the society and think of themselves as failures. These people also deserve the self-help treatment.

Another group of people who I consider my potential clients are people who themselves did not have any reason or urge to consume drugs, but they found themselves in bad company. They consume drugs just for the sake of trying it out and then later on get addicted to it.


There are two main organizations that I would especially like to mention here as they offer the kind of services, to the people who are alcohol and other drug abusers; I would like to become a part of. The first organization is the Odyssey House McGrath Foundation. This organization is one of the very few ones that offer therapeutic community treatment to the people who need help and these people are not treated with medicines. This organization applies the principles of self-help and other motivational techniques for the social recovery of the clients. Since its inception, Odyssey House has been successful in changing the life of about 30,000 drug addicts in Australia and more than 1,000 children whose parents were addicts (Odyssey House, 2012). This organization offers employment opportunities to the counselors who make sure that they work in the code of conduct devised by the House, which is based on five pillars. These five pillars are love, consideration, honesty, trust and responsibility. Honesty is taken special care of at Odyssey House. Any resident or counselor for that matter who is seen to violate the code of conduct and work against the ethical framework is asked to leave the House.

The second one is Australian Counseling Association, which is the largest registration body for counselors and psychotherapists in Australia. This organization is based on more than 3,000 members who serve a crucial role in the profession of counseling. The reason why I would like to be a part of this organization is that they promote the profession of counseling and has always been representing its members to government… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Cite This Essay:

APA Format

Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counseling.  (2012, November 16).  Retrieved May 20, 2019, from

MLA Format

"Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counseling."  16 November 2012.  Web.  20 May 2019. <>.

Chicago Format

"Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counseling."  November 16, 2012.  Accessed May 20, 2019.