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What is Individual Drug and Alcohol Counseling Like in North Carolina?

Medically Verified: 2/1/24

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

Everyone who struggles with addiction has their own unique challenges both during active addiction and in recovery. Addressing your specific needs and learning how to overcome those obstacles is a vital component of effective treatment. The best way to make sure all of your needs are met during addiction treatment is to actively participate in individual substance abuse counseling.

While the majority of time spent in rehab is spent in group therapy sessions, individual drug and alcohol counseling sessions are an important part of any treatment program. These therapy sessions are private, confidential, and consist of just you and your primary therapist or substance abuse counselor.

The Importance of Individual Substance Abuse Counseling

Although group sessions are used more often during rehab, individual sessions are equally as important. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “the role of the counselor in addiction treatment is to provide support, education, and nonjudgmental confrontation.”[1] Your primary counselor will address your unique emotional and mental needs during your individual sessions. There are two main goals of individual therapy during addiction treatment:

  1. Address the symptoms of your addiction as well as the aspects of your life that are most affected by your substance abuse
  2. Help you continue your treatment plan by tailoring your treatment services to meet your individual needs.

Group therapy allows you to connect with your peers, develop communication and problem-solving skills, and learn from others. However, groups address a wide variety of topics. The topics they discuss are typically ones that are shared by everyone in the group. Rather than focusing on your individual needs, groups encourage members to work together and support one another in all aspects of life.

The truth is, no group therapy session can exist without individual therapy. Individual therapy sessions allow your substance abuse counselor to get to know you on a personal level. They allow your therapist to come up with a custom-tailored treatment plan, monitor your progress, adjust your treatment plan, and know which group sessions you can benefit from the most based on your needs. Ultimately, individual therapy sessions are at the foundation of your treatment program and your recovery.

The Benefits of Individual Drug and Alcohol Counseling

There are many ways you can benefit from individual addiction counseling, such as:

  • Develop a trusting, personal relationship with your primary therapist that allows your therapist to build a personalized treatment plan that addresses your needs
  • Disclose any private, personal, or sensitive information to your therapist that you don’t feel comfortable discussing in front of a group
  • Identify all areas of your life that are affected by addiction including personal relationships, family dynamics, finances, employment status, and housing
  • Identify emotional and environmental triggers that cause cravings or contribute to your addiction
  • Get help setting goals, coming up with a plan to achieve your goals, and celebrating your achievements
  • Allow your therapist to monitor your progress during treatment and adjust your treatment plan as needed
  • Address underlying issues such as trauma or mental health
  • Learn personalized coping skills and relapse prevention tips that support ongoing sobriety
  • Work with your therapist to develop an individualized aftercare program so you can stay sober after being discharged from treatment

What are Individual Addiction Counseling Sessions Like?

Your first few sessions will focus on establishing a positive rapport with your substance abuse counselor.[1] Your counselor will convey to you why they are qualified to help you, how they understand your struggle, and what is expected of you during your therapy sessions. At first, the main goal is simply to make sure you feel safe, understood, and respected.

As the counselor-patient relationship between you and your therapist continues to grow, your therapist will begin learning about you and your addiction. They may ask you questions about your childhood, your past, your emotions, and your goals. They may also begin learning about your personal and intimate relationships. In many cases, your substance abuse counselor will work with the treatment center’s clinical team to make sure they are addressing all of your mental and psychological needs.

Once your therapist has a clear understanding of your treatment needs, he or she will begin challenging you to change destructive behaviors, practice positive coping skills, and work towards small goals. Therapy sessions will begin by discussing your progress since the last therapy session and end with goals to work towards before the next session. You will also have plenty of time to talk to your counselor about any new obstacles that have come up since your last session.

How Often Do Patients Have Individual Therapy Sessions During Addiction Treatment?

Most addiction treatment centers in North Carolina make sure you meet with your substance abuse counselor in a private, confidential therapy session at least once a week. You may be given a set day and time that you are supposed to meet with your therapist. However, you may require additional individual substance abuse counseling sessions based on your progress in treatment and your specific needs.

If you find yourself in rehab feeling like you aren’t meeting with your therapist enough, you should let your therapist know. He or she can make adjustments to your treatment plan that allow you to have more individual addiction counseling sessions each week. Most individual drug and alcohol counseling sessions last 1-1.5 hours at a time.

Start Individual Substance Abuse Counseling in North Carolina Today

Individual therapy is an important part of our addiction treatment program in North Carolina. Our primary therapists have decades of combined experience in helping people just like you overcome their struggles with addiction.

If you or a loved one are struggling with drug or alcohol abuse, we’re here to help. Contact us today to see if our program is right for you.