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Substance Abuse Counselor Career Essay

1474 words - 6 pages

I have wanted to be a counselor since my freshmen year of high school and in the counseling field there are many specialties that I can focus on. I am fairly certain that I want to specialize in helping people with substance abuse and their families. I have always focused my studies, interests, and work on things that will help me in this field and I have a lot of qualities that help to enhance me in my eventual career. There are difficulties when I get to practice also like what people perceive as correct counseling style, challenges with my gender and race, and finally creating my own counseling style and plans.
Currently I am studying for my psychology degree and planning on finishing ...view middle of the document...

100).” This cycle is broken through detoxifying the body of these substances and then dealing with withdraw symptoms. Withdraw is usually the most trying time in recovery, common symptoms are nausea, nightmares, seizures, depression and hallucinations (Renner, et al, (2011) p.102).
Another challenge I face is one of my own, my age, race, and gender. By the time I graduate I will be at least 22 years old and most people that become addicted get that way at a young age. The younger the child that tries the drug, the more likely they are to become addicted (Berger, (2006) p.456). As a Caucasian woman I will most likely be dealing with African American men, because they have the high numbers of inmates in prison for drug-related crimes (Roger & Merkle (2005) p. 7). My gender and race may make it hard to overcome differences and gain their trust, but I hope to break through to them enough so that they can open up to me in therapy sessions. I plan to do my best to understand them and help them as much as I can so that they can see that I am serious about helping them. Another problem many counselors with run into is that people are many times forced to choose between prison and rehab, so those in rehab may not want to be there. Again I will need to overcome their attitude and gain their trust.
As I said earlier, a substance abuse counselor helps people who are addicted to drugs and alcohol, but I am looking to not only help those addicted but their families. I want to go beyond just those addicted because substance abuse not only takes down one person but all of those around them. I plan to use a couple different methods with my patients, but all of them will be in steps. I will begin with one on one counseling to address the underlying problem of their addiction (Drug Alcohol Counselor, para.2). Then I integrate them into a group setting with other addicts, so that they can speak with others that have the same problem. This helps to create a feeling of self worth and to help to keep the others accountable (Felix-Ortiz, M., Salazar, M., Gonzalez, J., Sorensen, J., & Plock, D. (2000) p. 339). While in these groups I would like them to engage in staging matching in which I determine what stage of recovery they are in, like detox or recovery, and then match them with group members of the same stage (Goleman, (1993) p. C10). When I feel that they are able to move on from daily group sessions, I would want them to move into a sober living facility, so that they can assimilate back into normal society, because I want them to take the time they need to get everything sorted out before they enter into regular life. When they are finally able to reenter the world I want to make sure that they can prosper so I will make sure they have jobs. “A majority of the people arrested for drugs are poor,” so by providing them with work I can give them a reliable income (Roger & Merkle (2005) p. 7). Then I will have the addicts in outpatient therapy where I will...

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