How To Start Your Career In Addiction Counseling And How To Be Successful

When you are thinking about what career to go into, whether it’s your first career or you just want to make a life change, it pays to consider getting into a career that allows you to help other people. There are many different avenues you can take when it comes to being in a job that lets you change someone’s life for them, from being a doctor to being a counselor. One field you may want to consider it becoming a substance abuse counselor.

Things are continually changing in the fields that help people deal with addictions, from alcohol and drug addictions to food and sex addictions. There are new treatments methods available all the time, and this field is also learning to integrate things like holistic treatments into the mix.

Getting Your Education

You can often go into counseling on just a high school diploma, however, it depends on where you want to work and what you want to be able to do for the people that come to your for help. If you want to work in a hospital setting it is likely you’ll want at least a Bachelor degree. You may even need some kind of licensing, depending on where you live. Take some time to look into the requirements in the state or country you reside in.

Being In The Right Mindset

Not everyone can have a successful career as an addiction counselor. You really need to have some very important personality traits to work with people that have addictions. If you look at addiction as something that people do just to harm themselves and that it’s just a phase of some sort, then this will not be a good career option for you. You need to understand that addiction is a mental illness, and often comes with other underlying issues that have lead to addiction in the first place.

You need to be a compassionate person that likes to help people. You need to be a good listener, and you also need to have a thick skin. You are probably going to get treated poorly by some patients, but you need to stay professional and be understanding of their illness and what it is doing to them.

Be Ready For Sadness And Rewards

Sometimes you will successfully help a patient, and sometimes you’re stepping in too late. That is also part of where your thick skin comes in handy. While helping someone beat their addiction can be rewarding, it can also be heartbreaking when someone loses that fight even after you tried to help them.

If this sounds like a career that could be right for you, take some time to determine where you’d get the best education, and what requirements you need where you live. Start talking to other people that work in the field so you can get a real understanding of what life will be like as an addiction counselor. And then you’ll know and can move forward with your new career that will directly impact the lives of many.