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Can You Choose Your Therapists at a Drug Rehab Center?

Your therapists will play the biggest role in your treatment. In fact, the relationship between a counselor and their client plays the largest role in the success of any type of psychotherapy. You need a therapist you can trust, as well as one who has experience treating the various nuances and challenges of substance abuse and co-occurring disorders.

Rehab is about choice; your choice to get better, your choice to say no to addiction and your choice to commit to a better life for yourself and your loved ones.

Getting to choose your own therapist is understandably important to you, but connecting with all of the specialists assigned to your treatment is equally worth discussing.

How Therapy Works in Rehab

Some rehabs follow a 12-step program that focuses heavily on group therapy. You’ll spend the majority of your time in these programs with others, working through a methodical process of recovery that includes admitting your powerlessness against addiction, identifying your weaknesses, trusting others or God and building the skills you need to stay sober.

The original 12-step program is rooted in Christianity, and it’s designed to help people overcome substance abuse by putting their faith in God. There are now many secular 12-step programs, but more and more rehabs are beginning to understand the importance of individualized substance abuse treatment.

Individual therapy gives you a safe space to discuss your addiction and mental health one-on-one with a certified counselor; while group therapy is valuable, there are many things you may not be comfortable revealing with others. Your personal counseling sessions will give you therapy that is designed just for you.

Picking Your Therapist

In most cases, you won’t get to interview all of the different substance abuse counselors and choose which one you like best. Counselors and psychologists are assigned to rehab participants based on a variety of factors including specializations, the type of addiction and availability.

For example, you may enter rehab and want to address your eating disorder along with your substance abuse. The rehab may have a counselor who specializes in treating co-occurring eating disorders, which will make it easier for them to understand your problem and come up with effective treatment strategies for you.

If you feel like you do not like your therapist in rehab, you can bring this up to the staff and see if there is another available for you to work with.

What If I Don’t Like My Therapist in Rehab?

It’s okay if you don’t like your therapist. This is the most important thing to establish. Not everyone “clicks,” and that’s why there are so many different staff members involved in rehab. Before you decide what to do next, it’s important to identify why you dislike your therapist.

Ask yourself:

  • What would I like out of therapy that I’m not currently receiving?
  • Do I dislike the therapist’s approach? Do I find them too direct, too gentle, etc.?
  • Am I feeling unheard in therapy?
  • Do I feel like I’m on the same page as my therapist?

Sometimes, people become so uncomfortable with what they’re going through in therapy that they take it out on the counselor. They begin to dislike the person rather than the practice; if you are not ready to discuss something or dislike a certain therapeutic exercise, that’s okay. Let your therapist know; being open about how you feel about everything, including your therapist’s choices, are all welcome and encouraged.

What to Do if You Don’t Like Your Therapist

After identifying the reasons you’re unhappy with your therapy, it’s important to let the counselor know what’s bothering you. Sometimes, the methods a therapist uses may seem pointless, and it’s okay to voice this. If you let your therapist know that you’re feeling stuck, this will help them become better at their job and provide you with a higher quality of treatment.

At the end of the day, you must also realize that therapy isn’t about your therapist. Focus on your goals, and remember that your emotional growth is what truly matters most.

We can help you choose a rehab that feels right for you. It’s natural to feel anxious and even afraid of treatment, but we’ll walk you through different programs so you feel empowered in your search. To get started, contact us at 800-737-0933.