Addiction Counselling And Help: One-on-One Addiction Counselling And Help: One-on-One

Individual Addiction Counselling For Patients

Addiction Counselling at the Canadian Centre for Addictions is a relationship in which a counsellor helps the client mobilize resources to resolve their problem and modify attitudes and values.

Whether it is drug or alcohol rehab, the counsellor will explain and facilitate multiple models of counselling with the individual. The methods that will be used will be determined through an assessment establishing what would be most effective for the particular client. These methods may include:

  • Client Centered Therapy
  • Reality Therapy
  • Behavioural Therapy
  • Systemic Counselling
  • Life Skills Counselling
  • Narrative Therapy
  • Talk Therapy
  • Strategic Family Therapy

The counsellor will always discuss and explain to the individual the rationale for what they are doing in counselling, as the process must be a collaborative effort between the helper and the person being helped.

During one-on-one sessions, the addiction counsellor will follow six stages to ensure that all issues are properly understood, reflected upon, addressed, and resolved. The stages are as follows:


1. Information Gathering

The counsellor gathers as much information as realistically possible in order to make a valid assessment and treatment plan. Some of the information discussed might include:

  • Client’s perception of the problem;
  • Motivation for seeking help;
  • Duration of the problem;
  • Previous ways of coping;
  • Relevant past history;
  • Expectation of how counselling will help.

2. Evaluation

There are 5 major issues involved in evaluating the information the client provides:

  • Nature and severity of presenting symptoms;
  • Cause of the symptoms;
  • Relief of symptoms – are there possible solutions to the problem?
  • Client’s readiness for counselling;
  • Client-counsellor match, ensuring that the helper and the client are an appropriate match and will develop into the most therapeutic relationship.
addiction counselling

3. Feedback

The counsellor provides information to the client so that the former can determine how everything that is being done in addiction counselling aligns with the individual’s goals.

  • The information will be provided in simple, concrete terms;
  • Identify client’s strengths that will help resolve problems and weaknesses that cause problems or get in the way of resolving it;
  • Counsellors will be open to questions both during and after the feedback is given in order to create an open working dialogue;
  • Make specific counselling recommendations such as anger, family, marital, or life sills counselling.

4. Addiction Counselling Agreement

The agreement between the counsellor and the client will be imperative to the therapeutic relationship. Many areas are covered in the agreement, such as the following:

  • Practical issues such as length of sessions, number of sessions, and topic to be addressed in sessions;
  • Expectations of counselling should be outlined in the counselling agreement so all parties are on the same page. Counsellor will explain what he expects of the client, and similarly the client should let the counsellor know what he needs as well;
  • Goals will be another aspect of the agreement, this allows for a concrete system rather than a vague idea of “the helping process;”
  • Large problems and possible solutions will be broken down into small pieces that allow the client to meet them one step at a time;
  • The client must agree on and “own” the goals to make them work.

5. Changing Behaviour

The client and the counsellor will work together toward resolving problems and meeting outlined goals. The counsellor will assess on an ongoing basis the most effective method of individual counselling to ensure that they are supporting the client’s needs as best as possible.


6. Termination

Termination is not the last counselling session, but rather a phase in which the counsellor will work with the client on preparing a discharge and aftercare plan. When the client is done treatment, they will be able to stay sober and continue working toward their goals on their own.

This is a timely and carefully planned process that involves the collaboration of not only the client’s counsellor but also the entire clinical team to ensure every resource possible is at the client’s disposal when completing treatment. However, if the counsellor sees a need for an intensive in-patient program, then that will also be recommended as that has many benefits.


Canadian Centre for Addictions

These posts are written by the staff of CCFA based on the ongoings and observations in the addictions and recovery industry. We're a private drug and alcohol rehab with an inpatient location in Port Hope, Ontario, Canada and an outpatient location in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.