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Will My Addiction Counselor Want Me to Attend AA?

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It is very likely that your addiction counselor will want you to attend AA. Many therapists encourage their patients to attend support group meetings because of the wonderful benefits these programs often provide. Call 800-948-8417 Question iconCalls are forwarded to these paid advertisers today to find rehab programs that utilize medication, counseling, and support groups as part of their treatment services.

AA and Counseling Combined

Your counselor will be likely to encourage your involvement in AA, specifically because someone who can attend both professional treatment and a support group is likely to have a stronger, safer recovery. Traditional rehab often utilizes group meetings run by a professional, but AA and programs like it provide peer support and assistance at almost any time.

These programs usually meet at convenient times for members, often on the weekend and in the evenings, which are also times when an individual is more likely to want to drink (National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism). Especially if you are in outpatient treatment, this can be another important line of defense; however, many inpatient programs have AA meetings in the facilities as well.

12-step Facilitation Therapy

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12-step facilitation therapy is used to inform patients of the many benefits associated with AA.

Most counselors will encourage AA attendance, as it is another layer of recovery support and strength for those who are ending their alcohol abuse. In fact, it is often a part of a person’s therapy in general. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “12-step facilitation therapy is an active engagement strategy designed to increase the likelihood of a substance abuser becoming affiliated with and actively involved in 12-step self-help groups, thereby promoting abstinence.”

12-step facilitation therapy helps to promote support group attendance for individuals struggling with addiction and going through rehab. There are often many myths about these support groups that can make certain patients doubtful about whether or not they are actually helpful. Therapists who follow the 12-step facilitation model will help to dispel these myths and teach patients the truth. The therapy itself also:

  • Emphasizes active involvement in 12-step meetings and helps patients understand how this can affect the benefits they receive from the program
  • Discusses the concept of surrender and why it is so important to the program
  • Stresses the fact that abstinence is necessary, a concept 12-step groups like AA abide by
  • Helps patients find AA meetings in their area

AA Can Help

Your counselor is likely to encourage your involvement in any program that helps you avoid the possibility of relapse. Support groups like AA promote abstinence, encourage sharing and supporting one another, and involvement in the community, all steps your counselor will want you to take.

AA can help you in some ways that traditional treatment can’t as well, which is why many counselors feel it adds more strength to one’s recovery. According to the US Department of Veteran Affairs, “Individuals with SUDs who participate in 12-step self-help groups tend to experience better alcohol and drug use outcomes than do individuals who do not participate in these groups,” and your counselor is likely already aware of this.

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