Motivation: To be a competent substance abuse counselor

Foundational philosophies of counseling

Of the various foundational philosophies of counseling, I am most comfortable with motivation. I think that I am most comfortable with this philosophy because it is one that I have used in my own life. I believe that motivation will take you far and will help any individual to achieve their dreams. I believe that this is true even when an individual only has a little glimpse of motivation. Or when an individual is faced with great failures and adversity. 

Likewise, I have been told by others that I have a motivating spirit and the ability to walk in a room and change the temperature of it. I felt like that was powerful. Therefore, as a counselor in training, I understand that I am the model for the client. Therefore, if I can model how to be a motivated individual, I think that clients that lack motivation may be able to rethink the lack thereof. Likewise, I feel that the clients that have motivation may find more motivation through my modeling. 

Tolerance and attitude are everything

Prior to this semester, I had a low tolerance for individuals that were addicted. Mostly because I have seen the way addiction has torn my family apart. Individuals have become estranged with an individual in my family during his drug addiction. Likewise, I always believed that individuals had a choice in whether they wanted to be addicted or not. However, after receiving more formal education, I understand that it not that simply. I also understand that the brain structure and functionality completely changes when an individual is addicted. Therefore, my attitude toward the addiction population has changed drastically. 

I am also currently working with substance abuse patients for my practicum and I know and understand how having a low tolerance for this population is a sign of ignorance to their experiences. I also am fully aware of the impact that my attitude has on the substance abuse population. I have witnessed clients interact with other clinical staff who have something like a “stand offish” attitude and the impact it has on the clients. I have also witnessed how this type of attitude makes it least likely for a client to open up. Therefore, my attitude is mostly warm, open, receptive, non-judgmental, empathetic, etc. For this reason, I have found that clients are more willing to open up and more willing to give their all when in group sessions or individual counseling sessions. I am also learning that individuals that are addicted to substances have some of the same problems that I do and that just because I am in a position to help does not make me better than they are as individuals. 

Signing off for now! 

Ayzha 

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