The Role of Rehab Counselor in Our Psychological Well Being

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Written By Charlotte Miller

Rehabilitation is a process of healing, recovery, and regaining our strengths to actualize our true potential. People wrongfully assume that rehab is just for overcoming the addictions of alcohol and substance abuse. Here’s a lesser-known fact: people enter rehabilitation programs to treat chronic illnesses, disabilities, and life challenges. 

The rehabilitation process provides us an ideal setting, well-equipped with resources, to facilitate recovery and improve life quality. This process is designed and aided by a rehabilitation counselor, who walks us through the path of recovery. Interestingly, rehab counselors have a vast skill set, and they take on a multitude of responsibilities. 

Rehab counselors tailor their counseling solutions to help patients struggling with a vast host of concerns. They help people struggling with emotional issues, mental health conditions, chronic or injury-related pain, disabilities, and substance use disorders. Keep reading to explore the role of a rehab counselor in more detail. 

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Coping with Challenges 

People visit rehabs complaining of a wide array of mental concerns and physical challenges. Most people admitted into rehab struggle to overcome substance use disorders and alcohol addictions. Some are struggling from abusive relationships or cognitive concerns, while others struggle with chronic pain and disabilities. Either way, these patients need emotional support, mental health treatments, and physical healing to support overall recovery. 

These patients struggle with numerous challenges, physical and mental, and they require well-rounded support. Rehabilitation aims to provide them with support and resources to overcome their challenges and reclaim their life quality. So, what does a rehabilitation counselor do to help these individuals cope with their mental and physical struggles? 

Rehab counselors act as psychologists, teachers, life coaches, case managers, welfare consultants, injury managers, career counselors, and advisors. They take up many roles to facilitate recovery and help their patients become functioning adults. They decide which roles to assume to help their patients in the best way possible. 

For instance, patients diagnosed with substance abuse need counseling, therapeutic interventions, emotional support, and employment consultation. Interestingly, counselors treat emotional, mental, and physical conditions and also help improve life quality. They prepare their patients to leave the facility and resume everyday life with a renewed enthusiasm to give their best. 

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Promoting Healthy Lifestyle Choices 

Rehab counselors design programs that essentially revolve around advocating healthy life choices. Counselors adopt a systematic approach, beginning with life choices to promote physical, emotional, and mental illnesses. Once they address the underlying issue, they proceed towards helping individuals improve their life prospects and habits.  

Suppose a patient diagnosed with substance use disorder seeks rehabilitation counseling. In that case, the counselor will initially focus on helping the patient overcome the addiction and its debilitating withdrawal symptoms. Once the patient starts abstaining and controlling, the counselor will promote healthy life choices, like exercise, nutrition support, and mindfulness. 

Rehab counselors educate patients in adapting and coping with their conditions and embrace life choices that support wellbeing. They raise patient awareness around a vast host of physical, emotional, cognitive, therapeutic, and holistic strategies to elevate their life quality. Naturally, each patient demands a unique and customized approach.

For instance, patients with chronic pain will have a unique counseling trajectory compared with patients with disabilities or addictions. The counselor must identify the healthiest lifestyle choices to facilitate recovery and address the underlying issues for each patient. 

Boosting Self Esteem & Confidence 

People struggling with chronic pain, disabilities, cognitive imbalances, addiction, or other concerns often consider themselves as outliers. They are routinely discriminated against in the workplace and the community, struggling to assert their identity and choices. Dealing with discrimination and the label of being an outcast have a severely adverse impact on our self-esteem. 

Aside from their physical or mental issues, these individuals struggle with low self-esteem, rendering them incapable of improvement. Our confidence and sense of self instill the power to improve our circumstances and rise above our challenges. But when our self-identity is fractured, the struggle is never-ending like a vicious cycle of repetitive patterns. 

Rehab counselors help break this cycle to make their patients feel more confident and in control of their lives. They help patients reclaim their self-esteem with one-on-one sessions and exercises that help empower them. Suppose a rehab counselor is treating a patient who has suffered an injury-related disability. In that case, the counselor will help the patient with robust physical activity and emotional support to bolster their self-esteem

Regaining physical movement, or even witnessing tiny flickers of improvement, will go a long way in boosting the patient’s confidence. This confidence will prove much more effective than all the medications in the world in treating the underlying condition. 

Coping with Pain 

Pain management is a significant aspect of rehab counseling to facilitate healing and restore life quality. People who struggle with chronic pain, disabilities, or injuries live with pain like a constant companion. The throbbing aches dull away everything in their lives, from their personality and hobbies to careers and relationships. The only thing that remains in their lives is the pain they must endure and live with forever.

Rehab counselors help them develop coping mechanisms to reduce the intensity of their pain. Rehabilitation counseling helps patients reduce their pain sensitivity and learn holistic pain management strategies. Counselors equip them with therapeutic and holistic pain management techniques to reduce their physical and mental discomfort.

The strategy is different for each patient, based on their underlying condition. For instance, in cases of injury and disabilities, counselors help individuals become more physically active. In other situations, they learn how to block out the natural pain receptors in the brain to eliminate painful sensations in their bodies. 

Life Coaching 

Life coaching is by far the most undervalued and underrated aspect of serving one’s community as a rehab counselor. These counselors are a lot like life coaches who motivate individuals to chase their goals with unwavering determination. They work as dedicated caseworkers to help their clients overcome mental and physical obstacles to achieving their goals.

However, it’s not that simple because people admitted to rehab facilities have often given up on their dreams. Rehab counselors, as life coaches, must revive the enthusiasm to help patients reclaim their ambitions and goals. They offer a comprehensive road map to make the journey more straightforward and more achievable. 

Final Thoughts

Rehab counselors work in a wide array of healthcare settings to help individuals embark on the path of healing and recovery. You need not have an addiction disorder to consult a rehab counselor. You can consult such professionals to overcome all kinds of emotional and physical challenges, such as eating disorders or inactivity.