How a Counsellor Can Help Prevent Relapse of Addiction

Struggling to stay off from substances? It can happen to the best of us but the good news is, there is a way to prevent relapse and keep you on the right path to healing – Counselling.

A counsellor for addiction relapse can be your personalised guide and cheerleader, in navigating your triggers and building the life you want. The road to recovery takes time, but it’s worth it. 

What is Addiction and Addiction Relapse? 

When your day feels impossible without substances, or staying sober brings no relief, you might be grappling with a deeper issue – addiction.  It’s not just about alcohol – drug addiction and others can disrupt your life and well-being. 

Recovery is a journey, and setbacks can happen. When someone is on the road to reclaiming their healthy lifestyle, a relapse means returning to their previous level of substance use and becoming dependent once again.

What Are The Coping Skills?

Healthy coping mechanisms are essential for managing cravings. Here are a few coping skills you can incorporate into your lifestyle:

  • Express yourself safely by engaging in physical activities like walking, running, or dancing to release emotions positively.
  • Distract yourself with hobbies you enjoy which bring peace and joy. 
  • Talk with your trusted friend or family member about your struggles.
  • Creating a daily plan or checklist can be a highly effective way to structure your day and enhance productivity. 
  • Seek professional help. You don’t need to hesitate to reach out to a therapist or counsellor for addiction. 
  • Avoid your triggers by identifying and eliminating habits that could lead back to addiction.
  • Celebrate your progress with healthy treats or activities.
  • Positive self-talk does help. Remind yourself of your progress and visualize a brighter future.
  • Practice gratitude by appreciating the good things in your life.
  • Prioritize a healthy lifestyle with sufficient sleep. 

Causes for Addiction Relapse 

A common cause of addiction relapse can be attributed to various triggers, including:

  • Emotional Distress: Stress, anxiety, depression and loneliness can all be powerful triggers. During challenging times, the urge to escape through substance use can be strong.
  • Social Cues: Places associated with past drug or alcohol use, being around people who use substances, and even seeing certain objects can all trigger cravings.
  • Negative Emotions: Intense negative emotions, such as anger, sadness or frustration, may become triggers that lead individuals back to addictive behaviours as a coping mechanism. 
  • Cravings: Cravings are a natural part of recovery, but they can be intense and lead to relapse if not managed effectively.
  • Boredom: A lack of engagement or activities can lead to a feeling of emptiness, making someone more likely to turn to substances for entertainment and fill that void. 
  • Poor Self-Care: Neglecting healthy habits like sleep, exercise, and proper nutrition can weaken your resolve and make you more susceptible to relapse.
  • Relationship Issues: Conflict with family, friends or loved ones can be a major stressor. The desire for connection may contribute to seeking solace in substance use, leading to relapse. 
  • Withdrawal Symptoms: While most intense withdrawal symptoms occur in the early stages of recovery, some lingering physical or psychological discomfort can trigger cravings.


Role of Counsellor For Addiction Relapse 

Counselling, also known as talk therapy, provides a safe space for you to open up about your worries and difficult emotions. For a counsellor to provide effective assistance, it is crucial to know the intricacies associated with addiction. This understanding is essential because addiction frequently co-exists with other mental health conditions including 

Manic Depression, Schizophrenia, Bipolar Disorder, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Anxiety Disorder, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Personality Disorder,  and Panic Disorder. 

Emotional support is provided by counsellors, aiding in the recognition of triggers, instructing coping mechanisms, and fostering the establishment of healthier habits. This comprehensive approach is crucial not just for initial recovery, but also for preventing relapse.

The counsellors create a secure and non-judgmental environment, allowing individuals to openly express their emotions and concerns – a crucial first step on your path to a healthier you.  They can equip individuals with the tools to navigate challenging situations and emotions that might otherwise trigger a return to substance use.

Treatment Offered By Counsellors to Prevent Relapse of Addiction

The Counsellor for addiction relapse doesn’t offer a one-size-fits-all solution. Instead, they tailor treatments like Relapse Prevention Therapy (RPT), Motivational Enhancement Therapy (MET), and Family Counselling to your specific needs and symptoms. 

  •  Relapse Prevention Therapy (RPT), a form of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), helps you identify your relapse triggers. Once identified, counsellors work with you to build personalized strategies to navigate these high-risk situations, empowering you to prepare in advance.


  • Motivational Enhancement Therapy (MET) is a therapeutic approach that focuses on building your motivation to change. This therapy is particularly helpful for those with mixed feelings about giving up their addiction. Through MET, counsellors help cultivate a sense of willingness, confidence, and a positive attitude towards change.


  • Family Counselling involves your loved ones in your recovery journey. This form of therapy aids them in understanding the nature of addiction, your struggles, and how to best support you on your path to healing.


Breaking free from the chains of addiction is an ongoing journey, and setbacks are part of the process. The key is to learn from them, reevaluate, and continue the pursuit of a healthier, substance-free life. If you’re facing these struggles, remember, that each day is a new opportunity to make progress and with determination and support, you can overcome the obstacles. You shouldn’t struggle with this fight in silence, help and support are available to guide you towards lasting recovery. One of the best forms of treatment for relapsing addiction is counselling. 

Leave a Comment