Up until the seventies, those who worked in professions like medicine were treated with a certain kind of reverence. There was a paternalistic relationship between these individuals and their patients – summed up by the words ‘doctor knows best’. These days most people feel more empowered when it comes to making these types of decisions; there is no longer the same willingness to just go along with whatever the professionals say.
The ‘One Size Fits All’ Approach to Recovery
In the past, the approach to recovery was often a bit too general to be effective for all clients. This is referred to as the ‘one size fits all’ approach because the programmes could be fairly rigid in what they provided and clients were just expected to make it work for them. The problem with this approach is that people are individuals, not all dealing with the exact same issues. If a programme is too rigid, it may not be able to provide everything the person needs and there is the likelihood that at least parts of the programme will be irrelevant.
The ‘one size fits all’ approach to recovery only ever managed to produce limited success so it has fallen out of favour in the recovery community. The focus is now more on providing individualised care plans so that the treatment is more focused on the needs of the person. This means that if you enter a rehab programme, you can expect to be assessed on your first day, which can then be used to determine the path you follow. It means you have a lot more say in your own recovery and the programme is more likely to work for you.
The Aim of Recovery Treatment Is To Empower the Individual
The world has changed and the job of recovery professionals is not to tell you how to live your life but to provide you with the resources you need to build the type of life you want. You are encouraged to see these professionals as members of your team, and it is up to you to get the most of them. This is important because you are not going to have these people to guide you once you return home after rehab or have left a therapy session, so you need to be empowered to take charge of your own life.
Can Recovery Professionals Be Wrong?
Addiction recovery is not an exact science and there are many different opinions about how best to approach things. Each professional will have received similar training for their role, but each will have their own preferences. Of course, these people are just humans and can make bad judgements just as everyone else can. It is important to trust the opinion of these professionals but it does not mean having to just accept it unquestionably. If the advice you are being given feels wrong for you then you should not just ignore this intuition; at the very least it means you need to get a second opinion.
How Negative Thinking Can Prevent You from Getting the Most from Recovery Professionals
It is fairly common for people who have fallen into addiction to feel a sense of rebellion towards any type of authority figure, which could involve mistrust of professionals. It is important to question other people, but this level of mistrust could actually get in the way of your recovery. These individuals are there to help you, so it makes sense to use their knowledge and experience. It can mean that you are able to build a stronger sobriety and avoid a great deal of pain. A therapist will also be able to help you get to the root of your problems, which is important because it prevents the chances of you turning to new maladaptive behaviours in the future.