Clients regularly ask “will this work” – whether it’s talking about our individual counselling services or our recovery courses, people rightly want to know – does it work?
It’s a difficult question to answer because it depends what you mean by ‘work’? Will our services guarantee that you’ll never relapse again? Regrettably not. Can we guarantee that after therapy you’ll never be tempted again? No, sorry we can’t. Addiction is a problem that’s rarely completely cured, but rather a problem like diabetes, or a bad back that you learn to with. And like recovering from any other kind of condition, each recovery journey is different and the road to recovery will depend on how severe the condition is and how many life changes are required to stay fit and healthy. There will almost certainly be temptations and cravings, at least for a while, but it’s how you handle them that defines not recovery, not whether you experience them.
The most essential ingredient in everyone’s recovery is motivation. Someone who is fully committed to overcoming their addiction – will. Indeed, someone who’s fully motivated can beat an addiction without any therapeutic intervention at all. There are lots of excellent self-help books written, online forums and 12 step support groups that can be attended. For others, their motivation to lead a better and fuller life, free from addiction, leads them to attend one of our recovery courses to gain the understanding and the tools and further individual work to resolve underlying issues. They make the changes they need to their work/life balance and commit to improving relationships and emotional expression.
But regrettably, if motivation is lacking, the best therapeutic interventions in the world will not work. As I often say to the guys in my groups, I can absolutely guarantee that our recovery course will not work for you if you don’t put it into action. The problem with motivation is that some people think that they can conjure it up on their own. That if they take a logical, measuring the pros and cons approach, they’ll find the desire to change. But all change comes at a cost and often you don’t start reaping the benefits of recovery until you start doing it. Someone once said, “you don’t think your way to new way of living, you live your way to a new way of thinking” – and when it comes to recovery, that is very true. The more you get into recovery, the more motivated you become to stay there.
So to answer the question – will this work? The answer is yes – but it will take patience, courage and commitment. Even if your motivation is low, it will grow once you start taking the necessary steps.