Establishing a trusting, comfortable therapeutic relationship with people in recovery from addiction can be a tricky undertaking. This is largely due to the vast amount of shame that those in early recovery can possess.
People recovering from addiction are often accustomed to keeping large parts of their identity hidden from view to protect the addictive behaviors from being found out. This keeps people trapped in shame and guilt. Positive rapport generates honest and empathetic understanding and indicates a collaborative approach to counseling.
At AToN Center, therapeutic rapport is built by practicing non-judgment and positive regard for our residents. Active listening skills are at the forefront of establishing rapport. This is crucial in order to fully understand our residents’ unique life circumstances and perspectives. Clients are treated with respect as demonstrated by starting and ending sessions on time, preparation of clinicians with any documents that need client attention, and research into the previous case notes and information on the client background. Clinicians attempt to adjust to client communication styles and “speak the clients language” in order to increase therapeutic rapport. Familiar patterns of communication can increase client comfort as well as encourage more disclosure.
Clinical competency is the foundation of therapeutic rapport. If the client is unsure of the level of skill possessed by a clinician then they may struggle to divulge sensitive information. AToN Center employs licensed psychologists, licensed Marriage and Family Therapists, Master’s level counselors and Level II CADC Counselors. Self- disclosure is one other element present in the formation of a therapeutic relationship. This is, of course, at the discretion of the clinician and can go a long way to normalize and de-stigmatize many addictive behaviors and recovery tactics.
AToN Center offers a diverse and seasoned team of clinicians whose expertise and skills sets complement each other. The clinical team discusses each individual client’s case every morning for continuity of care.
Kate Judd MS, CADC II
AToN Center 888-535-1516