AERCS’ Addiction Counselling in Toronto is a twelve-step program designed to help individuals overcome substance abuse or other addictive behavior by addressing the underlying causes, providing support, and teaching coping skills. Let’s do a breakdown to assess these elements.
1. Assessment and Evaluation: As soon as the door closes behind the patient, or the subject comes on screen (in online therapy) the therapist will begin their assessment. They will use their ability to sense and observe behavior as they strive to determine the severity of the addiction, identify any underlying issues, and create an individualized treatment plan.
2. Psychoeducation happens when AERCS Therapists provide you with information about addiction, including its causes, effects, and treatment options. The basic aim is to provide you and your family with knowledge about addiction and its treatment, so you can all work together for a better outcome.
3. Goal Setting involves working with the individual to set achievable, measurable goals related to their recovery. Having a plan helps patients choose the right moves, at the right time, in order to move forward the right way.
4. Solution – Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT) is a goal-oriented therapy that focuses on finding solutions rather than dwelling on problems. Your AERCS’ therapist will help identify your strengths and take inventory of your resources as we work together to create a plan for change.
5. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is a mindfulness-based therapy that helps you learn to accept difficult thoughts and emotions, and to commit to making positive changes in their lives. The goal of this therapy is to increase your psychological flexibility so you can ‘be in the present’ more completely.
6. Behavioural Awareness focuses on developing mindfulness skills to increase awareness of thoughts, emotions, and behaviors and learn how to regulate them effectively. Also important is to better understand the personalities of the individuals around you, and how you interact together.
7. Motivational Interviewing is an intervention designed for situations where you need to make a behaviour change but are unsure about it, and possibly even hostile. It builds on the idea that the first step is to start a conversation. We use strategies to focus our interactions on affecting behaviour change, and we’ll ensure you’re helped as you consider change as an option.
8. Emotion Regulation is where we teach skills to help you manage your emotions more effectively. It’s important that you learn how to cope with difficult situations without turning to substances. It may involve reassessing your behavior during challenging situations with an eye on reducing anger or anxiety, and hiding visible signs of sadness or fear, or focusing on reasons to feel happy or calm.
9. Relapse Prevention. Addiction is a chronic disease and relapse is a common occurrence. This module provides tools and strategies to prevent relapse and help manage triggers. One simple plan is called the 4Ds: Distract, delay, deep breathing, and drinking water.
10. Coping Skills involve teaching better ways to cope with stress and other triggers that may lead to substance use. Coping strategies can include establishing and maintaining boundaries, practicing relaxation strategies such as deep breathing, meditation, and mindfulness, and getting regular physical activity.
11. Family Dynamics. Addiction affects not only you or your loved one, but also your family. Parents, grandparents and the siblings of those dealing with addiction (or another mental health disorder) play important roles, and can be part of the problem or the solution. This module can help individuals identify healthy roles and improve their relationships with family members as they develop better communication skills.
12. Aftercare Planning: This module involves creating a plan for ongoing support and treatment after leaving the addiction program. A proper aftercare plan will help you navigate through barriers and crisis events and help you establish a support system to better tackle the journey of long-term recovery.
Self-Care could be the thirteenth step. Learning self-care involves prioritizing your mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual wellness and engage in activities that promote growth and stress reduction.