How to Communicate Your Needs in Treatment
Discussing your feelings is extremely important to help you process them and pinpoint the root cause when in substance abuse or mental health treatment. Your provider or counselor will be trained in helping you process these feelings, making peace with them, and healing through the traumatic experiences that may play into your substance use disorder. Communicating these feelings openly and honestly will help you and your provider figure out what you need to help you heal. Treatment is emotionally taxing and not just for the obvious reasons. Many repressed emotions may surface as you begin to heal, and these new emotions may change your needs. This can make communication even more difficult. The important thing to remember is to stay open and honest with your provider. They will help you along the way as you find ways to put your experiences into words to help you understand your needs and effectively communicate them.
The Importance of Communicating Your Individual Needs in Treatment
Communicating your individual needs in treatment is important for a plethora of reasons. When you enter substance abuse or mental health treatment you must communicate effectively to your counselor, for them to tailor your treatment to you and your specific needs. Since everyone is different, for care to truly be effective it must be patient-centered. Treatment cannot be patient-centered if your provider does not understand your needs. Vulnerability and openness are major keys to healing. There can be a sense of uneasiness around vulnerability and openness, but to heal you have to shift your mindset to one of healing. The benefits of communicating your needs in therapy include, but are not limited to:
- Educating and empowering the patient throughout treatment
- Making sure that the communication is centered around the patient and reflects the patient’s values and preferences
- Allowing the proper levels of support per the patient’s feelings
- Taking the proper steps to alleviate any fear or anxiety surrounding the treatment
- An overall increase in patient satisfaction
Patient-centered care can only function appropriately and successfully when communication is open and honest. The most important thing to remember is that your provider is there to help you, so the more honest and open you are the better they can make your treatment plan and experience.
Ways to Communicate Your Needs In Treatment
Communication is very complex because it happens on so many different levels. Non-verbal communication and attitudes before treatment are just as important as verbal communication. When a patient enters treatment open and ready to truly gain as much as they can from the experience they gain much more than a closed-off patient. It is important to pay attention to how you are communicating in treatment. Here are a few tips to help you as you communicate your needs to your provider:
- Go into treatment with a positive attitude.
Your attitude toward your treatment makes all the difference. When you enter with a positive attitude about the process it makes your providers’ jobs easy. This does not mean that you have to be cheery and excited throughout the entirety of your treatment. This simply means that you will put your faith in the process and stick to it, even when it gets hard.
- Don’t lie to your provider.
You gain nothing from lying to your provider. They are there to help you, and if you are lying to them then you are only harming your treatment. If you want to truly heal from substance use disorder you will tell your provider the truth. This includes being honest and holding yourself accountable about relapse and feelings of wanting to relapse.
- Keep your provider updated on your day-to-day life.
Your provider is trained in the complexities of emotions. When you tell them about your day-to-day life, they will be able to point out possible triggers, stressors, and other things that are harmful to your sobriety. This will also teach you how to identify, process, and cope with your emotions better on your own.
Healing, the Pro of Communication
Communicating your needs may be hard in the beginning. However, changing your life is hard also, and as you embark on your healing journey in treatment, changing your life is the goal. To make the type of changes that you are making, you have to have a solid support system. Your support system cannot be solid if the foundation is not proper communication, so even when it’s hard, keep making strides to communicate with your providers and support system.
Communicating your needs does not always seem linear. This is especially true when you have not even properly processed all your emotions. Paying attention to yourself, journaling, and being completely open and honest with your provider during treatment is a great way to help you communicate your needs. No matter if communicating your needs is a new skill or an old one, it is important to develop and continue to work on it. Mountain Peak Recovery is here to help you on your healing journey. Substance use disorder can be extremely hard for individuals and families to combat alone. It can feel even harder when you don’t know how to properly communicate your feelings. Located in the beautiful Wasatch Mountains of Utah, Mountain Peak Recovery is the perfect place to retreat to find your voice. If you or someone you love is dealing with a substance abuse issue call, (801) 824-8829.