If you suffer from alcoholism and are ready to make a change, you may be considering enrolling in an inpatient rehab program. While this approach works well for many patients, there is another option that may be more feasible: outpatient counseling. In this type of treatment program, you visit a counselor a few times per week for therapy, but you continue to live at home.
Why should you choose outpatient counseling for alcoholism? Here are three good reasons.
1. You don't have to give up your job or hobbies.
While enrolling in an inpatient program gives you the chance to fully focus on your recovery for a few weeks, you sometimes have to uproot your life for this opportunity. You may have to give up your job or stop engaging in hobbies you love -- which may not be the best thing for you long-term. With outpatient counseling, you can work on recovery without giving up everything else in your life. Schedule your meetings around your work schedule. Many treatment centers have evening hours for this reason.
2. You learn how to deal with alcoholism in a real-world setting.
Many people are able to successfully sober up in a recovery center, but then once they go back to everyday life, they don't know how to function without alcohol. When you go through outpatient counseling, you continue living your daily life as you recover -- so there is not that huge step of integrating recovery into daily life once you're finished with treatment. Long-term, this may mean longer-lasting sobriety, since you've learned to balance everything in your life, including your alcohol use.
3. You can choose from many different counselors.
When you attend an inpatient rehab program, you basically have to stick with the counselors who are there. If you get partway through the program and realize you're not compatible with the therapists, there's not much you can do. With an outpatient counseling service, you can always switch counselors if the one you're with is not working for you. You get more out of counseling when you're compatible with your therapists, so there is no shame in trying a few different therapists or making a change part way through treatment.
Contact outpatient counseling programs to learn more about their services for recovering alcoholics. Each program has its own qualities, but in general, outpatient treatment is a great way to deal with alcoholism.