Communication Skills

Communication is an essential part of the human experience. However, it is especially important for people in addiction recovery. Good communication is the only way that recovering addicts can make their needs clear and get them met without relying on substances.  By learning to express their wants and needs and fears an addict is more likely to have successful results during the recovery process.

Learning Communication in Addiction Recovery

Having good communication skills allows people to effectively work with others in relationships, education, and work. Other people do not automatically know your needs, so you have to be able to tell them in a clear manner what you expect and desire.

During the time a person is in the midst of their addiction situation, they often become isolated from others and over time, they begin to deliberately avoid any type of social interaction with others.  This doesn’t normally resolve itself.  Professional help is required to help this person overcome the lack of social skills.  They must learn to look within themselves to find the root cause of this behavior and then take proactive steps to learn more effective ways of dealing with daily situations without the need to hide away behind the curtain of drug-induced solitude.

Communication is, on its most basic level, a way to create and make changes in relationships in our lives.  It is also an important factor in helping build confidence.  A recovering addict must feel good about their ability to function in the workplace, in school, or in the family.  The ability to interact effectively with others can go a long way in building this much needed level of confidence.  If a recovering addict is still feeling intimidated by the presence of others, they are more likely to suffer relapse.

When Words Are Not Needed

Communication does not have to be verbal. When words fail you, you can communicate through facial expressions, gestures, and body language. Understanding the communication of others and learning to communicate so that they understand is a key part of recovery. All people have needs that must be met in their relationships; addicts especially need to feel that their needs and concerns are being addressed.

Communication is a vital skill in addiction recovery. Good communication skills will allow you to find success not just in your recovery, but in all areas of your life. Especially true for those who are returning back to the community after rehab.  This is a sensitive and challenging time for the individual and for those who will be offering support and guidance.  If the person can’t express his or her fears or desires, the chance for relapse increases.

How to Develop Communication Skills

In our program we help recovering addicts expand or improve their verbal skills in a variety of ways.  By participating in a group counseling session, individuals are encouraged to talk about their experiences in front of the group.  This method helps them work through their shyness and learn to embrace the sense of being part of the solution they seek.

Another excellent method for utilizing communication skills comes through group activities such as games, exercise, and role playing activities.  As clients interact together they become more open to the idea of sharing thoughts and feelings with others.  Many facilities offer game rooms where clients can enjoy card games, board games, chess, and many others.  There are often exercise rooms where each person can become physically strengthened which will enhance their sense of well-being and contribute to their desire to be more communicative.

Music and art therapy is another excellent resource when it comes to helping a person become more expressive.  Whether they are adept at the activity or are just beginning, these forms of therapy help the individual increase focus, open up the imagination, and reduce stress. While participating in these programs, each person can choose to work alone, or as part of a group, and as time progresses they generally find that being among people with similar interests has a calming effect on the mind, and results in an increased boost to their self-esteem.

Each of our program options have been selected for a particular purpose, with the main goal of teaching the individual how to manage their emotions, make more productive decisions, and gain a renewed set of ethics to apply in everyday life situations with relapse prevention as the main focus.  Effective communication skills are a must in this endeavor.

One thought on “Communication Skills

  1. Lilly says:

    Wow, this is so true! I think it is very special and very good that Choices Recovery is making communication skills a part of the treatment program. Being able to communicate well and express yourself properly as such basic parts of life, even though many people have serious issues with this. I think that this could very well be a major part of the problem for addicts, and it is definitely a very important skill for them to learn. Also I believe that when you are able to communicate well, you are less likely react in an impulsive or angry way, which is definitely something that can help in life.

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