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Rehab for Counselors, Social Workers, Therapists, & Psychiatrists

When you’re used to helping others, you sometimes forget to help yourself. This can be especially true when working as a mental health professional. Similar to the general population, between 6-8% of physicians have a substance use disorder (SUD) and 14% struggle with alcohol addiction.1

Emotional burnout is common in these professions, and without healthy ways to cope, addiction can happen to anyone.2 Having access to prescription drugs can also fuel the potential for substance use and misuse to occur.1

Constantly listening to the trauma of others can be overwhelming. Sometimes substance abuse occurs as a coping mechanism to deal with the pressure at work.1 You may also feel particularly stressed because people’s lives are in your hands. Just as you work to help others, you also need to be open to working to help yourself, and you may need to do that through rehab.


Signs of Substance Abuse in Therapists, Counselors, and Other Related Professions

Signs of substance use in mental health professionals can appear in different ways. Subtle changes that evolve into frequent behaviors may trigger concern that something is off with a loved one or a coworker.

Some potential signs of addiction in counselors, therapists, and related professionals may include:1

  • Neglecting responsibilities and poor performance at work.
  • Repeatedly missing or showing up late to sessions.
  • No longer engaging with patients.
  • Substance use while with a patient or intoxication during a session.
  • Abuse of access to medications.

These are indicators that a person may have a SUD and need help. If you notice these signs in a loved one or a coworker, seek help as soon as possible. Waiting could result in serious problems for the person and their loved ones. As a mental health professional, their patients could also face significant risks.


Find Out If Your Insurance Plan Covers Addiction Treatment

AAC can help people—including therapists, social workers, psychiatrists, and counselors—recover from alcohol and drug use and substance use disorders. To find out if your insurance covers treatment for you or your loved one at an AAC facility, click here, or fill out the form below. Your information is kept 100% confidential. You can also click here to find a rehab near me.


Addiction Treatment for Therapists and Counselors

There are several options for treatment and facilities with accommodations tailored to fit your individual needs. Some will be more effective than others, depending on the person and their situation. A mental health professional can recommend different approaches for therapy and may consider special arrangements based on the patient’s unique needs.

Addiction treatment for counselors may look different than addiction treatment for psychologists. Treatment options vary based on the best approach for the patient. Treatment in a mental health facility may be necessary for those with co-occurring disorders, or dual diagnoses. When a person has a mental health illness along with a SUD, treating both disorders at the same time in a co-occurring disorder treatment program is most effective.3

Trauma-informed addiction treatment is an approach that recognizes the prevalence of trauma and provides appropriate support.4 For some, it may be easy to be triggered when listening to the traumatic experiences of others. Joining peer support groups specifically for mental health professionals offers a safe space where you can gain understanding and connect with other counselors, therapists, and related professionals.

Therapy provided through outpatient and inpatient programs can also be helpful. Outpatient treatment programs may be less restrictive and enable you to keep working while seeking treatment.5 To avoid interruption in day-to-day responsibilities, you may choose an outpatient program.

If you feel like your situation is severe, an inpatient program, such as at a residential treatment center, is an intensive program usually ranging from 30 to 90 days.5 Think of an inpatient program as a “sabbatical of self-care” where you can separate yourself from work and focus on your health and personal needs.


Finding a Rehab for Therapists and Counselors

Mental health care is important for everyone. Seeking treatment can help you feel like yourself again. You’ll adopt a healthy routine and learn to cope with stress in a better way. This will strengthen your ability to help others and improve your performance at work.

It’s okay to ask for help, even if you’re the one who is used to helping. There are treatment options for everyone, no matter your situation. If you want to continue working, you can seek an outpatient program. Speaking with someone at a treatment center will help you figure out the best choice for you.

Finding an in-network treatment center that is covered by your insurance provider is the first step to getting better. To find out what treatment options are available, contact your insurance provider or learn more through American Addiction Centers (AAC).


Frequently Asked Questions

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