Trust and addiction do not go hand in hand. As the Baltimore Sun shares, “Lying is part of the disease of alcoholism and other substance abuse disorders. People whose brain chemistry has been hijacked and altered by substances are great deniers of reality: They often lie to everyone — their loved ones, their employers, their God and most of all to themselves.” When life has involved so much lying for so long, it can be difficult to begin to trust again. Trusting a therapist, someone who seems like a complete stranger, with your past, your present and your hopes for a drug-free future is not easy, but building a trusting relationship is essential for recovery. When you trust your therapist, you can begin to heal, and you can begin to trust yourself
If you have struggled with addiction to a drug like morphine, chances are you have told lies to yourself and others. You have most likely been lied to in turn. A recovering addict entering therapy with trust issues is not unusual. In fact, it is the norm. If you do not have full trust in therapy or your therapist, do not think therapy will be a waste of time or is not for you. Therapy is a valuable, essential tool in addiction recovery, and because it is a tool for growth and healing, it means you do not have to go in “healed.” Therapy and therapists exist to help you, and part of that help may involve building your sense of trust in others.
Acknowledge your concerns and talk with your therapist about how you feel. He or she will help you see why you may not trust and can help you learn how to begin asking for and relying on the help of others. Healthy Place explains that mistrust often begins before an individual even gets to know a therapist. Individuals often enter therapy unsure of themselves, the setting and the situation. When you begin an interaction in a negative mindset, “It will likely induce you to respond to what you’re seeing, as well as the office, the building…as significantly more threatening than a realistic assessment would seem to indicate.” If you do not trust your therapist, stop and consider whether this is a rational, objective response to the situation or individual, or if your lack of trust comes from overall discomfort and insecurity. When you are uncomfortable, Healthy Place recommends that you “acknowledge the situation, first of all to yourself. Then, move forward with caution. Do not go where you are too uncomfortable – but do consider that therapy in general is not itself a particularly comfortable situation. It can’t be, because it’s about personal growth, and that always requires a degree of real stress.” There will always be some insecurity and mistrust that comes with opening up and moving forward, but you can’t let this keep you from participating in, and therefore benefiting from, therapy that can help you find and maintain long-term recovery
If you find you cannot trust your therapist at first, focus on trusting therapy itself. The National Institute on Drug Abuse explains therapies are, “the most commonly used forms of drug abuse treatment.” There is a reason for this. Therapy has a long history of proven effectiveness, and can help by, “addressing a patient’s motivation to change, providing incentives for abstinence, building skills to resist drug use, replacing drug-using activities with constructive and rewarding activities, improving problem-solving skills, and facilitating better interpersonal relationships. Also, participation in group therapy and other peer support programs during and following treatment can help maintain abstinence.” Therapy addresses addiction and co-occurring concerns to ensure an integrated recovery. Therapy allows you to resume a healthy, functional life without the use of morphine or other substances and can help you rebuild healthy, functional practices such as trusting others
While you should trust your therapist, you also get to choose the therapist that feels like the best fit for you. If a therapist doesn’t seem like the right fit, he or she may not be. This does not mean you should quit going to therapy or that no therapist can be trusted. It simply means you should explore other therapy or therapist options. The Wall Street Journal gives recommendations for finding the right therapist and suggests getting recommendations for therapists from trusted sources. You may trust your medical doctor, and you can ask him or her about options for addiction recovery specialists in your area. You may ask friends or family members whom they go to. You may ask the professionals from your rehab, inpatient or outpatient program for ideas. Beginning with a positive reference can be a good way to establish a trusting relationship or at least enter the situation with a more open and accepting mind
Recovery begins with the right help. Talk with our admissions coordinators to learn more about addiction recovery professionals and specialists. All calls are answered directly, and all callers are treated with compassion and confidentiality. Do not let trust stand between you and a drug-free life. Call our toll-free helpline any time, 24 hours a day. You can develop trust, begin healing and find recovery from morphine addiction, but you need help and support to do so.