Aftercare is invaluable to addiction recovery. It provides continued treatment, aids in relapse prevention and serves as a way to stay connected to resources and relationships in the recovery community. Now, online aftercare is making it more accessible than ever.
Continuing care is an absolutely essential part of any quality treatment programme. Towards the end of every client’s time at The Cabin Chiang Mai, the client will work together with their counsellor to create a comprehensive aftercare regimen that will ensure their transition back home is as supported as possible. Aftercare serves some very important functions:
- It provides a way of gradually stepping down the level of treatment, while carrying forward therapeutic care.
- It aids the client in sobriety and post-treatment needs.
- It provides guidance and support in implementing a relapse prevention plan.
This is especially important during early recovery – the first 90 days after a client finishes intensive primary treatment and re-enters daily life. This transition is particularly hard because, while the sole focus of primary treatment is recovery – early recovery requires one to manage work and personal commitments alongside dealing with cravings and triggers that could potentially lead to relapse.
Aftercare can be individual sessions or group meetings, or a combination of both. These meetings can be attended at a rehab facility where they are guided by addiction professionals, or in a less formal setting in the community where they are based around peer discussion.
Accessible, Online Aftercare
At The Cabin Chiang Mai, our clients come from all over the world, and therefore may have limited access to in-person aftercare. To address their needs, we created an online video aftercare programme that allows them to continue participating in individual counselling and/or group sessions. Using our own, high-speed platform, our clients can participate in both face-to-face individual counselling and group sessions. They also have access to our global Cabin Peer Support Network.
An important part of aftercare planning is creating a schedule of counselling sessions and meetings that is realistically feasible for you. Online counselling gives even the busiest clients the ability to stay connected to a professional level of care in a convenient way, anywhere in the world – from the comfort of their own home, their workplace or even a hotel room.
Through this video platform, clients see the faces of the friends they met during their time in rehab and get to elicit their support, as well as professional help from the counsellor running the group. This collaboration can help them deal with the PAWS (Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome), symptoms that are so common in early recovery, and is proven to aid in preventing relapse.
Continuing Individual Counselling in Aftercare
People often make life-changing psychological progress in primary treatment, laying the groundwork for years to come. Rehab, however, is just the beginning. It is extremely beneficial for clients, who find it necessary, to continue psychotherapy, especially during the critical early recovery phase in which the chances of relapse are the highest.
We assist clients who require extra individual attention, in setting up therapy sessions with either a therapist at our outpatient clinics or find them a local counsellor through our network. Clients also have the ability to continue face-to-face meetings with a counsellor via our online service. Individual sessions are conducted at a mutually agreed time that suits both the counsellor and client. Appointments can take place any day of the week.
The Power of Support
Engaging with a support network helps tremendously with overcoming the struggles of recovery. Support groups provide a way to connect to people with common experiences, help with personal development and curb feelings of loneliness.
Being part of a community increases feelings of belonging and security, and gives you outside accountability that is essential in decreasing the possibility of secrecy and encouraging healthy decision-making. It is crucial for clients to have access to a network of other people in recovery that they can tap into for ongoing support and reach out to during low points.
We encourage Cabin alumni to participate in our Peer Support Network, where ex-clients living in the same area commit to supporting each other through regular meetings and other events. With ex-clients living successfully in recovery all over the globe, Cabin clients have access to recovery support almost anywhere. The network also allows members to offer support to other members visiting their area, as well as providing access to local professional services. We also highly recommend all clients to seek out locally-run groups such as AA and NA.
This can also be a good way to find a sponsor – someone who is more experienced in recovery who can act as a mentor and be available 24/7. Sponsors can be vital in times of need. Seeing people who have managed to take back control of their lives despite adversity is a great source of encouragement to keep pressing on each day.
It is vital to have a community of friends that is a positive influence on your recovery and with whom you can do sober activities, both to connect with people who have shared experiences and to ease the pain of transitioning away from old friends with whom you were using.
Loneliness is a common challenge in early recovery and one of the biggest relapse triggers. But once a person meets someone struggling with the same issues that they are facing, feelings of isolation begin to fade. Recovery always opens doors to new, fulfilling friendships.
To learn more about of our Online Aftercare Program and Peer Support Network, please email [email protected].