Patients Benefit Substantially From Receiving Professional Referrals

Allan I. Fleming

Finding the right therapist is very important for the patients who have started receiving treatment on an outpatient basis. It can take time for patients with many conditions to find a therapist who is a good match for them at the right time, and it’s particularly essential for substance use patients to establish professional connections like these at such a crucial stage. 

Professional Experience

Substance addiction patients should always work with therapists who specifically have experience with treating patients who have those disorders. All therapists have learned about substance use disorders academically, and many of them will have worked with patients who have these disorders during their clinical hours and as part of their professional work.

However, there are a lot of nuances to consider when it comes to complex illnesses like substance use disorders. All substances have wildly different effects on the brain, and every person’s brain is different.

A patient who struggled with cocaine use should see a therapist who has spent years helping the patients who had problems with cocaine specifically, at least, if they can find someone like that in their area or remotely. Finding therapists who have experience with helping patients who have alcohol use disorders should be comparatively easy, since alcohol use disorders are common. 

Widespread Problems

However, many other chemical dependencies are more common than patients might assume. They should not cut their search for a therapist short because they think that they’re not going to be able to find someone who has worked with patients who are a lot like them in the past. 

Estimating the exact prevalence of substance use disorders is difficult, since the patients who have never sought out therapy will not be counted in the statistics. However, there is evidence that as much as ten percent of the population may have a mental health condition like that.

Other mental health conditions are much less common. For example, only around two percent of the overall adult population has obsessive-compulsive disorder. Plenty of those patients will also try to cope with their condition themselves, since they will have probably had it throughout their whole lives. 

Finding specialists in relatively rare conditions like obsessive-compulsive disorder can sometimes be comparatively time-consuming. The patients who have substance use disorders might actually have the opposite problem, forcing them to narrow down a list of potential experts who could help them. 

Referring Patients

Some people might begin a search for a therapist, contacting different professionals themselves remotely. If they have access to transportation and enough therapists are practicing in their area, they might go to their offices after setting up consultation appointments.

However, this process can be stressful for a lot of patients, especially the patients who have already been through some of the most distressing parts of substance use recovery. It might be expensive for people to travel to meet some therapists. Other people might just be trying to balance therapy with a lot of their other life responsibilities, which will resume when they begin outpatient life. 

Treatment centers like are full of professionals who already have a lot of professional connections themselves. They can refer patients to professionals who have a lot of high-quality experience with treating specific substance use problems and disorders. 

Patients will already know that these therapists have the professional backgrounds that they need. Psychology professionals tend to make professional connections with other people within the same specialty. Patients may exit treatment centers knowing who their outpatient therapists will be under these circumstances, which will help them make the adjustment to outpatient recovery much simpler and less exhausting for them.

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