Erasing Addiction – Photo Courtesy: Alan Cleaver
Considered working in the Therapy field? This interview will take you through the ups and downs you can expect as an addiction therapist; what it takes to land the job, what you can expect to earn and more. This is a true career story as told to JustJobs.com for its â€œAcademyâ€ series. Other interviews include one from a Hypnotherapist to a Physical Therapy Aide, and everything in between.
I am an addiction therapist for a local non-profit organization that helps people who are dealing with abusive situations. I have been a therapist for a little over a year. I would describe myself as being straight forward, compassionate, and detail oriented.
I am a white male. I feel that this really has had no impact on my position. However, I have found that some women have preferred to talk to a female therapist. Usually, I am able to convince them that they should feel comfortable with me as a therapist. By showing compassion and trustworthy qualities, I feel that my gender becomes less of an issue.
As an addiction therapist, I help people to understand that addiction is not just a chemical dependency. My job entails talking to people, who have come from terrible situations, about their problems and allowing them to gain insight into their own addiction and how the two situations relate. The most common misunderstanding about any type of therapy, in my opinion, is that we tell people what their problems are. In all actuality, a therapist coaches an individual to discover the problems on their own.
I must say that on a scale of 1 to 10, I would score my satisfaction with my current position at a full 10.
This job completely moves my heart, in every way, shape, and form. For me, it is very fulfilling to be given the opportunity to make a dramatic difference in the quality of someone’s life. I truly feel as if I have found the job that I was meant to do.
People who read this should understand something about me. I am a self proclaimed master of nothing and apprentice to many. I am always looking for new ways to grow and learn in my life and in my career. This has led me to where I am today and I do not ever plan to change. I feel that keeping your horizons open can lead you into the direction of your true calling.
I got started in this line of work by volunteering at my current place of employment. The entire psychological aspect intrigued and moved me. While I never intended for this to become my position, I loved to learn about it. Therefore, I picked up a few more Psych classes in college and found myself completely wrapped up in all of the wonders of addiction therapy.
The only thing that I have learned the hard way in this position is the fact that you cannot at all involve your own emotions with the people that you treat. Their worries will become your own and it becomes hard for you to treat someone whom you feel so much sympathy towards.
Choose a Dream and Follow it
In school you are taught that you choose a dream and follow it. In the real world I have found that it works much better to have many options and routes to take towards success. I have not yet had any really strange experiences in my position or stories to share that would be odd.
I get up and go to work each day because I am very happy with what I do. Every time I see a battered woman, who has been struggling with addiction, find the common thread that binds the situation, I feel as if I have done my job and I am proud.
The biggest challenge as an addiction therapist is keeping yourself out of the emotional aspects of the job. I do not ever see this causing me to quit doing what I have grown to love. I do not find my job at all stressful and as long as I keep my emotions in check, I maintain a healthy work/life balance.
Pay and Perks
A rough salary range for this position is $30-$40,000 a year. I find this a comfortable salary range for myself. I have not been with this organization long enough to accrue any vacation time. I do look forward to my first vacation week this year.
Education and Training
In order to become an addiction therapist, I was required to have a master’s degree in behavioral science and additional course certifications in addiction counseling. If a friend was considering my position, I would highly recommend that they first try volunteering in this type of atmosphere to ensure that they would feel comfortable.
If I could choose my own destiny, in five years I believe I would still be in my current position. However, I would like to become well known as an addiction therapist. I would want people to know me as the therapist that could help them find the way back to the life that they want to live.
Vanessa Price works for LatPro.com and JustJobs.com and and is one of their content specialists. The article above would help someone considering a career as an Addiction Therapist and also with the pros and cons related to that job.Â