Listen to the audio version of this article:
Treatment providers will often ask people about prior treatment experiences. This article is most useful for those who have gone through some form of addiction treatment in the past. If you have no prior experience with treatment, these concepts and ideas can still be valuable to you. Learning from the past is our goal.
For an intake assessment at either inpatient or outpatient programs, it is common to understand past treatment experiences. You may be asked why you chose previous programs, and what difference they made in your addiction. Here are some questions you may be asked:
Based on whether you have you ever participated in formal treatment like Alcohol / Drug Rehab, Day Treatment, Intensive Outpatient (IOP) or some other form of care you may also be asked:
People can have a wide range of past treatment experiences ranging from highly positive to outright destructive and harmful. These past experiences really shape how you move forward (or don’t) in using treatment for your benefit. When looking at all of the questions discussed above, there is strong scientific evidence in the field of psychiatric and behavioral health that the presence (or absence) of a Treatment Alliance is the most important factor in reaching a good health outcome in your care. There are two core ingredients necessary for such an alliance.
In most situations where a person had a poor experience in treatment, it can be likely traced back to the absence of a treatment alliance. The interesting part of this is that an alliance really is a two-way street. Both you and your clinician need to be on the same page. For instance, a well-meaning life coach may garner your trust and collaboration but not be helpful if you are seeking guidance about specific medications you should take…that’s not within the expertise of the clinician.
If you have felt that you never really developed a good treatment alliance, we need to think about reasons why. What are some of the common reasons an alliance fails to form?
There are numerous reasons why an alliance may fail to form. Spend some time pondering this concept in terms of how it applies to you. Once again, the presence or absence of a treatment alliance makes all the difference in terms of addiction recovery success or failure.