The Role of Therapeutic Counseling in Addiction Treatment

Addiction is a complex and challenging condition that affects millions of people worldwide. Whether it’s substance abuse, alcoholism, or behavioral addictions, the impact on one’s physical and mental health can be profound. In the journey towards recovery, therapeutic counseling emerges as a beacon of hope, offering individuals the guidance and support needed to break free from the chains of addiction. 

It’s important to understand that addiction is not a lack of willpower. It’s a multifaceted disorder that involves changes in the brain’s structure and function. Substance abuse or compulsive behaviors become ingrained, leading to a cycle that is difficult to break without proper intervention. Keep reading as we delve into the transformative role of therapeutic counseling in addiction treatment.

The Therapeutic Alliance

Therapeutic counseling establishes a unique and vital connection between the counselor and the individual seeking help. This therapeutic alliance is built on trust, empathy, and understanding. A skilled counselor creates a safe and non-judgmental space, encouraging open communication and fostering a sense of security for individuals to share their struggles.

Individualized Treatment Plans

No two individuals experience addiction in the same way. Therapeutic counseling recognizes the need for personalized treatment plans tailored to each person’s unique circumstances and needs. Through comprehensive assessments and collaborative discussions, counselors work with clients to identify underlying issues, triggers, and coping mechanisms, forming the basis of a targeted and effective treatment plan.

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy

One of the most widely used therapeutic approaches in addiction counseling is cognitive behavioral therapy. Cognitive behavioral therapy helps individuals identify and change negative thought patterns and behaviors associated with addiction. By addressing distorted thinking and promoting healthier coping mechanisms, cognitive behavioral therapy empowers individuals to break the cycle of addiction and develop sustainable recovery strategies.

Motivational Interviewing

Motivational interviewing is another powerful tool in the therapeutic counselor’s arsenal. This client-centered approach helps individuals explore and resolve ambivalence about change. By fostering intrinsic motivation, counselors guide clients toward embracing the need for change and taking ownership of their recovery journey.

Group Therapy

Therapeutic counseling often extends beyond one-on-one sessions to include group therapy. Group sessions provide a supportive community where individuals can share their experiences, learn from others, and develop a sense of belonging. This collective support helps break the isolation often experienced in addiction and reinforces the understanding that recovery is a shared journey.

Holistic Approaches

Effective therapeutic counseling for addiction goes beyond addressing the symptoms and delves into holistic well-being. Integrating mindfulness techniques, stress management, and wellness practices into the treatment plan contributes to a comprehensive approach that nurtures the mind and body.

The Council of Recovery is Your Beacon of Hope

Embarking on the path to recovery from addiction requires a holistic and supportive approach, and one organization that stands out in the realm of therapeutic counseling is The Council on Recovery. We are dedicated to guiding individuals toward a life free from the chains of addiction, and we play a pivotal role in offering transformative therapeutic counseling services.

Founded with a vision to provide compassionate and effective addiction recovery services, The Council on Recovery has been a beacon of hope for individuals and families grappling with the challenges of addiction. As Houston’s oldest and largest non-profit organization dealing with addiction, we have earned a reputation for our unwavering dedication to empowering individuals to live a lasting recovery through therapeutic counseling.

Comprehensive Assessment and Tailored Solutions

One of the hallmarks of The Council on Recovery’s therapeutic counseling approach is the commitment to individualized care. Recognizing that each person’s journey through addiction is unique, the organization conducts comprehensive assessments to identify the specific needs, triggers, and underlying issues that contribute to the cycle of addiction. This personalized approach lays the foundation for tailored and effective therapeutic interventions.

Expert Counselors and Evidence-Based Practices

The Council on Recovery prides itself on the caliber of its counselors, who bring expertise and compassion to their roles. These professionals utilize evidence-based practices, including cognitive behavioral therapy, motivational interviewing, and other proven modalities. By staying ahead of the latest advancements in addiction treatment, we can ensure that therapeutic counseling services align with the best practices in the field.

Mind, Body, and Spirit

In line with the understanding that addiction affects every aspect of an individual’s life, The Council on Recovery adopts a holistic approach to therapeutic counseling. Beyond addressing the immediate symptoms of addiction, counselors incorporate mindfulness techniques, stress management strategies, and wellness practices to nurture the overall well-being of the individuals that we serve.

Group Support and Community Connection

Recognizing the power of community in the recovery journey, The Council on Recovery hosts community events throughout the months. We host a 12-step meeting for many recovery groups every week. We also host free yoga for the community. And the Sober Recreation Committee holds movie nights and a yearly comedy show in our theater. These community events provide a supportive environment and community where individuals can connect and share their experiences, learn from others, and build connections that extend beyond counseling. The sense of community reinforces the understanding that recovery is a shared journey.

Reach Out to The Council on Recovery for Therapeutic Counseling

Therapeutic counseling stands as a cornerstone in the path to addiction recovery. By fostering a supportive and collaborative environment, counselors empower individuals to comfort their challenges, unearth the roots of their addiction, and build the resilience needed for lasting recovery. As we continue to unravel the complexities of addiction, therapeutic counseling remains a guiding light, offering hope and healing to those on the journey toward a brighter, substance-free future.

The Council on Recovery’s commitment to excellence in therapeutic counseling for addiction sets it apart as a beacon of hope and healing. As we navigate the complexities of addiction, The Council on Recovery stands as a guiding force, illuminating the path toward a brighter and substance-free future for all those who seek its support. If you’re ready to walk the path of recovery, contact The Council on Recovery. We’d be happy to join you on your journey.

The Council Joins Forces with Teen and Family Services to Support Teens and Parents in the Face of Rising Overdose Deaths

The Council on Recovery is excited to welcome Teen and Family Services whose central office will now be housed at The Council’s campus on Jackson Hill Street in a strategic move that will multiply impact and conserve resources. The two recovery-focused nonprofits will maintain their distinct identities while sharing space and coordinating services for families with young people impacted by substance use.

The move comes amidst an alarming spike in drug overdoses, which is now the leading cause of unintentional death in the United States. Declining mental health is also a significant concern, with Texas Children’s Hospital reporting that the number of emergency room visits related to mental health crises has skyrocketed 800% since before the pandemic.


“Teens today face more challenges and pressures than ever before,” said George Youngblood, President & CEO of Teen and Family Services. “Together, Teen and Family Services and The Council on Recovery can support the entire family as they navigate a complicated world.”

Long-time allies, the two nonprofits hope that by strengthening their collaboration, they can improve the landscape of care in Houston. “Addiction is too big a problem to solve alone. This partnership helps make the road to recovery easier,” said Mary Beck, President & CEO of The Council. “With so many families in need, it is essential that we join together with like-minded organizations to extend our own impact and make the best use of limited resources.”

With nearly a century of combined experience, The Council on Recovery and Teen and Family Services will work together to leverage their unique strengths to more fully serve families with teens affected by addiction and co-occurring mental health conditions. Services will include screening and assessment; education and parent coaching; individual, family, and group counseling; and recovery support services.

For more information on these services, or to make a referral, contact us through our website or call 713.914.0556.

A Conversation with Dan Cartwright, Recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award

Since our founding in 1946, The Council has been able to continue and expand upon our mission because of the incredible individuals who have stepped up and supported us. For three decades, Daniel S. Cartwright has been one of those individuals. Dan began serving The Council as a volunteer shortly after starting his recovery journey, and throughout the years, he has become one of our most committed and generous leaders. He served on various Council boards for more than a decade, including serving as Chairman of the Board of Trustees, before joining our Honorary Lifetime Board in 2008.

Among his many contributions, Dan served on the steering committee for The Council’s Restoring Hope, Rebuilding Lives capital campaign, which raised $11 million for the construction of our beautiful campus. He received The Council’s Jay Waggoner Service Award in 2005 and is also a devoted supporter of our annual Holiday Party, which delivers gifts and seasonal cheer to families in a safe, sober environment. He is a steadfast supporter of our Speaker Series luncheons, and through his influence, has helped open the door to recovery for an untold number of lives.

For his unwavering support of The Council and Houston’s recovery community, Dan will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award at The Council’s 2023 Fall Luncheon with Craig Ferguson. We sat down with Dan to talk about his recovery journey and relationship with The Council.

Dan Cartwright with Lauren Anderson at The Council's 2022 Fall Luncheon.
Dan Cartwright with keynote speaker Lauren Anderson at The Council’s 2022 Fall Luncheon.

Tell us how you first got involved with The Council.

After I first went through the steps, my sponsor suggested that I get involved on several different levels in recovery, and that I be of service to the community in some way. I asked around, and several people mentioned The Council. I went over there, sat and talked with the director, and I liked what they were doing.

What about our work initially drew you in?

The director shared their vision on how they wanted to grow The Council and reach not hundreds, but thousands of people. At that time, there weren’t a lot of organizations in the community doing what The Council was doing. I’m one of those people who likes challenges, so to be of service at a very grassroots level and to help expand The Council’s work resonated with me.

What do you think the biggest change in the landscape of addiction treatment has been since you’ve been involved with The Council?

There have been more and more opportunities for The Council to be of service, for instance, getting involved in the court system. And to have these other programs, like for ladies that are pregnant and want to get sober, I think is just an amazing development. Thirty years ago, there was no such thing. There’s also been a considerable reduction in the stigma associated with addiction. There is hardly a family that isn’t affected in one way or another by addiction, depression, and other disorders.

What message you would share with people who are actively affected by addiction currently?

I always ask people three questions: Do you think you have a drinking problem? Are you ready to do something about it? And if they say yes to that, I say, are you ready to do something about it right now? If so, let’s get you to a treatment center. Our best thinking got us here, so your thinking’s just not working anymore, and there is a better way.

Is there anything else you want to share with us about your time in recovery and with The Council?

The old saying is, “To keep it, you’ve got to give it away.” I’ve given it away through The Council and other recovery efforts, and I get back tenfold. It is a spiritual journey, and it’s hard to explain that. It makes people recoil sometimes when you talk about God, but it’s God of their making. It’s not necessarily a religious explanation. And if a person is defeated by alcohol, there is a better way.

Help us honor and celebrate Dan’s lifetime of service by reserving your spot at The Council’s 2023 Fall Luncheon with Craig Ferguson.

How we’re combatting the opioid overdose crisis

The Council is troubled by the alarming spike in drug overdoses, which is now the leading cause of unintentional death in the United States. After a number of recent losses close to home, we wanted to provide an update on our efforts to combat this crisis in our community.

What we know.

Since 2020, the highest number of opioid overdose deaths in Texas occurred in Harris County. The threat of fentanyl is worsening this crisis. Fentanyl is an opioid that is 50 times stronger than heroin and is often mixed with other substances and counterfeit pills. This means that when people use drugs without a prescription like Adderall and Xanax, they are at risk of fentanyl poisoning and overdose.  As few as two milligrams of fentanyl can be fatal. The Center for Disease Control found that about 66 percent of opioid-related deaths in Texas involve synthetic opioids, such as fentanyl.

How we help.

  1. We provide integrated outpatient treatment for anyone impacted by any substance use disorder, including opioids. If we cannot help someone here, we work with individuals and families to identify and connect them with services that are right for their needs. Finally, we provide ongoing support for those further along in their recovery from opioid abuse.
  2. : We distribute Narcan, a life-saving medication that rapidly reverses the effects of an opioid overdose. We have also trained more than 4,500 people in Narcan administration in homes and communities across Houston, including healthcare professionals, law enforcement, educators, public park officials, and more. Additionally, all clients receive overdose prevention education.
  3. In 2022,The Council and Prevention Resource Center – Region 6 (PRC 6) collaborated with Houston High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area on a billboard campaign to promote awareness of the dangers of fentanyl. This “One Pill Can Kill” campaign strategically placed eight billboards across the greater Houston area and garnered an estimated 14,000,000 impressions. The Council and PRC 6 also hosted the 2022 Houston Virtual Fentanyl Summit, as well as the Family Summit on the Overdose/Poisoning Epidemic, both of which attracted hundreds of attendees to address this public health emergency.

What’s next?

The Texas legislature passed Senate Bill 629, which requires all public and private schools to adopt and implement a policy regarding the maintenance, administration, and disposal of opioid antagonists such as Narcan at every campus. It also passed House Bill 3908, which requires each public school district to provide annual instruction on fentanyl abuse prevention to students in grades 6 through 12. The Council is Houston’s go-to resource for local schools to develop and implement these new policies and procedures around Narcan availability and administration, as well as substance abuse awareness and education.

We will continue to explore new ways to effectively address this crisis through our own programs and services as well as through innovative partnerships with organizations and institutions across the city and state. If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse, or may be at risk of opioid overdose, call us today at (713) 914-0556, or contact us online.

Comedian Craig Ferguson to Serve as Keynote Speaker at The Council’s 2023 Fall Luncheon

The Council on Recovery is excited to announce that award-winning comedian and host of the Late Late show Craig Ferguson will serve as keynote speaker at our 2023 Fall Luncheon on Friday, October 13, 2023 at the Hilton Americas – Houston Hotel!

Craig Ferguson is a multiple Grammy-nominated, Peabody and Emmy Award-winning actor, writer, producer, director, and comedian with a diverse career that encompasses film, television, and the stage. He hosted the wildly popular Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, which ran for ten years on CBS and remains a cult favorite.

Craig Ferguson

He achieved notable success on the North American comedy circuit and has performed to sold-out theaters all across the country, including Carnegie Hall and Radio City Music Hall. Craig has recorded five widely acclaimed stand-up comedy specials for Netflix, Comedy Central, Epix and Amazon. He is also a New York Times bestselling author and published his most recent book, Riding the Elephant, in 2019.

Ashley and Steve Birdwell, and Walt and Edith Parmer will serve as event co-chairs. As a non-profit organization, gifts from our Speaker Series events make our services accessible to those who may otherwise not be able to receive them. Thanks to the generosity of our donors, The Council can deliver best-in-class education, treatment, and recovery support to all families, with the promise that we turn no one away.

Visit our Speaker Series website to learn more or reserve your table today.

Providing Pathways to Stability and Success with Navigation Services

Our Community Navigators are helping clients access the services they need to achieve their personal goals.

For more than 75 years, The Council on Recovery has served as the place to start for anyone impacted by addiction and co-occurring mental health disorders. We understand that we alone cannot prevent and treat substance use disorders, and have worked to form strategic partnerships with treatment centers, hospitals, schools, and other community services to progress our mission. The Council is proud to now officially provide Navigation services, in collaboration with United Way of Greater Houston, to help people navigate this network of resources and access the services they need to begin and sustain a life in recovery.

When someone is struggling with substance use disorders and potentially related issues like financial hardship, unemployment, lack of transportation, and homelessness, the road to stability can be long and confusing. For some, barriers such as shame and stigma, cost, lack of insurance, and simply being unaware of the resources available to our community can make stability seem impossible. Our navigators can help clients break through these barriers.

 United Way Community Navigators are coaches and personal guides who work one-on-one with individuals and families, helping them create their own personalized journey to financial stability and access services along the way. Community Navigators make important connections and referrals to services and help address potential obstacles.

Navigation services

Our Community Navigators are already changing lives.

When Rossana Ishee, MSW, LCDC-I, CHW, reached out to one of the clients participating in our Discovering Choices outpatient treatment program, he immediately expressed interest in our Navigation Services. In addition to client-centered coaching, Rossana was able to provide him bus passes, referrals to other agencies such as credit unions and health care, and teach SMART goal setting and evidence-based breathing techniques.

This client has not only successfully graduated from Discovering Choices, but is strong in his sobriety. He has also since received HVAC certification training, is employed full-time, attends classes at Houston Community College, and is working on his goal to get his own transportation!

To learn more about United Way Community Navigators, click here. If you or someone you love is impacted by addiction or another mental health disorder, or is in recovery and might benefit from Navigation Services, contact us today.