Here, we look at how vocational-based treatment works and why it’s beneficial to so many in recovery.
Why Employment is Important in Recovery
Barriers to Employment in Recovery
- Physical or mental disabilities
- A lack of education and skills
- Unrealistic attitudes and expectations toward employment
- Inadequate funds to pay for clothing, transportation, child care and other job-related expenses
- A crisis lifestyle involving illness, violence in the community, family tragedies and family problems
- Learned helplessness
- A negative attitude toward vocational rehab, work, or disability
- A history of criminal activity
- A lack of social supports at home and in the community
A vocational-based treatment program will address these and other barriers to ensure the best possible chances of finding employment.
Elements of Programming in Vocational-Based Treatment
Assessments and Evaluations
Skills tests will determine the job skills currently possessed, including basic skills like reading and communicating effectively and more complex skills like problem-solving or technical or systems skills.
Personality, Interests, and Strengths Inventories
These inventories reveal a lot about you, including what gives you energy, how you make decisions and your preferences related to learning, work style and leadership. This information is used to further narrow down the field of jobs you might find meaningful and interesting.
Life Skills Training
Job Skills Training
- Social skills, including interacting with others in an appropriate way
- Phone and basic computer skills and etiquette
- Customer service skills, including phone and face-to-face skills
- Workplace culture skills, including dressing appropriately, being punctual and following workplace rules
- Specialized skills specific to a particular job
Job Search Training
In some cases, program counselors will find job openings for participants using job banks and through networking with employers. In any case, it’s important to know where and how to search for jobs and how to write a resume, contact potential employers and nail an interview. Job search training encompasses all of these.
Access to Resources
- Occupational guides
- Newspaper classifieds
- Contact information for the region’s largest employers
- Public transportation routes and schedules
- Course catalogs for technical schools, community colleges and universities
- Employment-related publications
- Access to Web sites like America’s Job Bank and state and local job search boards
The Treatment Component of Vocational-Based Treatment
Frequently the result of underlying causes, such as chronic stress, a history of trauma or a co-occurring mental illness, addiction is very complex. It also causes problems in life, including relationship, legal, financial, and physical and mental health problems. All of these issues must be addressed in treatment for the best chances of achieving successful recovery.
Traditional therapies have been shown through research to be effective for treating addiction. Traditional therapies commonly used in treatment include:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy, which helps you identify and change self-destructive patterns of thinking and behaving
- Family therapy, which helps you repair damaged relationships and restore function to the family system
- Psychoeducational classes, which provides practical information about a wide range of topics related to addiction
- Pharmacotherapy, or the use of medications to treat the addiction or a co-occurring mental illness
Complementary therapies increase engagement in treatment and help clients make sense of difficult emotions and experiences. Complementary therapies include:
- Restorative yoga or mindfulness meditation, which reduce stress, improve self- and body-awareness and promote mindfulness in recovery
- Art or music therapy, which helps reduce feelings of shame, promotes spiritual healing and helps you express yourself in a new way
Treatment therapies help you restore all areas of your life, and they increase your motivation to recover for the long-term.
Vocational-Based Treatment is Effective
Addiction rehab provides you with the tools, skills, strategies and resources you need to enjoy long-term recovery from a drug or alcohol addiction. Vocational rehab helps you find a job that fits your personality, strengths and values, and it can get you started on a career path that will contribute to a meaningful and fulfilling life.
The ultimate aim of vocational-based treatment is to transform your life and promote self-sufficiency, self-efficacy and an overall higher quality of life in which you don’t need drugs or alcohol to cope or enjoy yourself. Vocational-based treatment is successful for most people who fully participate in their program, and it can help you restore function, productivity and happiness to your life for the long-haul.