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The structured sessions are an alternative to traditional counselling where the aims are to focus on any presenting issues in the here and now that does not identify with indepth issues. The areas below are frequently discussed

An example of working with Anxiety and Relapse Prevention

At the beginning of the structured session we may explore how drugs and alcohol as well as anxiety impacts you on a day to day basis

When you have agreed which problems you want to focus on and what your goals are, you may start planning the content of sessions and talking about how you could deal with your problems. These could include panic attacks and dealing with social situations.

During the session, you might work through exercises to explore your thoughts, feelings and behaviours. This may be in the form of diagrams or worksheets using CBT and solution focused techniques.

So the end of each session you might agree on some exercises to work on afterwards. This could be in the form of a fear ladder or work books to gain awareness of high risk situations

At the beginning of your next session you may start by going over the conclusions from your previous session, and discussing what progress you've made with any work you agreed to do

How a fear ladder can work:

A fear ladder can be lists that you make of the triggers that make you feel afraid or anxious. After you write them down, you rank them--from the one that makes you feel least fearful or anxious to the one that scares you the most. Your list will likely be a catalog of situations, images, thoughts, memories, and other things related to your anxiety which will be worked through during the sessions

How Relapse Prevention works

Relapse Prevention is a cognitive-behavioral approach that requires clients to identify situations that place them at greater risk of relapsing – such experiences could be positive or negative thoughts related to their substance or people that the person associates with substance use. We can work to develop strategies, including cognitive (related to thinking) and behavioral (related to action), to address those specific high-risk situations. With more awareness clients can increase their confidence to handle challenging situations without alcohol and other drugs.