As the textbook notes, “There are often two types of counselors in the addictions field: Those who have never been addicted and those who are currently in recovery” (p.  53). What is an ethical implication that can arise for a counselor who is also in recovery?


An ethical implication that could arise in a therapy session is: when a therapist feels a circumstance has arisen which could cause a complication in the manner in which they treat their client. If a therapist is in recovery and they meet a client that has a past similar to their own, then the complication that could arise is that the therapist could relapse, and join the addict in their addiction. The sessions could be where drug exchanges could take place and even become a place where drug-use occurs instead of recovery and treatment.


“If a provider fully relapses while treating patients, the path is clear: They should no longer practice, at least until they have firmly reestablished their recovery, Warren said. The hiatus is necessary not just for the safety of patients, but also to enable the clinician to focus on his or her own needs.” (Huffington Post, 2013)


While it is good for a therapist to have some experience in their field, there are issues in which at times the therapist is not able to help because of emotional and mental wounds that have not yet fully healed. This is why a therapist must understand their limits, what circumstances they can handle, and what triggers their wounds so that they know how to prevent their relapse. It is also good for a client to know who they can help and what they can help with, and stay away from the circumstances, people, scenarios, or age group that they feel are their triggersto relapse. In this case, if they do that then they will be able to help their clients fully and completely; this is better than if they were only partially able to care, and risking their license and the life of their client by only treating them half-way.


Pearson, Catherine. (April 25, 2014) Professionals in Recovery: When your therpaist has a eating disorder too. Huffington Post. Retrieved from: