What is Therapeutic Dependence?

Therapeutic dependence is the psychological dependence on a therapeutic relationship, such as with a therapist or counselor, for emotional support, validation, or a sense of security. This can occur in the context of addiction recovery, where individuals who have developed a substance use disorder may have difficulty managing their emotions or coping with stress without the support of their therapist or counselor.

Therapeutic dependence can be problematic because it may interfere with an individual’s ability to develop a healthy and balanced support system outside the therapeutic relationship. Additionally, it may prevent the individual from making progress in their recovery by relying too heavily on the therapist or counselor for support and guidance.

It is important for individuals in addiction recovery to be aware of the potential for therapeutic dependence and to work with their therapist or counselor to develop a balanced and healthy support system that includes a mix of professional and non-professional support. This may involve seeking support from peer groups, self-help organizations, family and friends, or other community resources.

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