3 Hidden Benefits of Work Therapy as a Recovery Program

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A Guest Post by Alex Moore

For many people, having a job is just a way to earn money and get by. However, keeping yourself busy with doing something for your life and the society you live in can have miraculous benefits for your mental stability. Therefore, work therapy is a perfect recovery program. But who can benefit from it?

About Vocational Rehabilitation

Known as vocational rehabilitation, this recovery method consists of helping people who are impaired in any type of way regain their place in the workforce and successfully maintain a job. This process unfolds through a variety of steps. Although different organizations have different approaches, there are a few constants, as follows.

First, the person’s situation needs to be assessed by a career counselor. Some actionable goals must be set, and giving and receiving advice is a big part of the process as well. Finally, the association responsible for the person’s rehabilitation needs to place them in an appropriate professional environment, and counseling needs to be kept up for quite some time during the employment as well.

Such a program is already widely available for veterans, and it aims not only to get them jobs but also help them gain the necessary skills and maintain the position for as long as possible. But vocational rehabilitation extends far beyond veterans. It can even act as a means of therapy and recovery for people struggling with addiction.

Recovery Through Work

Studies show that employment helps to rehabilitate drug users by helping them to stop abusing illicit substances and to avoid any further criminal involvement. By association, this activity is beneficial for people struggling with other types of addiction as well, such as alcoholism or gambling. Here are three benefits of work therapy in recovery programs you might not have considered until now.

#1 Gain Skills That Will Help You in Life

By entering a recovery program based on work, you will first set out to gain the necessary skills for your potential job. This will help you not only when performing it, but also in your daily life. When all you’ve done in the last years was to indulge in destructive behavior, losing grip of how to live productively and successfully is normal.

When you become good at a certain thing, your sphere of capabilities expands. It becomes easier for you to learn new things in the future, and therefore a world of brand-new possibilities is revealed. You deserve a true shot at life, which is exactly what vocational rehabilitation can help you with.

#2 Stay Focused on Your Goals

After having to live with addiction for long enough, having goals again will feel strange. However, this is an important part of your journey towards full recovery, so don’t be alarmed if you feel out of place in the world at first. Staying focused on your objectives is an integral part of your healing.

When you have a clear outline of what your life needs to become, you are more motivated to pursue your dreams. Just landing a job shouldn’t be your only goal, either. Wanting to grow way past that, get a promotion and maybe someday have a prolific career to show off is an important change that you need to strive for.

#3 Avoid Falling Back to Your Habit

Preventing a relapse needs to be your main interest when battling addiction. The road to full sobriety and managing to lead a normal life in the aftermath of your past behavior is not without its challenges, and you don’t want to throw it all out the window just like that. Although falling back into your habit will seem tempting at times, having a place to work keeps your mind busy enough to stop you from spiraling.

However, if it ends up happening, after all, you need to consult with your therapist to find a way to mediate the negative feelings behind this occurrence. Focusing on other activities is beneficial, but without professional counseling and guidance, you won’t be able to properly deal with your disappointment.


Work therapy is a fruitful means of recovery for people dealing with difficult situations such as addiction. By helping you gain valuable life skills and setting objectives to focus on, the road to rehabilitation is smoother and with increased chances of success. Furthermore, engaging in productive activities keeps you occupied enough to avoid an otherwise impeding relapse.

Nevertheless, it’s important to remember that a lot of people fall back to their habit, at least once more before finally kicking it. If this does happen to you, inform your therapist and/or counselor immediately and avoid throwing yourself into your job to repress the causes behind this event. Escaping addiction is difficult and delicate, but not impossible once you’re adamant about it.

About the Author

Alex Moore is a West Virginia psychology undergraduate enthralled with everything mindfulness, workplace organization, and work-life balance. He writes for Job Application Center. Alex is very active on Twitter @alex_moore01

Originally published at The Daily MBA.