Which type of counseling has a higher success rate? Religious or non-religious?

If you are in need of counseling, there are a lot of options to choose from.

Most forms of counseling, ranging from marriage or drug counseling, have different approaches that you can choose from.

This is both a wonderful thing and a challenging thing for those suffering from family or drug issues.

How do you know which options are successful and which ones aren’t?

The success rate depends on the individual and their comfort level with the program.


Drug and alcohol recovery.


Drug and alcohol recovery.

Drug and alcohol recovery.

Let’s start by looking at drug rehab programs.

Those suffering from drug or alcohol addictions are probably aware of the 12 Step Program, a very common approach to treating drug and alcohol abuse.

Individuals typically attend 12 step meetings and are provided with resources and tools to continue their recovery even after the program is completed. This can include attending more meetings and working alongside with other members.

12 step programs are so popular because they work.

The proof is in the numbers as 74 percent of addicts who dropped out of treatment but attended 12 step program meetings once a week and took part in five counseling sessions per week remained abstinent.

74 percent is a pretty significant number, especially when it comes to battling addiction. This non-religious program has proved very effective for recovering addicts.

On the flipside, there are many faith-based treatment programs. These types of programs typically work extremely well for religious individuals.

The instances in which faith-based programs aren’t as successful are when the individual is not religious. That’s not to say  they don’t or won’t work for non-religious individuals, but the religious aspect can sometimes make a non-religious person uncomfortable.

Those with religious backgrounds or who want to become more religious can truly benefit from faith-based drug and alcohol counseling programs. Faith-based treatment facilities can often offer these individuals a lot more than a non-religious program can.

Another common approach to drug or alcohol addiction is holistic-based treatment.

A holistic approach doesn’t just aim to fix the drug or alcohol problem. It is designed to work through every issue the individual might be having.

Holistic programs can help psychological issues and depression along with the drug and alcohol issues.

There have also been studies conducted that point to the notion of combinations of treatments working best.

In this study, known as the Target Cities Experience, a Clinical Assessment and Substance Abuse Treatment, they found that the combination of treatments worked best to instill abstinence from drugs six months after treatment was over.

In the study, individuals that completed a drug rehab program, participated in 12 step meetings weekly, and attended counseling sessions had an 87 percent abstinence rate.

The basis of the study points to the fact that a treatment program should be used as a catalyst for recovery followed by the 12 step program and counseling, be it traditional or faith-based.


Marriage and family counseling.

Marriage and family counseling.

Marriage and family counseling.

Marital and family counseling also offers a traditional and faith-based approach.

The success rates for marriage and family counseling are even more ambiguous than the success rates for drug and alcohol recovery programs.

The reason is that there can be clear metrics regarding drug recovery. For example, remaining completely abstinent from substances for six months after treatment.

However, you can’t really put a success rate on how well your family issues have been resolved. There are, however, patient satisfaction statistics that do show promising numbers.

A study done by the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists showed that 98 percent of counseling recipients received excellent couples therapy. 97 percent said the help was what they needed. 93 percent said they now had the means to deal with everyday problems.

The actual success rates are harder to gauge, especially because traditional thinking would have you say that a successful marriage counseling ends in a happy marriage. Unfortunately, this is not the case.

Some marriages are not right and are not meant to be forced. The marriage counseling helps to determine if the relationship can be a healthy one or not.

Unhealthy marriages should end in divorce and marriage counseling can help the couple reach that conclusion and give them the courage to end the relationship sooner and minimize damage.

So, while the counseling was in fact successful, it is hard to give a percentage point in the success column for a divorce.

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