How to Be Teachable in Addiction Treatment


teachable-addiction-treatmentHow teachable you are often indicates your happiness and success in life. To feel truly happy and fulfilled in life, you have to continually take stock of yourself and keep growing. It’s so important to be teachable, especially in the treatment setting, because it’s ultimately a sign of how receptive you are to learning new things and your commitment to sobriety.

How can you tell if you’re already teachable?

  • You’re aware of your strengths and weaknesses.
  • You ask for help.
  • You learn from criticism.
  • You enjoy trying new things.
  • You’re comfortable with change.
  • You’re curious.
  • You know that you don’t know everything, and you’re open to learning.

Not all hope is lost if you aren’t in an open, teachable mindset. Just as in treatment you learn how to stay sober, you can also learn how to be teachable.

1. Be willing to take direction.

In life, there is almost always someone who is assessing your performance, whether it’s a boss, a teacher or a Peer Recovery Support Specialist. This person provides guidance or direction on how to do your job, be a better student or succeed in recovery, respectively.

How you respond to their guidance says a lot about your mindset. Do you react by feeling insulted and annoyed with your boss for being too controlling? Or do you consider their feedback and take personal inventory? To be willing to take direction, you have to follow instructions, ask for help, recognize a person’s experience or knowledge, and accept criticism and handle it maturely.

2. Learn something new.

Stepping outside of your comfort zone can be one of the scariest things you can do, but it’s the only way real growth happens. Learn how to speak a foreign language, swim, knit, cook, etc. Learning something new forces you to open up and become teachable. The more you learn, the more you know, and the better you’ll be able to relate to other people.

3. Reflect on your day.

One of the easiest ways to be teachable is by taking a few minutes every night to reflect on your day. What was better? Worse? Different? What stayed the same? Come up with a couple of answers for each question. And don’t just think about these things, write them down. That way, you have a record of your days and can use it to become more aware of the common themes in your life and what you would benefit from improving.

4. Stick around people who can teach you things.

You can be intensely focused on becoming more open and teachable, but if you’re surrounding yourself with people who are dragging you down, they’re not helping you grow. How can you tell if someone is more harmful than helpful? Ask yourself how you feel after spending time with that person. Do you feel happy, positive and energized, or bored, tired and negative?

If you feel bogged down by the company you keep, it might be time for some new company. You should be able to learn from the people you’re around instead of merely gossiping or engaging in idle chit-chat.

5. Read every day.

It’s better to read a few pages a day than nothing at all. Reading is so critical to self-improvement because it has the power to change your perspective without having to experience something first hand.

Teachability and success in recovery go hand-in-hand. It’s so vital to remain open to learning new things because it’s the only way real, lasting sobriety and true personal development can occur. At BRC Recovery, we spend a lot of time helping our residents improve themselves in traditional and alternative therapeutic settings. Let us help you or someone you love recover once and for all. Contact a BRC Recovery Specialist for more information about our Recovery Programs.