Medically Reviewed

What to Look for in an Addiction Therapist in Memphis

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Medically Reviewed: September 25, 2019

Medical Reviewer

Chief Editor


All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS): 46.3 million people struggled with a substance use disorder in 2021.[1]

Addiction is a common issue in America, making it vital that there are effective options for substance abuse treatment. Not everyone’s recovery journey will look the same, as some people begin recovery in an inpatient rehab center while others prefer an outpatient approach to treatment. Because you know yourself best, it’s important to look for the type of addiction treatment service you think will benefit you the most.

One of the best options for addiction recovery is hiring an addiction therapist. Addiction therapists in Memphis help you create a treatment plan that will work for you. They will assist you through any type of recovery program while also teaching you how to shift negative patterns of thought and behavior to reduce your risk of relapsing.

An addiction therapist should have expertise in the field, licensing, use evidence-based practices, have high praise from their past clients, work in a setting that is right for their needs, and have good listening skills and empathy.

What Qualities Should You Look For in an Addiction Therapist in Memphis?

Addiction therapists are mental health professionals who specialize in treating substance use disorders. Typically, they help you explore the role that addiction plays in your life while assisting you throughout the recovery process. This could include finding you an inpatient or outpatient program that suits your needs and providing important insights during your time in the facility.

When choosing an addiction therapist in Memphis, you should look for the following qualities:

Expertise and Licensing

If you are looking for an addiction therapist, it’s important to choose one that specifically specializes in addiction or substance abuse. When a therapist has expertise in addiction, this means they are qualified to help you throughout the process of recovering from a substance use disorder.

Additionally, you should always look for an addiction therapist who is licensed. More often than not, a licensed addiction therapist will have the information about their license listed on their website.

Evidence-Based Practices

Once you know the therapist specializes in addiction and has an up-to-date license, you should begin taking a look at the types of therapeutic strategies they use. People in recovery from addiction should look for a therapist that uses evidence-based practices. Evidence-based therapies are clinically proven to help people recover from substance use disorders.

Examples of evidence-based practices for addiction include:[2]

High Praise From Past Clients

Most addiction therapists in Memphis will post testimonials from their clients on their website. By reading through these testimonials, you can get a good idea of whether their past clients felt their treatment was adequate.

Additionally, you can look for reviews left on Google to see what a therapist’s past clients have to say about the treatment services they experienced. Oftentimes, these are more honest, as the therapist is not hand-picking them to post on their website.

Consider the Setting They Work in

Another quality to consider is the setting in which they work. Addiction therapists might work in a variety of settings, including:

  • A private practice
  • Local and state government facilities
  • Inpatient treatment centers
  • Hospitals
  • Outpatient rehabs

If you are looking to participate in an inpatient rehab program, you should choose an addiction therapist who is working in one. On the other hand, if you would prefer to receive treatment on an outpatient basis, you could opt for an addiction therapist who works in an outpatient rehab center or a private practice.

Good Listening Skills and Empathy

Lastly, you should always choose an addiction therapist that you feel comfortable with. The most reputable therapists will have extremely good listening skills and a high level of empathy for others. These qualities are highly important, as empathy is required to make patients feel safe, heard, and understood, especially when topics like addiction and trauma are being discussed.

To determine if an addiction therapist in Memphis has these qualities, you can meet with them for an initial assessment to see if they are a good fit.

Find an Addiction Therapist You Can Trust in Memphis, TN

If you or a loved one suffers from an addiction, it’s time to seek help. Addiction counseling can be incredibly beneficial, providing you with the support you need to develop healthy coping skills and learn emotional regulation techniques.

To get connected with a top-rated addiction therapist in Memphis, please contact PAX Memphis today.


  1. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS): SAMHSA Announces National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) Results Detailing Mental Illness and Substance Use Levels in 2021, Retrieved December 2023 From
  2. The National Library of Medicine (NLM): Evidence-based practices for substance use disorders, Retrieved December 2023 From