Behavioral issues and dual diagnosis, like a bipolar alcoholic, can make treatment extremely difficult. What can make treatment even more difficult are those who don't cooperate or follow through with the plan of care. Tell the interviewer about a particular situation or patient. Be sure to respect patient confidentiality when sharing any examples.
"When a patient doesn't take responsibility to start making changes that are constructive in their life, I feel the difficulty. I do my best to empower them, because ultimately they are the ones who can change their own lives. If they choose not to do the work, treatment is a whole lot harder."
Entry Level answer example
"I believe that, once I am working as an addiction counselor, I will have difficulty treating patients that aren't ready to help themselves. As a counselor, you so badly want to see everyone make their own personal breakthroughs but I realize this may not be realistic. That will be challenging, for sure."
Experienced answer example
"I have come across some difficult patients in my career as a counselor. I would say the most challenging patients are those who do not follow their treatment plan yet tell me that they are. It's hard to work around dishonesty so I gently remind these patients that the only person they are hurting is themselves."