3 Ways to Emotionally Prepare for Rehab

Deciding to seek out help for addiction is a significant step towards recovery. Although you may be ready for this next step, it’s normal to feel anxious, scared, nervous and a slew of other emotions. It is essential to prepare yourself for rehab emotionally to cope with these feelings. Doing this will help you overcome any delays that may appear and get in the right mindset to begin your treatment. Here are three ways to emotionally prepare for rehab.

#1 Educate Yourself on What’s to Come

One of the best ways to calm your nerves about entering rehab is to learn more about it. By knowing what to expect, you can be less fearful of the unknown. It is normal to be nervous – you aren’t sure what to expect, how the process works or what you need to do, but there is a great deal of information online to help you become more knowledgeable on the process. You can also ask the staff at the facility you will be treated at, as they would be happy to walk you through the steps to ensure you are ready for the treatment process.

Know What to Research

There are various parts of the rehabilitation process that you should research if you are interested in knowing what to expect for every step of your journey. Knowing what to research will help you break down the process into a more manageable place of understanding. Start by exploring the admissions and intake process, which usually involves assessing your history, the severity of your addiction, and analyzing your mental, emotional and physical state. From there, the treatment staff can begin making a personalized treatment plan that will fit your needs. 

If you require it, the next step will be medically supervised detox. Depending on the facility, this can be 24-hour medical detox care to ensure you are safe and comfortable. Once you complete detox, you will most likely be admitted to a residential or inpatient treatment space. Here, you will receive various therapies and possibly medications to help you along your journey to recovery. After residential or inpatient treatment, you can move on to outpatient programs and work on aftercare. These aspects of treatment are further in the future, so it is OK to do less research on this part of rehab.

#2 Have a Support System

Another way to emotionally prepare for rehab is to have a support system before you go. Building a support system involves bringing together the individuals that support you in your recovery, such as close friends, trusted family members, and other individuals that will be there from start to finish. Having this can help you emotionally – you know that when life gets tough, you have people to lean on for advice and support. 

You should also keep in mind that you will meet people in rehab that will also be part of your support system. These individuals know what you are going through because they have likely gone through similar situations. Relating to others can help you receive practical advice and support from peers who have already overcome similar problems. You will create a sober circle that you can lean on for support even later in your recovery, so it is essential to be open to making new friends and meeting new people. Don’t be afraid to ask for support when you need it because that’s what they are there for. You will be there for others when they have a bad day to reciprocate their love and support. 

#3 Keep a Journal

One final method to emotionally prepare for rehab is to keep a journal to record your thoughts, feelings, and experiences during the recovery process. Journaling is a great way to keep track of your changing moods, views and perceptions of the healing process. It will allow you to express what you are feeling in a healthy and safe way that you can reflect on later. If you do not know how to start, consider searching journaling prompts for addiction recovery online. You can find a multitude of great prompts to help you express your feelings and prepare for rehab.

If you want to get started immediately, here are some example prompts to consider:

  1. What am I most afraid of when it comes to healing?
  2. What would life be like if I hadn’t gone to treatment?
  3. What did I accomplish today?
  4. What do I love about myself?

Preparing for rehab can be daunting, especially if you aren’t sure what to expect. However, there are ways to prepare yourself emotionally, so the process is less intimidating. Educate yourself on what rehab entails to know what to expect once you get there. Build a reliable support system to lean on when you are struggling because there will be highs and lows in recovery. Lastly, bring a journal with you to rehab to write down your thoughts and feelings about the recovery process. This way, you can express yourself in a safe and healthy manner while being able to reflect on your entries later. At Casa Palmera, we want our patients to be prepared for rehab. You can contact us anytime. The road to recovery begins at Casa Palmera.


This blog is for informational purposes only and should not be a substitute for medical advice. We understand that everyone’s situation is unique, and this content is to provide an overall understanding of substance use disorders. These disorders are very complex, and this post does not take into account the unique circumstances for every individual. For specific questions about your health needs or that of a loved one, seek the help of a healthcare professional.