When people think of therapy, they often think of lying on a couch, answering questions. However, while many therapists’ offices do indeed have couches, that does not mean you have to lie down. The idea is to make you feel comfortable like you are visiting someone’s house. Since therapy sessions last an hour or longer, they want you to be satisfied. On an emotional level, some discomfort is expected.
The best type of therapist will see you as a person who has a problem rather than a person who is a problem. They will work with you to find the best version of yourself. If you are ready to seek treatment, please reach out to our professionals today at 626-602-2966. We are standing by ready to help you find the treatment you need. Do not wait. Call us today, and start your healthier life tomorrow.
Is Therapy Important for Addicts?
Beyond the mental image of therapy, there is often unfair blame surrounding mental health. Many people think of treatment as something for a weak person. In other words, they are a failure or just downright “crazy.” There is often a concern of being told everything you do and think is wrong. Or there is a fear of judgment because you have an addiction.
However, treatment helps you solve problems, improve communication, and respond to stress. The goal is to face life problems with the help of an equal third party. Therapists are here to teach skills and provide accountability.
Addiction is more than a need or necessity. Many times, there are additional mental health concerns that increase the likelihood of someone becoming an addict. Getting help with these concerns will only increase the chance for a successful recovery. Many recovering addicts have expressed that stress is a significant trigger for drug cravings. Cravings and temptations can last for years—if not a lifetime. A big part of a therapist’s job is to give you the tools to process stress and produce a game plan for cravings and temptations.
Different Therapies for Addiction
When it comes to addiction, it is not unusual to try a few different methods before finding the best fit for yourself. It is also not uncommon to try a few therapists or counselors before finding the one you connect with best. We can help get you to start on the right path. Give our office a call. We are more than happy to help guide you. Begin here with a guide to what types of therapy you may experience.
Rehab therapies involve a wide range of methods. Regardless of the treatment used, the focus will be on the reason behind the addiction, identifying high-risk situations, and practicing skills to stay clean. While in rehab, the patient will participate in both individual and group therapies. This will allow you to go in-depth on personal issues while also building support with others in treatment with you.
There are various models and types of therapies. Not every form of treatment is right for a specific person or a special kind of addiction. Some styles will be more applicable than others based on your situation. Generally, behavior therapy focuses on changing the addict’s behaviors that are negatively impacting their life. Need help with addiction treatment? Then call us today. Our experts will be able to help you find the right therapy for you. Do not wait. Call today.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy—often shortened to CBT—is a type of talk therapy involving structured one-on-one sessions with a therapist. CBT’s primary goal is to control negative thinking so the addict can meet challenges with a better mindset. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy helps addicts manage symptoms, prevent relapse, learn coping skills, and overcome trauma. Many CBT therapy sessions will focus on stress management, being completely confident, relaxation, and flexibility. CBT is highly effective with other forms of treatment to help overcome addiction.
Dialectical Behavioral Therapy
Dialectical Behavioral Therapy is a branch of CBT—often referred to as DBT. This type of therapy focuses on controlling emotions, resolving conflict, improving relationships, and handling stress. While DBT originally started as a treatment for borderline personality disorder. However, it has proven to be extremely successful in treating addiction and many other mental health disorders.
DBT focuses heavily on building skills in four key areas.
Mindfulness: These skills focus on seeing and experiencing reality as it is, without judgment.
Interpersonal Effectiveness: In this portion of treatment, you will learn how to handle conflict effectively and keep or improve existing relationships.
Emotion Regulation: Even though complete control of emotions is not possible, you will learn to have more control over your feelings in general. This will help you manage those that may be unruly and destructive.
Distress Tolerance: Learning to tolerate or survive a crisis without making things worse is an integral part of Distress Tolerance. It would help if you learned how to handle the negative emotions during a problem rather than seeking an escape in substances.
Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy—often called REBT— focuses on how our thoughts affect our emotions and behaviors. Focus replaces irrational beliefs with calm, logical ideas, and regulates emotions. According to Albert Ellis, many of the thoughts we have about ourselves are irrational and harmful. He believed that it is these underlying negative thoughts that lead to self-destructive behavior. Therefore, replacing negative, unreasonable thoughts with positive thoughts will create a happier frame of mind. Moreover, you are less likely to have an impulse to use drugs or alcohol.
Contingency Management Intervention is the concept of pushing with rewards. Many studies have shown giving an incentive is incredibly useful. This can help with promoting sobriety and continuing treatment. These rewards often start small and continue to grow. The more prolonged the addict stays away from their substance of choice.
Twelve-step programs help create dynamic relationships between a group of people with similar substance abuse problems. Twelve-step programs and have proven extremely helpful for those with alcohol addiction. The research on 12-step programs for other substances is still in its early stages. However, it seems to indicate they are just as helpful. Today, there are several twelve-step programs for addiction. Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous are the most well-known. However, there are special programs for specific drugs like cocaine and marijuana, as well. If you or someone you love needs help, then call us today. We can help you get the service that you need before it is too late.
Family Treatment Approach
Because addiction affects everyone in the addict’s life, it is often helpful if spouses or family members participate. This type of therapy helps the addict’s support system grow with the addict. There is a focus on behavioral therapy to strengthen sobriety while also helping rebuild the relationship between the addict and their family. If the addict is a teenager, it is especially helpful for the family to engage in the treatment.
Experiential Therapy is effective for substance abuse disorders. By recreating and reenacting situations in the past, the therapist and addict can identify root problems. For many people, this includes role-playing, music, or art, which allows addicts to get in touch with their feelings. While locating these emotions, the therapist and patient discuss how these emotions affect success, disappointment, and self-identity. There is also a focus on negative emotions like stress and shame. Because the addict explores these emotions and the accompanying situation in a controlled environment. Then both parties can explore the addict’s typical response and a new, healthier response. This is incredibly helpful in cases where the addict’s first response would be to drink or use drugs.
For example, some types of Experiential Therapy include:
- Art Therapy
- Music Therapy
- Equine (Horse) Therapy
- Creative Writing or poetry therapy
- Adventure therapy (like a ropes course, ziplining, or a retreat)
- Play therapy
- Drama Therapy
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing—known as EMDR—is a treatment for trauma’s emotional and psychological distress. EMDR does not rely on talking or remedy. While EMDR commonly addresses PTSD, it has proven quite efficient with addiction as well.
EMDR uses devices, often a set of lights, to hold your attention. While distracted in this way, you can visualize a problematic situation without thoroughly triggering a mental reaction. Using EMDR, the therapist will walk through an event from beginning to end. The therapist will guide you through conflicting situations and thoughts while suggesting new positive and healthy ideas in their place. Because EMDR can bring up powerful emotions and past trauma, it is crucial to work with a therapist to build coping skills before starting EMDR.
Motivational interviewing is a method that a person’s inner motivation can be improved. This system is quite like the Contingency Management method. In Motivational Interviewing, the addict gets rewards when they successfully repeat a positive behavior or reach a milestone. This therapy type works very well for those trying to quit alcohol and has recently shown promise with marijuana-dependent adults. Contact us today if you would like more information about what treatment options we offer. Do not wait. Get the help you need now.
Get Help – Call Us
Finally, having now seen some of the different therapy types for addiction treatment, you will see that all methods have their good and bad points. It may take time to find the right way for you and your situation. However, it is essential to stay committed to sobriety.
If you are ready to start your journey to an addiction-free life, give us a call today.
Written by Krystina Wagner