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What Is Rehab Like? All Your Questions, Answered

Posted: September 9, 2018 by in Help Addiction Recovery Center

what is rehab like

What is rehab like?

If you or someone you know is thinking about rehab, you’re probably wondering just what to expect. Billions of dollars each year are spent due to the effects of drug and alcohol addiction. Rehab helps save time, money, and strife by stopping the problem before it gets worse.

However, understanding that isn’t the same as understanding what a typical day in a Pasadena rehab looks like. Let’s step away from the big picture and take an up-close look at what rehab is really like. Keep reading to prepare yourself or a loved one for the experience.

What is Rehab Like?

There are quite a few different types of rehab centers out there. However, most of them follow a proven therapy framework to get results.

Inpatient rehab centers tend to be structured and organized, so the types of therapies and activities are similar across many centers. This provides a supportive, safe environment where recovery and healing can happen.

Let’s go through what you can expect during each part of the day in rehab.


Rehab programs don’t permit much time for sleeping in. You’ll be woken up early for a nutritious breakfast. Sometimes, the program might also offer a morning class like meditation or yoga to keep you relaxed and get you ready for the day.

The purpose of these morning activities us to help you set a new routine that will break you out of your old habits of addiction. After you’re discharged, you’ll already have these new habits programmed in.

Typically, there’s a post-breakfast group session. A therapist or counselor will help you focus on relevant topics that are part of the rehab program. A major focus in most programs is getting clarity about the situations, people, and problems in your life that have turned you to alcohol or drugs in the first place.

With a healthy, therapeutic environment for daily meetings, you’ll start to see your habit loops that need to be changed so you can avoid addiction in your future.


Afternoons in rehab involve more intensive treatment sessions. You’ll have a healthy lunch, then the sessions will begin.

There are a few different approaches to treatment that you might see in the afternoons.

1. Individual Behavior Therapy

One of the addiction treatment methods with the most promising results is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or CBT. This focuses on the behavioral responses you give to certain triggers.

The focus of these sessions is to identify the triggers that cause your addictive behavior, and then find healthy new ways to respond to those triggers instead.

These therapy sessions involve working one on one with a counselor. This way, you’ll feel confident and safe enough to open up and work through your issues. When you share your concerns and fears, the counselor can offer alternative ideas and other tools to help you respond to your triggers in constructive ways.

2. Group Therapy

Group therapy doesn’t afford the same privacy, but it does give you a sense of community, as you’ll realize you’re not going through this alone. Sharing your personal stories with the group can be a great way to fuel the healing process.

You’ll likely develop a close connection with the people in your group as days go by. The more you open up in your sessions, the more trust can develop among the group. You’ll understand yourself better as you also understand how others have faced their own struggles.

3. Specialized Therapy

A few rehab centers also offer specialized therapy sessions. These might involve targeting certain issues, such as learning how to manage stress or anger in healthy ways. Grief counseling is another common type of specialized therapy in rehab.

The purpose of these sessions is to help you find new ways to cope, so you can control your reactions to the negative issues in life instead of responding to toxic behaviors linked to addiction.

4. Family Therapy

Addiction doesn’t just affect an individual: it affects everyone close to them. Many rehab centers recognize how the whole family gets affected and offer family therapy to help them through the process.

The family problems that often come from addiction include problematic codependency, anger issues, or enabling behavior. This can lead to resentment and a whole host of other toxic feelings.

In the family therapy sessions, these feelings are addressed and many family problems can get resolved. Family participation is very important for the long-term success of treatment. Once you’re discharged, they’ll play a crucial role in your success.

5. Other Activities

Sometimes, the rehab center will offer other activities in addition to therapy sessions. These can include speakers who will share their stories to inspire and connect with residents. The speakers might discuss practical issues, like how to rejoin the workforce or focus on giving inspiration instead.

Different, fun therapy approaches might also be included in the rehab program, such as art, music, or even equine therapy.


Finally, the rehab day will wrap up with some evening activities. This usually comes after a few hours of free time in the afternoons.

After dinner, you might have another group therapy session, and there’s often a 12-step program offered too. This provides another way to grow the community and share your experiences in a safe, welcoming environment.

You’re encouraged to go to bed early, so you’ll be ready to start the day fresh tomorrow. When you get plenty of sleep, you’ll be more energetic and alert for participation in your treatment the next day.

Ready to Experience Rehab Treatment?

Knowing the answer to “What is rehab like?” makes facing the experience much easier. It’s not a scary, draconian, or isolating experience. Instead, the best rehab centers are warm, friendly, and welcoming places focused on healing and progress.

If you’re ready to sign yourself or a loved one up for rehab in the Pasadena area, it’s time to give us a call. Read testimonials from our former patients here.

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