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Therapy: Addiction Treatment’s Essential Ingredient

Feb 12, 2021

If you’ve been thinking that stopping drug use or trying to control the amount is enough to get sober, you may be unaware of the benefit of therapy as part of a treatment program. For some, a stigma around the use of the word “therapy” may be a barrier. But participating in therapy is really about acquiring the skills to understand what caused your drinking or drug use and learning the skills you’ll need to protect your recovery efforts. Today, we discuss what makes therapy such an essential part of treatment.

Therapy as part of a treatment program for addiction can increase the chance for a sustainable recovery. The benefit of therapy is that addresses the mental health factors that may worsen substance use disorders. After all, addiction is more than a physical experience. Individual and group therapy can equip patients with the tools and strategies to replace self-destructive behaviors. These types of therapeutic interventions can come at in-person programs and through virtual sessions.

The mental aspect of addiction

Responding to a dependence on drugs or alcohol goes far beyond withdrawal or medical detox. It’s not enough to eliminate the substances from your system. You also need to understand what influenced the choice to put them there. That’s where the mental and emotional work of therapy begins. For many patients, the inability to sustain recovery has come from an undiagnosed mental health condition. Addressing their anxiety, depression, or trauma in a therapeutic treatment program improves their outcome and increases their chances for long-term recovery.

Therapy isn’t judgment

No doubt, you’ve already experienced a lot of judgment over your drinking or drug use. Addiction therapy uses a different perspective. It looks for ways that your thinking and choices have not served you best. It helps identify patterns in your behavior that have affected your health, well-being, relationships, education, or career. It reminds you of your potential. It helps you set realistic goals for yourself.

What kind of therapy is used to treat addiction?

There is a variety of treatment methods that are useful in addiction recovery, which is helpful because not everyone responds in the same way. People have unique reactions to therapeutic treatment, and what works for someone else might not work as well for you. The goal is to find the right fit. Here are a few of the more common forms of treatment used to treat addiction:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): Teaches you recognize and change destructive behavior and unhealthy choices.
  • Contingency Management (CM): Focuses on material rewards for as motivation for healthy behavior.
  • Motivational Interviewing (MI): Helps treat feelings of ambivalence toward recovery and making healthy choices.
  • Dialectal Behavioral Therapy (DBT): Mostly used for personality disorders but can be adapted to focus on substance abuse; it teaches healthy coping skills.
  • Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy (REBT): Emphasizes rational thinking and the positive emotions associated.

Therapy opens doors to self-awareness

Think of therapy as the introduction you haven’t given yourself to yourself. Therapy in a one-on-one session allows you to start seeing yourself through your responses to what’s going on in your life. It allows you to make connections to the past and see patterns in your behavior into the present. It’s knowledge to be understood, not judged. As you build that awareness, you get a better sense of what you were trying to accomplish with drug and alcohol use and why it didn’t work.

Sobriety requires behavior tools and strategies

You will acquire many tools in therapy, and they will be used in different ways. These tools will be most effective when therapy has helped you understand yourself. They will help you minimize stress, resentment, and fear that can fuel substance use and learn new skills to employ around people who enabled your past drug use. Therapy sessions during treatment allow you to learn and practice strategies, then report to your therapist what’s working and what’s not. As your self-awareness increases, you can fine-tune these tools to best serve you.

Recovery is a team effort

Support is essential in starting treatment, and your therapist becomes a valuable member of that support team. Peers in group therapy also become supportive of your recovery goals. For patients who get involved in family therapy, these sessions become valuable in restoring wholeness to the family unit. All of these elements are part of building recovery teams for yourself and making a seamless transition from a program to your everyday life.

Effective therapy is ongoing

Remaining in recovery is an investment in yourself, and therapy becomes a big part of that investment. In treatment, you’re learning what you need for self-care. These discoveries continue past the date treatment ends. Continuing to prioritize them takes a lot of effort. Therapy beyond treatment supports that mission.

Origins Counseling in Dallas, Texas, made available by a well-known care provider offering a range of treatment programs targeting the recovery from substance use, mental health issues, and beyond. Our primary mission is to provide a clear path to a life of healing and restoration. We offer renowned clinical care for addiction and have the compassion and professional expertise to guide you toward lasting sobriety. For information on our programs, call us today: (844) 321-2944.

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