Why Therapy for Addiction Might Be Your First Step to Recovery

May 13, 2021

For some people, the thought of starting rehab can feel like jumping into the deep end of a pool. Just getting your toes in the water may seem like a safer way to start. That’s the same idea of using therapy to take smaller first steps towards recovery. Today, let’s talk about what this kind of therapy looks like and how it can set you up for recovery success in the future.

Counseling services for substance use disorders can be a first step towards recovery for people who don’t feel ready for inpatient options. This kind of program relies on individual, group, and family therapy sessions to help a person learn healthy strategies to cope with the desire for drugs or alcohol. They can be integrated into a weekly routine of work or school and allow a person to remain at home throughout the therapy period. For severe cases of substance use, including ones accompanied by a co-occurring mental health disorder, they can be instrumental in helping someone prepare for future residential treatment.

Not ready for rehab? Here’s why therapy for addiction and mental illness is a smart first step to recovery.

Knowing you could benefit from treatment doesn’t make everyone ready to get started right away. There are lots of reasons to feel resistant to the option. You can find smaller ways to take steps towards recovery. Counseling services or therapy can be a helpful start. It’s a safe place where you’ll be heard, understood, and encouraged. You can begin learning what you need specifically to make recovery work.

You’re ready to talk.

Everyone does some form of self-talk every day. You may encourage yourself or scold yourself for choices you’ve made. The negative self-talk, though, can even be self-destructive. There’s an advantage of sharing those thoughts in counseling. You can be honest and straightforward about how your substance use. You’re in a non-judgmental place where the focus is on helping you problem-solve in healthy ways. Being open to talking about your needs is a big first step.

You need support, but not sure how much.

When you’re in counseling, you’re going to have a lot of questions. In fact, the questions you ask are valuable. They allow a counselor to understand where you’re coming from and what’s important to you. You may be not aware of how much support you need to start and stay in recovery. This is a helpful way to find out what the road ahead might look like for you. It’s also a way to get an introduction to all the kinds of recovery support available.

Mild Versus Full-blown Addiction and Mental Illness Treatment

The level of severity for people in counseling varies. It’s based on the number of symptoms present. Those symptoms include the amount of a substance consumed, social or interpersonal problems, and cravings. A mild SUD has the fewest symptoms, and a severe SUD has the most. The proper diagnosis of a substance use disorder must be a comprehensive look at a person’s drug or alcohol use and any relevant factors in their life. Mental health is one of those factors. Undiagnosed depression, anxiety, or trauma can contribute to SUDs or relapse. These are more extensive situations where counseling can be a strong first step in treating both the substance use and the co-occurring mental health concern.

You’re not ready for inpatient commitment.

You and your family may recognize the need for inpatient treatment. It might be from relapsing, legal issues connected to drug use, or health conditions. People who accept their need for recovery can still face barriers to starting treatment. It could come from a sense of stigma of going to rehab or a belief they can quit drinking on their own. The barrier could be financial if they thought they couldn’t pay for it or health insurance wouldn’t cover it. Regular counseling is a highly accessible way to get started on recovery when you’re not ready for an inpatient option. You can maintain the same routines at home, work, and school and integrate therapy sessions into your week. Also, you have the ability to practice what you learn in therapy in between sessions, in familiar places.

What can I expect from therapy for addiction?

For in-person counseling, you can expect routine drug screenings as part of the program. Individual therapy sessions are a fundamental part of therapy for addiction, and group therapy provides peer support. Family sessions are encouraged. Your loved ones will be welcomed to participate at numerous times during the process. As they learn how to support your recovery needs in healthy ways, they will also learn how practicing their own self-care is equally important. A recovery coach provides extra support for you, and accountability groups help you stay focused on your recovery goals.


Origins Recovery & 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: 866-671-4124.

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