Talk therapy (also known as psychotherapy) can give patients a better understanding of themselves and their goals as well as a new perspective on a difficult situation. Through this kind of therapy, patients develop new skills to improve their relationship with themselves and others in their lives.
Many addiction treatment facilities rely strictly on talk therapy (or psychotherapy) to help patients achieve sobriety. Examples of psychotherapy include cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), behavioral therapy, interpersonal therapy, family therapy, and group therapy. Psychotherapy gives patients both a built-in support system and the benefit of being able to talk to someone going through a similar experience with addiction. It is important to note that everyone is different and has unique situations. While these therapeutic methods may work for some people, they may not work for others.
What is Reality Based Therapy for Substance Abuse?
Reality therapy is a form of cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy that focuses on living in the present and facing one’s reality. In other words, reality therapy is a therapeutic approach that focuses on problem-solving and making better choices to achieve specific goals.
Upon believing that people experience psychological problems in life due to not being able to fulfill basic needs, American Psychiatrist William Glasser developed this reality-based therapy approach in the 1960s, so that people could find the necessary resources to meet the needs and goals of survival.
However, he also had the notion that psychological problems develop as a result of denial, which refers to people trying to avoid consequences from their behavior. This issue is what reality-based therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy aim to fix.
The major theme seen throughout reality-based therapy is achieving responsibility and meeting needs through awareness. Glasser believed that by participating in reality-based therapy, individuals will become responsible for their own behavior and growth. In return, they will develop a “success” identity rather than a “failure” one.
When our substance abuse patients at Crest View begin their reality based therapy, our therapists start the process by examining their behaviors and what makes them act the way they do. Specialists work to guide an individual’s attention away from their past behaviors and shift focus to what is important: the present. Reality therapists do not solely focus on a patient’s symptoms, but on the person as a whole. William Glasser believed that symptoms manifest as a person’s disconnection from others.
Our goal is to help our clients identify their specific areas of concern and focus on the effect their behavior has on that area in life. We help those in reality therapy focus on what they can change, by understanding one’s own needs and desires and developing a plan to meet those needs while refraining from criticizing or blaming others. Reform and change are what helps strengthen connections with others, which is the true goal here.
Reality Based Therapy Model
The reality-based therapy model is based on William Glasser’s three R’s system. These aspects include Responsibility, Right and wrong, and Reality. Our number one necessity in life is to be loved, to feel that we belong, and that all other basic needs mentioned above can be satisfied only by building strong connections with others. These five basic needs include:
- Survival: The comfort of knowing your basic needs are met, such as a shelter, food, water, etc.
- Power: Having your own self-worth and achievement
- Love and a sense of belonging: Being part of a social circle, a family, or a community of loved ones.
- Fun: Having a sense of satisfaction or pleasure in the things you have or do.
- Freedom and independence: Having the right to speak, act, and do freely without restraint.
How it Works
Each individual’s world is made up of relationships, experiences, ideas, and beliefs that all affect the way we act— our behavior. The focus is on improving present relationships through personal change and disregarding past relationships. Psychiatrist Glasser outlined eight steps addiction specialists follow in reality therapy process:
- Build good relationships
- Examine behaviors
- Evaluate behaviors as positive or negative
- Brainstorm alternative options
- Commit to trying the chosen alternative options
- Examine the effectiveness of the commitment
- Accept the consequences of the behavior
- Don’t become discouraged
Maybe you don’t know how to cook, or you’ve never experienced something really fun before. You’re not alone. People in early recovery often lack basic, everyday life skills. The goal of our supervised reality therapy program is to help you develop basic skills to navigate life. Along with reality therapy, we also offer:
Along with these basic life skills, our staff of highly qualified addiction specialists will teach you how to enjoy your sobriety without resorting back to using. The teach the necessary coping skills to live a successful and healthy lifestyle.
Why Some Rehabilitation Facilities Fail
While talking therapy approaches as part of the treatment plan may help people become sober, it does not always help them maintain sobriety. Finding and choosing the right facility is crucial, as it affects the success rate of a patient’s recovery.
When one or more of these needs in this reality-based therapy model goes unfulfilled, and problems occur. Reality therapy is also based on choice theory, which is very similar in its principles. Choice therapy states that humans choose to behave in certain ways, and that these behaviors can affect one’s ability to satisfy those five essential needs, positively or negatively. By using these therapies, this approach will hopefully help control certain behaviors. In return, they will help you achieve your goals, like becoming sober.
Rehabilitation facilities who specialize in treating a mind-altering disease such as addiction are thought of as the experts who are responsible for a patient’s continuum of care both before and after treatment. Therefore, they should provide helpful resources along with the right form of treatment. Other treatment centers do not accurately assess their patients by not offering them the right form of treatment or releasing them too early. As a result, patients can become more likely to relapse once they are released.
Crest View Recovery Center is different, as we believe in treating every patient thoroughly, by understanding their needs, and administering the highest quality treatment to help them recover. Unlike other treatment centers, we utilize the reality-based therapy model as one of our most successful forms of treatment. This approach most effectively helps a person mentally and physically and prepared them for sustainable, life-long sobriety.
Reality Based Therapy in Asheville, NC
Our substance abuse treatment programs have helped men and women of all ages achieve lasting sobriety. Whether you struggle with alcohol addiction or drug addiction, CVRC’s reality based therapy in Asheville, NC can help you live a substance-free future.
Some medical experts believe that a lockdown residential treatment facility gives people the best chance at recovery. The problem with many of these programs is that individuals may struggle with being able to follow such a rigid structure, where everything is planned out for you. When a program feels too institutionalized, it can make people feel like they’re trapped. This is where the importance of reality-based therapy comes into play.
After attending clinical treatment during the day and 12-step programs in the evening, clients retire to gender-specific housing facilities. This setting replicates a real-life living situation with roommates also struggling with addiction. While living in these spacious accommodations, our staff will be there to not only monitor progress but also to teach clients independent life and coping skills.
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