Woman Therapist Leading a Psychotherapy for substance abuse sessionWhat is Psychotherapy?

Psychotherapy is a method professionals often use in order to help people who suffer from mental illness or emotional disturbances. Another term for psychotherapy is talk therapy. This form of therapy helps individuals to manage the effects of mental illness and addiction. Psychotherapy approach can also help people to work through any emotional challenges they may be experiencing.

Unfortunately, many individuals suffer from the effects of traumatic events, stress, grief, depression, anxiety, and many other challenges. But, thankfully, there are many resources and therapy approaches that can help people to work through these issues. 

Talk therapy is one of the therapeutic approaches that can help people to process and manage their emotions. By talking through their difficulties with professional therapists, individuals can begin healing from these problems.

Why Is Psychotherapy Helpful in Rehab?

For the past 40 years, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has outlined principles for treating addiction. Those principles form the foundation for the most effective addiction treatment programs. Using these principles, the goal is to help individuals end their drug or alcohol use. Addiction treatment should also help people to lower their risk of relapse and rebuild their lives.

These guiding principles include the following truths:

  • Addiction can be effectively treated.
  • Treatment is based on the individual, not their substance of choice.
  • Even involuntary treatment can be successful.
  • Some clients can benefit from medication.
  • Psychotherapy for substance abuse is the best tool for treating addiction.

Various therapies fall under the category of psychotherapy. However, NIDA stands firm in its belief that therapy won’t be successful if it’s exactly the same for all clients. Therefore, effective addiction therapy services meet the needs of the individual. When you’re looking for help to overcome addiction, you should gain as much information as possible. Find out more about what a facility offers and whether it will meet your own needs.

Types of Therapy and How Facilities Use Them

There are various types of psychotherapy. Each approach has its own helpful aspects and can assist people who are in recovery from addiction. Some examples of psychotherapy include the following:

  • Psychoanalysis 
  • Creative arts therapy
  • Animal-assisted therapy
  • Supportive therapy
  • Psychodynamic therapy
  • Supportive therapy
  • Play therapy

Other types of psychotherapy include behavioral therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavior, contingency management, and more.

Behavioral Therapy

Addiction treatment facilities commonly use behavioral therapy. This therapy focuses on identifying unhealthy behaviors in your life, then making goals for working through those unhealthy behaviors.

During drug use, the reward of a euphoric high attracts you to use. Even though you’re aware of the negative consequences, your body craves the substance. But, your addiction recovery process will help to change this. Therapy will teach you how to value your positive behaviors more than the rewards that they give you.

Contingency Management

Contingency management (CM) is another valuable tool during addiction treatment. It relies on rewarding clients after good behaviors. This helps them relearn how to build new ways of living and thinking. These new ways will be based on positive rewards not related to a “high.”

Prize incentive contingency management is an approach that uses cash prizes to reward those in rehab. Sometimes, people who are going through treatment for substance abuse have to take urine tests. These tests help to ensure that they are abstaining from drug and alcohol use. For each of the tests they pass, individuals in treatment might receive a reward through CM. 

Voucher-based reinforcement (VBR) is similar to prize incentive contingency management. But, instead of using cash prizes, VBR uses vouchers to reward people for acceptable drug test results. These vouchers might be used for movie tickets, food items, and more.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Also known as CBT, cognitive behavioral therapy works to help people change negative thinking patterns into positive ones. CBT helps people learn to identify and modify thought processes and behaviors that are not conducive to a healthy life.

Often, unhealthy thought processes can contribute to behaviors that are related to addiction. They may also contribute to mental health disorders, such as anxiety, stress, or depression. 

Negative and harmful cognitive behaviors can hinder people from moving forward. They can prevent people from becoming emotionally and mentally healthy. As a result, these harmful thought processes can keep individuals from becoming physically well and free from addiction.

CBT works to end the influence of negative thinking patterns in the lives of those who are recovering from addiction. By replacing unhealthy thoughts with positive ones, individuals can focus more on their recovery.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy

“DBT” is another term for this therapy approach. Dialectical behavioral therapy is a type of CBT. Like cognitive behavioral therapy, DBT helps people to identify and work through negative thought patterns. 

Dialectical behavior therapy works to help people regulate and manage their emotions. It encourages accountability and responsibility in patients’ lives. When a person takes responsibility for his or her own thoughts, the individual can become more emotionally and mentally stable. This can also help to encourage a sense of control, which is often lost through addiction.

Who Benefits From Psychotherapy?

When it comes to psychotherapy, individuals who are in recovery from substance abuse can benefit from this approach. But this therapeutic method can help others, too. Family members of those who are recovering from addiction can also benefit from psychotherapy. This type of therapy can be helpful for couples and entire family units.

Also, psychotherapy often takes place in an individual therapy setting. But, it’s also effective in a group therapy setting. Many times, people who suffered from substance abuse gain a lot by being in a setting with just a therapist. It allows people to feel free to express their emotions, without fear of being judged or misunderstood. So, in these cases, individual psychotherapy sessions may be helpful.

But, group therapy is also helpful to those who are working to end alcohol or drug abuse in their lives. By spending time with like-minded individuals, people in recovery can become more engaged in their own recovery journies. Sometimes, hearing about the experiences of others helps people to become more clear about their own lives. 

Group therapy also encourages team building and social health. Often, people who suffer from addiction withdraw from people, spending more and more time alone. This can cause people to lose touch with their ability to successfully interact with others. It even prevents people from connecting with their loved ones. But, through group therapy, these areas of life can be mended and healed.

Using Psychotherapy to Aid in Recovery From Addiction

Facilities offer therapies in different formats. Individual therapy gives people the chance to work through past trauma and current stress. Patients can do so in a one-on-one setting with a compassionate counselor or therapist.

Group therapy encourages clients to interact with each other as they build coping, daily living, and social skills. This helps to prepare people in recovery for life after treatment. It also helps to build confidence and self-respect, as well as interpersonal skills.

Whatever types of addiction therapy you receive, the goals are usually the same. Those goals include:

  • Encouraging you to be more mindful in your life
  • Helping you cope with stress or distress in healthy ways
  • Learning to interact more effectively with others
  • Helping you identify your emotional triggers and teaching you how to beat them

Psychotherapy For Substance Abuse Recovery At Crest View Recovery Center

Not only is addiction a difficult problem to solve, but it’s also hard to treat. With so many facilities that treat drug or alcohol addiction, finding the right treatment for your needs is especially difficult. It’s often challenging for people to determine the best rehab center. This is mainly because not every treatment facility offers the best care options for some people.

Everyone is different. Each individual who experiences addiction has his or her own story. The best rehab programs understand these truths and take them into account. But, many individuals refrain from getting help for fear that the rehab center they choose won’t be able to help.

Psychotherapy for substance abuse is a hallmark of the most effective substance abuse treatment programs. That’s why we offer it here at Crest View Recovery Center.

Located in a serene mountain environment in Asheville, Crest View Recovery Center blends effective psychotherapy approaches with a treatment experience grounded in reality-based therapy. Our rehab treatment program offers an inpatient feel without the constraints of a residential treatment program experience. We feel this gives clients the best chance to experience lasting recovery.

Getting Treatment at Crest View

We treat a number of addictions, including:

If you or someone you love is ready to end drug or alcohol addiction, there’s no time like the present. You can get help today and begin your journey to recovery or help a loved one to do so. We are here to help your family heal from the pain of substance abuse. 

To learn more about our treatment programs and how we can help you and your loved ones, contact our team today. Just call Crest View Recovery Center now at (866) 327-2505. Let us help to make the road to recovery comfortable and accessible for you!

References:

https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/psychotherapy 

https://www.apa.org/helpcenter/understanding-psychotherapy 

https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/principles-drug-addiction-treatment-research-based-guide-third-edition/principles-effective-treatment 

https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/principles-drug-addiction-treatment/evidence-based-approaches-to-drug-addiction-treatment/behavioral-therapies 

Article Reviewed by Patrice Wishon, LCSW, LCAS, CCS

Patrice Wishon, LCSW, LCAS, CCSPatrice has over 30 years experience working in social work and mental health/substance abuse counseling. She received her Master’s degree from UNC-Chapel Hill and has worked in a variety of settings, including community-based outpatient, hospital and classroom settings. Patrice specializes in substance abuse treatment, trauma and women’s issues.