If you are looking into getting treatment for an addiction to drugs or alcohol, then you have probably noticed that it isn’t quite as simple as enrolling in a single program that a facility offers. There are many different types of addiction therapy models, and while all of these different options may seem excessive, they exist for a very good reason: so that each client can have the most effective addiction treatment experience possible.
Being able to personalize treatment plans to suit each of our client’s individual needs is how we are able to give them the best chances for staying sober after they leave treatment. Let us help clear up any confusion you may have about the types of addiction therapy models by walking you through the four most commonly utilized programs here at Pacific Sands Recovery.
Individual therapy is a form of psychotherapy that includes a one-on-one session between a therapist and a client. The goal of these sessions is to help the client work through challenges and personal issues that they may not even realize they’re experiencing.
Drug addiction impacts a person’s physical health on the surface, but a range of underlying factors can affect their mental health as well. Statistics from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) show that mental health issues affect as many as 1 in 5 adults in the United States. For those with an addiction, that number goes up to an estimated 1 in 2 people. Therapy can help teach people coping mechanisms for dealing with personal issues, emotional difficulties, and mental illnesses that are otherwise hard to face alone.
At Pacific Sands Recovery Center we offer individual therapy as part of our residential and IOP treatment plan because focused attention is highly effective in uncovering the experiences and patterns that contribute to your substance use.
Individual therapy sessions allow a therapist to focus on the person, learn about their behavior and discuss personal struggles. The therapist and client work together as a team to find the root cause of troubling emotions, feelings or situations. From there, the therapist will teach the client how to face their challenges without substance use.
How Does Individual Therapy Work?
The first therapy session focuses on getting to know one another and gathering information about the client’s history. During the first few sessions, the therapist gets a better understanding of where you’re coming from and how you got there. This will help you uncover and understand your patterns of thoughts and behaviors so that you can make the necessary adjustments. It is important to build trust with your therapist and freely discuss your history, current state of mind, and treatment goals.
Therapy involves the expression of thoughts and emotions at length without any fear of judgement. Therapists encourage people in treatment to talk about their past experiences or current concerns which can stir up intense emotions. Being open and honest is crucial so that the therapist is better able to address each issue and adjust the treatment approach. Becoming upset, angry, or sad during treatment is normal and is a positive sign of self awareness and recognition.
As the name suggests, group therapy is a form of psychotherapy conducted among a group of people. Group therapy helps reduce the feeling of loneliness that often comes with addiction. In contrast with individualized therapy, group therapy brings together five to 15 people with similar problems, like depression or addiction. Group therapy can help with understanding the nature of your problem and addressing your concerns.
Group therapy offers greater diversity and more perspectives for the many steps of recovery. The members of a group therapy session support each other and may offer suggestions on how to deal with a particular problem based on their experiences.
At our recovery center, we place a strong emphasis on group therapy and group work. We have seen this approach be effective for many who struggle with substance use by offering structure and support without judgement.
How Does Group Therapy Work?
For a group therapy session, clients come together to talk through their experiences and challenges in a clinically supervised setting. The groups regularly meet for one or two hours each week, creating trust and familiarity with the process and your fellow group members. The therapist leading the group may suggest a topic for the session or ask participants to volunteer a topic of interest. By sharing and discussing with each other, people feel heard and valued.
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) targets the thought patterns that shape actions as a result of stress, trauma, depression, or anxiety. Though it is normal for thoughts to sometimes focus on the potential negatives of a given situation, it is the feelings of distress and the detrimental thought patterns that are targeted by CBT.
At Pacific Sands Recovery Center, we know that addiction and the negative thoughts that accompany substance use are hard cycles to break. Our treatment team is well-practiced in CBT, as it has proven to be helpful for many clients looking to live sober and productive lives.
Cognitive behavioral therapy addresses the thoughts, feelings, and actions that influence a person’s negative reactions to certain triggering events. This results in a holistic approach that is especially effective for clients who are dealing with addiction and substance use. In CBT, the therapist works one-on-one with a client to identify the negative thinking patterns that are leading to feelings of distress, and creates ways to replace those negative thoughts with positive ones.
The process occurs in four steps: identifying, teaching, reinforcing, and practicing. CBT helps patients overcome drug addiction and alcoholism by:
- Helping to dismiss false beliefs and insecurities that lead to substance abuse.
- Providing self-help tools to improve thoughts and moods.
- Teaching effective communication skills.
- Modeling and practicing using these skills.
At Pacific Sands Recovery, we help clients put these practices in action by encouraging journaling, goal setting, and regular quiet time for reflection.
Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is a type of psychotherapy that is also known as talk therapy. DBT is used with clients who are more likely to react in intense and out-of-the-ordinary ways in response to emotional triggers. DBT is used for clients whose arousal levels in emotionally stressful situations increase rapidly and take longer than average to return to a normal state.
DBT is one of the many therapies we include in a client’s treatment plan because it has proven to be effective for many clients with dual diagnosis and targets many of the symptoms of substance use.
- Skills Training
Skills training teaches communication and coping skills. The techniques can be applied by clients in their daily routines and interactions, and are helpful for those looking to break the cycle of addiction and substance use.
- Individual Therapy
Individual therapy helps people that are recovering addicts learn to apply techniques learned during skills training classes in real-life situations. Therapy sessions specifically cater to the client’s unique needs.
- Phone Coaching
Recovering addicts are often faced with difficult situations as they transition into sober living. Phone coaching allows clients to call therapists and talk through challenges as they arise, rather than having to wait for their next in-person therapy session. The therapist will coach the client through emotional regulation and distress tolerance to teach them how to cope with stress in a healthy manner.
- Team Consultation
Team consultation creates a treatment team to empower and support healthcare professionals as they create a balanced therapeutic approach for a client. By diversifying the treatment team, clients get a more balanced approach.
DBT helps clients learn how to manage their emotional distress. It provides individuals with powerful techniques that focus on mindfulness, distress tolerance, and the ability to navigate relationships.
Mindfulness means embracing emotions rather than attempting to change them. This even extends to pain tolerance and encourages clients to try and understand the pain instead of running from it. This can be practiced with meditation, breathworks and other groups we offer at our center.
Distress tolerance teaches clients how to recognize and catalog their feelings even when they are overwhelming. When people learn to ride the wave of their emotions, they learn to sit with that feeling and understand it better.
To assist with difficult relationships, Dialectical behavior therapy teaches clients interpersonal skills to make interactions with others smoother. In learning healthy and constructive ways to stand up for yourself, recognize the value in others, and create healthy boundaries, clients who receive DBT are equipped with the skills needed to establish positive relationships