If you or someone near you is struggling with addiction, you’ve probably heard that the best treatment is therapy. But how can therapy help with addiction? Is there just one form of therapy for substance abuse?
Types of Therapy for Addiction
At any drug and alcohol rehab center, you will find various forms of therapy. Most are divided into two categories:
- Psychotherapy (talk therapy)
- Experiential therapy (holistic therapy)
Psychotherapy can be individual sessions or group sessions. This can include generic talk therapy with a psychiatrist, cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy, or other forms.
With psychotherapy, your sessions are focused on talking, thinking, reflecting, and talking more.
Experiential therapy refers to anything other than a traditional talk therapy session. It can also be in an individual or group format. Experiential therapies can include yoga, meditation, motivational interviewing, mindfulness, art therapy, music therapy, equine therapy, or wilderness therapy.
With experiential therapy, your sessions are focused on thinking, reflecting, but also acting.
How Can Therapy Help with Addiction? Time for Reflection
Therapy for substance abuse can give you a chance to reflect. This reflection provides chances for clients to think about the following:
- Their upbringing
- Their family relationships
- Their behavioral patterns
- Their emotional control
All of this information can be used to better understand what contributed to addiction in the first place or where substantial changes can be made to avoid addiction in the future.
This can also be a chance to address family issues that have contributed. Family therapy is another form of psychotherapy that can involve those closest to you. During family therapy sessions, you can learn how to improve communication with one another. Family members can gain insight into how addiction works and how they can best support you during recovery.
How Can Therapy Help with Addiction? Coping Skills
Therapy for substance abuse gives you an opportunity to develop coping skills. Not all coping skills are going to be effective for every situation, which is why many clients benefit from personalized care at a high-end drug or alcohol rehab center. Personalized care ensures that the individual and group therapists you work with encourage the coping skills that best meet your needs.
Clients dealing with substance abuse and co-occurring mental health disorders might need multiple coping skills for tackling substance abuse cravings and symptoms of depression or anxiety.
Psychotherapy and experiential addiction therapies can offer different coping skills:
- Trigger identification
- Breathing techniques
- Stress management
- Craving control
- Replacing negative emotions with positive ones
Addiction Therapy and Practice
When you transition into an outpatient drug or alcohol rehab program, therapy for addiction teaches many skills that can be practiced in real-time. With ongoing therapy, you have the opportunity to practice the skills you’ve learned with your family and friends, then reflect on their effectiveness.
If you are still participating in individual therapy, you can talk to your therapist every week about the progress you’ve made and what goals you have achieved. If you are in a group setting, you can share any strengths or setbacks you experienced when you returned home with other people.
Therapy for Addiction Encourages Community
How can therapy help with addiction when you participate in group therapy? Addiction comes with a high risk of loneliness. It’s quite common for people dealing with substance abuse issues to feel isolated, like they don’t have any support structure, and have no social bonds or people who understand what they’re going through.
Group therapy for substance abuse allows one to reflect and discuss coping skills and the effectiveness of those skills in real practice. It also creates bonds with other people who are going through similar struggles. These bonds can open you up to a network of support long after you leave a drug or alcohol rehab program.
Therapy Can Provide Sober Activities
How can therapy help with addiction long term? Not only does it give you a chance to look back and reflect, but it prepares you to move forward. Many experiential therapies provide you with sober activities that teach you skills, encourage community, and can be practiced throughout your recovery.
Developing a love of hiking or meditation means you have sober activities you can do when you leave your treatment center. Participating in yoga or exercise classes while in drug or alcohol rehab means you can more easily jump into a community yoga class when you are feeling stressed.
Therapy gives you many chances to reflect, prepare yourself to live a happier and healthier life, and get to know who you are as a person and why you matter.
If you are ready to start therapy for addiction, reach out to Centric Group, and we can help you find a treatment center near you.