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Types of Therapy in Addiction Treatment

by | Published on May 3, 2018 | Addiction Treatments

Types of Therapy in Addiction Treatment

There are many different types of therapy offered for patients in drug and alcohol addiction treatment programs. For most people suffering from addiction, therapy is a necessary part of achieving freedom from substances and attaining mental and physical recovery.

In therapy, many different techniques help a patient address underlying issues that are masked by destructive and or unhealthy behaviors. It’s important to realize that what works for one person may not work for another.

Based on skills, strengths, and different learning styles, there is a vast array of therapeutic methods that tailor to everyone’s needs. Some people express themselves more effectively through an artistic approach, such as journaling, making collages, or working in art projects. Others are better at dealing with conflict issues one-on-one, while some flourish in support groups settings.

Types of Therapy for Patients in Drug Addiction Treatment

For patients dealing with addiction or mental health struggles, limited insight, and coping skills can be a barrier to progress. In these cases, several therapeutic methods may be applied to offer a comprehensive form of care. Modern therapeutic techniques incorporated as the main component of treatment during a rehab program offer the support that struggling patients need to heal.

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

One of the most widely-used types of therapy in treatment for substance abuse is cognitive-behavioral therapy. This method, known commonly as CBT, is also called “the common-sense approach” by many clinicians. This method focuses on our thoughts and feelings, beliefs, and attitudes.

In many CBT groups and individual therapy sessions, therapists help patients to identify negative thoughts or cognitive distortions that fuel unhealthy behaviors and distressing emotions. CBT can also help teach effective coping strategies for coping with feelings.

During CBT, most facilitators will engage in a “triangle activity” to help identify specific thoughts, which trigger a response. The main idea is to help find a solution to change maladaptive behaviors by challenging negative thoughts and beliefs.

Once the patient can identify the underlying thought process and gain some insight into why they act in a certain way, the client can understand that they have control over their actions. This allows for the patient in rehab to create new forms of self-talk and to respond differently to their beliefs and feelings. It’s said that CBT is a highly person-centered therapy style because of the one-on-one interactions with the therapist.

Motivational Interviewing

Another commonly-used therapeutic method in substance abuse treatment is motivational interviewing. This technique is most effective when working with clients who may be resistant to the treatment process or hesitant to change their behaviors.  Motivational interviewing is a form of therapy that focuses on identifying a client’s skills and values to help them develop self-esteem and internal drive.

Rather than “fixing” the problem, motivational interviewing uses open-ended questions to help the client identify their beliefs, skills, motivations, and feelings. This helps them focus on the most effective way of achieving their goals. This intervention works well with clients who struggle with codependency, poor decision-making and limiting beliefs about themselves.

Helping clients learn to say “no” is an essential goal in some forms of therapy. Especially for clients who struggle with impulse control or unhealthy relationships.

To set boundaries and resisting urges, a client must learn to implement proper impulse control to delay instant gratification. Many forms of therapy, including CBT, motivational interviewing, family therapy, and relationship therapy, can assist clients in achieving this goal.

When approached with several techniques, clients can learn to say “no” by identifying unhealthy thought patterns that lead to self-destructive behaviors.

Solution-Focused Therapy

Solution-focused therapy in drug rehab is another modality that’s effective in treating substance abuse issues.  This technique helps patients to identify their strengths about a problem they are experiencing by focusing on real-world, achievable steps they can take to manage a case.

This method is one of the most popular types of therapy. It can help build self-esteem because it encourages clients to use their strengths to solve problems. This allows a patient to see their potential and offers them the freedom to make choices by trusting in their abilities.

Other forms of therapy encourage clients to take healthy risks by becoming vulnerable and open with their treatment team. The narrative treatment takes the form of a conversation. A patient tells their story and “re-writes it” by focusing on how they have overcome adversity in the past.

This process enhances a person’s drive for success and can help free someone from their enmeshment with the past. It may take multiple attempts with different therapeutic methods to find the one that works best for an individual patient. Being able to identify the strategies that work for the individual and creating a sense of trust and safety in the session is vital in any treatment process.

A common barrier to treatment is patient resistance, but this trying multiple approaches and remaining flexible can help overcome it.

Getting Help

Tailoring a treatment plan to a patient’s strengths offers the best chance at success. We begin each person’s journey creating a treatment plan that will meet their needs and help them reach their goals. Building a connection between a client and a therapist can be challenging, but the payoffs are well worth the work. That’s the importance of choosing a treatment facility that offers comprehensive therapies that promote healing.

No matter what you’ve been through or what type of substance use disorder you struggle with, recovery is possible. Lighthouse Recovery Institute offers several approaches and all different kinds of therapies to address the real, underlying causes of the conditions. Look no further for help than right here. We are ready to be with you every step of the way toward recovery.

Lighthouse Editorial Team

Lighthouse Editorial Team

Our editorial team includes content experts that contribute to Lighthouse Recovery Institute’s blog. Editors and medical experts review our blogs for accuracy and relevance. We consistently monitor the latest research from SAMHSA and NIDA to provide you with the most comprehensive addiction-related content.
Medical Disclaimer:

Lighthouse Recovery Institute aims to improve the quality of life for anyone struggling with substance use or mental health disorder. We provide fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options, and their outcomes. The material we publish is researched, cited, edited, and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide in our posts is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. It should never be used in place of the advice of your physician or another qualified healthcare provider.

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