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Why is Individual Therapy in Addiction Recovery So Important?

by | Last updated Oct 16, 2020 at 3:54PM | Published on Oct 16, 2020 | Addiction Treatments, Individual Therapy

The Importance of Individual Therapy in Addiction Recovery

Perhaps the most powerful tool in addiction recovery is individual therapy. As we know, addiction treatment goes far beyond detox. Psychotherapy addresses the mental and emotional needs of those struggling with substance use disorders. Addiction recovery is a life-long process, and one of the most useful practices to help someone throughout treatment and well past leaving a treatment facility is therapy. Learn more about the role of individual therapy in addiction recovery and why it’s so important.

The Importance of Individual Therapy in Addiction Recovery

Some treatment facilities don’t incorporate individual counseling in addiction recovery, especially short-term programs. In most cases, cognitive-behavioral therapy is the go-to method for individual settings. With this form of treatment, patients can learn to recognize moods, triggers, and other scenarios that might intensify their drugs or alcohol cravings. It can also help them identify social situations that could lead to relapse after leaving treatment.

Having a one-on-one setting can help the patient and therapist be more open and vulnerable to speak the truth. This level of attention allows the therapist to drill-down the root cause of addiction. Additionally, individual sessions with a therapist can address specific issues or feelings that a client may not be comfortable sharing in a group setting, like sexual assault, for example. 

According to SAMHSA’s research on therapy relationships, the importance of a positive relationship between a person going through addiction rehabilitation and his therapist is paramount.

Benefits of Individual Therapy

Individualized therapy has many benefits when compared to other forms of treatment or even support group settings. By working together, both patient and therapist can draft a comprehensive recovery plan and develop a connection that promotes healing. Here are some of the most specific benefits of individual therapy include:

  • Patients gain access to one-on-one attention that helps them build the necessary tools to manage emotional stressors that can lead to relapse.
  • Psychotherapy is can help treat various mental health disorders, such as depression, anxiety, and PTSD. This is incredibly helpful for those with a dual diagnosis or co-occurring conditions.
  • Therapy reinforces healthy behaviors and substance use avoidance while providing a safe and nurturing environment to heal.
  • It’s one of the most effective ways to identify core influences, past traumas, and other root causes that might play a role in addiction.

Individual vs. Group Therapy

This is not to say that group therapy isn’t sufficient. Group therapy can provide a unique level of peer support that allows patients to feel more connected, reduces loneliness, and promotes self-confidence. However, individual therapy allows for a customization level that’s impossible to achieve in a group setting.

For example, it’s common for group therapy sessions to often tap into subjects that not everyone can relate to. On the contrary, someone might want to express their challenges with a specific topic that doesn’t apply in group settings. 

In the end, a well-rounded addiction recovery process, however, should incorporate both group and individual therapies. While it’s essential for a person going through addiction recovery to participate in group therapy to develop positive relationships, practice social skills, and learn from peers, it’s also essential for him to receive individual treatment.

What to Expect from Individual Therapy

Beyond individualized treatment, it’s key to provide individual and one-on-one therapy opportunities while in recovery. Individual therapy is one of the most commonly used in addiction treatment plans. It offers a unique set of benefits that cannot be compared to the group therapy setting. 

There are various therapies used in most addiction treatment programs. While patients are often exposed to several types of therapies throughout their treatment, this is a highly personalized area. 

Some people might respond well to cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and the evidence-based approach commonly used to treat substance abuse. However, others might excel in group meetings setups. In some cases, people prefer a more holistic and spiritual approach to therapy. No matter what type of treatment someone responds to, it’s paramount to offer a tailor-made approach to help them progress in their recovery journey. 

When people engage in individual therapy, they are more likely to notice their therapist’s strong support. Support from family members and friends is vital for long-term recovery. But, feeling that you have the support from your therapist gives you hope and a sense of accountability to help you achieve recovery goals. 

Individual therapy doesn’t end with treatment. Many recovering addicts continue to work solely with a therapist after completing treatment. Having access to this level of support during aftercare recovery is highly beneficial and recommended. Patients can choose to find new therapists or explore the possibility of continuing to work with their addiction recovery therapist. 

Learning More About Addiction Recovery 

The reality is what works for one person may not work for another. Drug treatment centers should also recognize and honor the differences, experiences, and unique life stories that each patient brings to the table. At Lighthouse Recovery Institute, one of the core values of our philosophy is treating each patient individually. Thus, allowing us to address specific needs and help our patients reach their goals.

If you or someone you know is struggling with substance use disorders, don’t settle for cookie-cutter solutions. You know that your needs, desires, and goals are as unique as you are. We believe in offering comprehensive and personalized treatment options that continue to evolve as you progress through treatment. The journey to drug addiction recovery might be a long and tricky one, but our entire team will be here supporting you every step of the way.

Geraldine Orentas

Geraldine Orentas

Geraldine is Lighthouse Recovery Institute’s Digital Marketing Manager. She has a Bachelor’s in Journalism and experience in the digital media industry. Geraldine’s writing allows her to share valuable information about mental health, wellness, and drug addiction facts, hoping to shed light on the importance of therapy and ending the stigma.
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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