Why Therapy is Important to RecoveryDylan Romero
Beginning in the 1970s, the public understanding of addiction shifted dramatically. A massive research effort revealed that substance use disorder should be classified as a disease of the brain: one that impacts function and behavior. Rather than stigmatizing this mental illness, it became accepted that treatment should be easily accessible for those suffering from addiction.
After initial detoxification and abstention from the substance in question, the studies showed that therapy was highly effective in addiction treatment. In the decades since, we’ve learned that fully addressing the reasons behind substance use is a requirement for lasting recovery. By participating in therapy, you can fully understand your addiction and prevent it from taking hold of you ever again.
The Importance of Individual and Group Therapy in Rehab
When you enter rehab, you may be surprised by the amount of counseling you’ll receive. Each day of treatment is well-planned, ensuring that every second has a purpose. A large portion of your time will be spent in therapy. Individual sessions can take a variety of forms, and they are incredibly integral to your recovery process.
At this stage, you will begin to untangle the history of your addiction. What pushed you to use in the first place? What kept you in the cycle of drug and alcohol misuse? Which “friends” will you need to reevaluate now that you are prioritizing your sobriety? What role has your family or environment played in your addiction? All of these questions will be posed in a way that serves and reinforces your recovery. By developing an in-depth understanding of your substance use – and the factors surrounding it – you gain power over your addiction. This enables you to look out for potential triggers and process any traumatic events in your past, ensuring that you sustain your sobriety in the future.
Rehab is also home to group therapy sessions. These conversations serve another purpose entirely: they allow you to share your story with several people who can relate directly. This is a completely different experience to therapy with a medical professional. By opening up about your history to the group, you’ll hear others say, “That happened to me, too.” You can talk freely about the frustrations and difficulties you’re facing in early recovery. When this exchange takes place in a collaborative environment, you all learn new coping mechanisms and are able to validate one another’s experiences. The benefits of group and individual therapy are truly second to none.
Types of Therapy for Addiction Recovery
There are a variety of therapeutic models available for the treatment of drug and alcohol misuse. Ultimately, the method chosen is reliant on your specific needs – specifically, what you respond to the best given your history and personality.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
CBT is the most popular form of therapy in treatment centers nationwide. Its purpose is to focus on maladaptive thought patterns – why you develop them, how to stop their cycle, and how they affect your actions.
By working with a cognitive behavioral therapist, you’ll identify critical behaviors that should be changed to ensure better functioning and overall mental health. The therapist will combat your negative beliefs and destructive impulses, allowing you to frame things more positively moving forward. This can be extremely helpful throughout the process of removing drugs and alcohol from your life.
Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)
DBT is a type of cognitive behavioral therapy that focuses on a wider array of therapeutic skills: mindfulness, emotional regulation, interpersonal effectiveness, and distress tolerance, to name a few. Mindfulness in particular is important to recovery because it teaches you to acknowledge your feelings without letting them dictate your response to stressful events.
Many people initially turn to drugs and alcohol in an attempt to regulate their inner lives; they want to numb their feelings without having to process them. By participating in DBT, you’ll learn to manage intense emotions in a healthy way. You’ll also develop coping mechanisms, creating a bank of functional responses to stress, anxiety, and obstacles in your day-to-day life.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
EMDR is one of the cutting-edge therapeutic models utilized by Concise Recovery. Created in the 1980s, this type of therapy has become extremely popular in the treatment of trauma, which is a key component of almost every addict’s life.
After experiencing a traumatic event, you become highly reactive to thoughts associated with that incident. EMDR was developed in response to research indicating a relationship between involuntary eye movements and the recollection of trauma. This technique targets your eye movements to dramatically reduce anxiety, which enables you to fully process the event in question and move on.
CBT, DBT, and EMDR for Addiction Treatment
Addiction recovery is a process, one that should be highly tailored to your individual needs. One of the cornerstones of sustained sobriety is deep inner work that can only be achieved through therapy. If you are interested in CBT, DBT, or EMDR for addiction treatment, we encourage you to reach out to Concise Recovery today.