Beyond the Physical
Addiction has two different parts: physical and mental.
When you stop taking drugs or drinking alcohol, your body does a lot of work healing from the physical aspects of addiction. Your body undergoes a detox process, your dopamine receptors repair themselves, and your Central Nervous System eventually starts working at a normal pace. While your body is taking care of much of the physical processes, you’ll have to take care of the mental aspects so that you can heal psychologically as well as physically. It’s highly important that you don’t ignore the mental side of your healing process. Often, it’s the psychological addiction, not the physical addiction, that causes people to relapse. Addiction counseling is one of the core ways for your mind to heal from addiction.
Types of Therapy
If you go to counseling, your therapist might use any of the following therapy types:
- Talk therapy
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
- Contingency Management
- Group Therapy
Talk therapy is more or less exactly what it sounds like. During talk therapy, you’ll talk to your therapist about your addiction, and your therapist will ask you questions that will help you reach insights about your drug or alcohol abuse. Together, you and your therapist will learn more about the roots of your addiction. Often, addiction shows up as the result of trauma or underlying mental health issues. Talk therapy helps people work through these issues so that they can reach a healthy mindset.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a more practical approach to therapy, and a lot of experts recommend this type for people dealing with addiction. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy involves a counselor teaching a patient how to recognize his or her harmful thoughts and feelings. In the case of drug addiction, the therapist can help the patient recognize the patterns that lead to drug use. From there, patients learn how to deal with those thoughts and feelings in healthy ways rather than destructive ways.
Contingency Management is a rewards-based form of therapy that gives patients vouchers, cash, or gift cards in exchange for the patient staying sober. In rehab, therapists may use certain privileges as rewards for sobriety.
Group Therapy is a highly-recommended method of addiction counseling. During group therapy, participants receive support from their peers while a therapist leads the discussion. Group therapy comes with many benefits. The biggest benefit, perhaps, is the fact that participants get to understand that they don’t have to suffer alone. They can see other people in similar situations succeed and maintain sobriety.
Some therapists employ a combination of the methods listed above, tailoring the therapy experience to fit the needs of participants.
30 million people sought psychotherapy in 2004.
Your family may also want to participate in therapy, either as a group with you or as individuals. Family members often need to unlearn enabling patterns and other destructive issues when a loved one has an addiction. Family therapy as a group can provide many of the same benefits as regular group therapy, and a therapist can help families work through some of the conflict that can happen as a result of addiction.
Therapy as Maintenance
Weekly or bi-weekly therapy provides an effective tool for people who have stopped using drugs and want to maintain their sobriety. Therapy as maintenance is a good idea even for those who have been clean and sober for years. Far too many people see detox and rehab as addiction “cures,” when in reality, addiction should be treated in the same way society treats diabetes – as a lifelong chronic illness. Just like a diabetic person can manage his or her illness through medication, an addicted person can manage his or her own illness through regular therapy and other resources.
Find the Right Treatment
If you’re looking for therapy, rehab, or just more information, Rehab Info is here and ready to help you. At Rehab Info, our caring staff can guide you in the process of finding the right addiction treatment.