The most important part of treatment after assessment and detox is the element of therapy. Most facilities have various forms and combinations of addiction counseling or psychotherapy to treat the multitude of illnesses that accompany the addiction package. Psychotherapy is counseling based on techniques designed to improve mental health through communication. Supportive, coping, solution, cognitive-behavioral, and relapse prevention therapy deal directly with the key elements involved in addictive behavior. The biological, cognitive, emotional, and behavioral aspects need to be addressed for recovery to be successful.
Supportive therapy was designed to be typically used in individual counseling sessions. The therapist tries to establish a positive relationship with the addict through sympathetic dialogue in hopes that the addict will begin to feel comfortable enough to open up and express elements of honesty. This type of counseling is not used as a means of discovering the root of the problem. It deals directly with the issue by gaining the trust of the individual.
Coping and solution therapy can be in either individual or group format, and teaches the “students” how to deal with issues in healthy and positive ways. It focuses on memories of non-use as the key already in place to deal soberly with any given situation. Addicts begin to heal emotionally; eradicating negative thoughts, doubts, low-self esteems, and by developing social skills.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy is based on the belief that our actions reflect our thoughts, and by changing the way we think we can improve our overall health. This type of addiction counseling can also be in either individual or group format. The goal is to discover what the “student” wants out of life; who they want to be; and helps to establish the thinking that could make that happen.
There are a number of alternative rehabilitation centers that deal with addiction in a holistic manner. They do not use any form of medication during treatment, being adverse to the idea of substituting one drug with another. Instead they focus upon the concept of nutrition and exercise as the most natural way to bolster the addict’s physical well being and mental health. By integrating a unique process of sauna therapy, they are able to remove all traces of chemicals from the system, allowing the addict to feel better almost immediately. Instead of using addiction counseling based on psychiatry, these particular rehabs have developed therapeutic courses where the “student” is run through a set of drills simulating instances in “real life.” There are also a number of stages of classes teaching a variety of important life skills, in preparation of dealing with the trials and tribulations of living in society.
Relapse prevention therapy is an integral part of addiction counseling, and depending on the progress of the addict can often continue after completion of the rehab program. In this part of addiction counseling, addicts are taught how to identify high risk situations and to make personal inventories of the people, places and things that might stimulate use. They are encouraged to rediscover interests in sober activities and to become involved actively in the community. The more time the addict has on their hands, the more likely they will relapse. It is very important through this whole process of addiction counseling to have the involvement of the family. It is necessary in recovery to have a support group that understands what the addict is going through and can actively help keep them from using again.