Therapy In Addiction Recovery

rehabs-shutter inpatient-counselingTreating addiction involves much more than simply not using substances. Rehabilitation (rehab) programs provide addiction therapy in both individual and group formats, and utilize a variety of therapeutic techniques. Many of these techniques involve cognitive and behavioral components aimed at reducing undesired behaviors and promoting positive, healthy, and sober behaviors. Addiction rehab therapy can be provided in an inpatient or outpatient treatment setting.

Addiction Rehab: Inpatient Facilities vs. Outpatient Clinics

Inpatient facilities allow patients to live on site and have access to 24-hour care. Therapists work with patients individually, as well as in groups, to determine the psychological reasons behind their addictions. Treatment also involves learning how to prevent relapse by identifying high-risk situations and practicing coping techniques to maintain sobriety.

Outpatient clinics allow patients to meet therapists during scheduled appointments, as well as attend a certain number of group sessions on a weekly basis. This kind of program allows patients to come and go so they can maintain a somewhat normal day-to-day life while receiving treatment.

If you or someone you love is struggling with relatively severe drug or alcohol addictions, you may benefit from the therapeutic interventions and immersive environment of an inpatient drug rehab center. Inpatient drug rehab centers can provide the intensive therapy and tools needed to defeat addiction and get back on the path to a healthy, happy and productive life.

Getting help for addiction is one of the most important choices you can make for yourself or someone you love. The decision to seek treatment is hard and should not be made lightly. Ultimately, the decision to receive treatment on an inpatient or outpatient basis will be made after considering a number of personal needs and preferences and, ultimately, based on the recommendations of an addiction treatment professional. Knowing what these factors are and how they impact your treatment can help you make the right choice about where to go for help.

Do I Need a Residential Addiction Rehab Facility?

Outpatient clinics can be a good treatment option for those with more recent or less severe addiction and with strong support systems in place at home. On the other hand, a residential rehab facility may be the best choice if the user will likely have a hard time stopping the use of drugs or alcohol in his current environment.

A residential program may be appropriate if the addiction is severe or long-lasting, social support is weak, home life is chaotic or triggering, or chronic relapse is an issue. Inpatient or residential programs are able to more completely separate daily life and its stressors from life in rehab, which gives the individual time and space to focus solely on recovery.

Is Addiction Rehab Therapy Private and Confidential?

Every inpatient and outpatient facility keeps patient records private and confidential. Treatment facilities are required to adhere to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, a federal law also called the privacy rule. This means that a facility requires consent from each patient to release any information, except in the event of a medical emergency. Rehab facilities cannot legally disclose any information to the employer, family, or friends of a patient unless the patient has signed a consent form.

What Can Addiction Rehab Therapy Treat?

Addiction rehab therapy treats many different types of addictions. Talk therapy and behavior therapy focus on the reasons behind addiction, changing thoughts and behaviors (some of which may be unconscious), and developing the skills needed to maintain sobriety. Some of the addictions that are treated with addiction rehab therapy include:

  • Alcohol addiction.
  • Illicit drug addiction, such as heroin or cocaine addiction.
  • Prescription drug addiction.
  • Behavioral addictions (such as gambling or sex addiction).

How Long Does Inpatient Addiction Rehab Last?

Inpatient addiction rehab can last for differing amounts of time depending on the level of physical and mental dependency, the severity of the addiction, and whether any co-occurring mental or physical health issues are present. Some popular options include:

  • 28- or 30-day treatment programs.
  • 60-day treatment programs.
  • 90-day treatment programs.

Programs can be tailored to suit the individual needs of patients. Recovery progress will be continually assessed, and treatment times can be adjusted up or down to accommodate the variability. Individuals with very severe addictions, co-occurring disorders, or those who chronically relapse may benefit from longer-term residential treatment durations, such as 120-day or beyond.

Additionally as a part of a solid aftercare plan, some form of ongoing substance abuse therapy will often be continued after inpatient rehab is completed, extending well beyond treatment lengths and in some instances indefinitely.

What Happens During Addiction Rehab Therapy?

rehabs-shutter-group-counselingFirst, a patient must complete the intake process. During this time, the patient provides information, such as a physical and mental health history, substance abuse history, insurance documents, and consent forms to start treatment. Many patients begin the recovery process with a formal detoxification or detox period, during which the body clears itself of the toxic influences associated with the particular substance or substances that they have been using.


Detox is typically completed within a few days to a few weeks, depending on the substance used and the severity of the physical addiction. Detox completely eliminates the drugs or alcohol from the body. During various specific drug detoxes, withdrawal can be medically monitored, with pharmaceutical intervention, if needed for patient safety.


Upon successful completion of detox, those in treatment graduate to the substance abuse therapy portion of rehab. With no drugs or alcohol in the body, the patient can move on and meet with a treatment team, as well as with other patients in the program. Addiction therapists work with patients to address the psychological addiction to drugs or alcohol through individual therapy sessions, group therapy, 12-step programs, and other therapeutic modalities.

Therapy in groups provides a number of benefits. These can include minimizing the sense of isolation that often accompanies addiction, sharing experiences and feedback on the challenges of early sobriety, and providing peer support and motivation to remain sober. Group therapy also aims to help patients connect with one another on an emotional level, which can help build bonds that will provide support outside of treatment. Peer support is an integral part of recovery from addiction.

After rehab, patients can continue to attend outpatient therapy or private therapy to maintain their new drug-free lifestyle and to lower the chances of relapse.

Paying for Addiction Rehab Therapy

Treatment centers have different prices. These prices may depend on whether the therapy is inpatient or outpatient in nature. An outpatient facility will nearly always be less expensive than an inpatient facility. This is because inpatient facilities provide 24-hour care, food, housing, and maintain the well-being of the patients.

Many facilities accept health insurance, although what is covered can vary widely based on the plan and the facility itself. Addiction rehabs often have financing options, allowing patients to negotiate a payment plan. Some facilities provide treatment on a sliding-scale fee, based on income and resources. Addiction rehab therapy can be successfully completed in many different settings, so if one doesn't fit the budget another might.

Learning More About Addiction Rehab Therapy

Addiction rehab therapy has many important factors that you may wish to learn more about, including:

  • What an intervention is, how to complete a successful intervention, and how interventions can urge those who need help into rehab clinics.
  • Assessment and intake, how an assessment is completed, and how the intake process works at a clinic.
  • Detox, withdrawal, and medically-assisted treatment.
  • Inpatient treatment settings and how they differ from outpatient facilities.
  • Types of treatments provided and their effectiveness.

For more information about addiction rehab therapy, call us today. A rehab representative can help provide answers to any questions you may have about addiction rehab therapy and guide you to the right addiction rehab for you or a loved one who is struggling with addiction.

Addiction Rehab Therapy Methods

Treatment methods have been created to fit the needs of a variety of people. Some of these methods focus on spirituality, religion, or nonreligious needs. Some that might be offered include:

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

rehabs-shutter-support-groupCognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is one of the most effective therapies for addiction issues. It was originally used to treat depression but was later expanded used to address a wide range of mental issues. CBT focuses on enabling the clients to be aware of their thoughts and actions, as well as the consequences of both. It is postulated that feelings, thoughts, and behaviors are influenced by each other. This gives individuals the ability to change one aspect by addressing the other two. For example, you can change your behavior by examining and modifying your thoughts and feelings.

In the addiction treatment process, CBT enables the individual to look at the reasons behind their addiction and how it has affected their lives. You are encouraged to examine your thought process and look for any negativity that could the reason for your addiction. This could be negativity in terms of how you view yourself or how you view others.

CBT sessions tend to be short, with each session lasting approximately 45 minutes. The sessions are personalized to the needs of each client. CBT practitioners often spend each session discussing irrational or negative thoughts, behaviors and any stressors that contribute to addiction. Eventually, the session moves to activities that can be done to change those thoughts. The clients learn coping skills that would allow them to deal with challenges in a more positive and less stressful manner. Clients learn other interventions such as cognitive restructuring to help change negative thinking patterns, relaxation techniques, self-monitoring and assertiveness training. These techniques are used for clients long after the therapy sessions are done.

Twelve-Step Therapy

Twelve-step (12 step) therapy does not follow the traditional format of therapy where a certified therapist guides the client through a process. Instead, it is a self-help system where recovering addicts come together to support each other to achieve and maintain complete abstinence from substance abuse. Many rehab centers have incorporated the 12 step method into their treatment programmes (known as 12 step facilitation), though it remains popular in the regular meeting format employed in different venues across the world.

The 12 steps are broken down into three major concepts. The first key concept is acceptance. Members accept that they have no control over addiction, it cannot be beaten by willpower alone, and abstinence is the only option. The second concept is that of surrendering to a higher power (God), surrendering to a spiritual and moral way for life, studying past errors and making amends for them. The third concept is active involvement in the 12 step fellowship. Members are expected to attend all activities and follow each and every step of the program.

12 step is one of the most popular self-help addiction programmes, and it is considered one of the most successful as well. Part of the programme involves sponsorship, where a new or less experienced member is ‘sponsored’ by someone who is more experienced in recovery. Sponsors guide their sponsees by sharing their own experiences and attending 12 step activities together. Sponsors are also involved in the atonement process, where members examine past transgressions and atone for them.

Due to the major role spirituality plays in 12 step programmes, it is usually not attractive to those who prefer a more secular method of recovery.

Motivational Interviewing

Motivational interviewing is a technique that places all focus on motivating clients to give up any destructive behavior. Many people struggling with addictions simply do not have the motivation to give up their vices, even when they are aware of or are being affected by the negative effects of addiction. In motivational interviewing, therapists assist clients to conquer their fears and be courageous enough to change their destructive habits. There are three main reasons why addicts often lack the motivation to change their ways. These include:

  • Being unaware of the severity of the problem
  • Fear of withdrawal symptoms
  • Fear of losing the pleasant feelings associated with substance abuse

With motivational interviewing, the therapist is meant to guide the client to recognize their fears and motivate themselves to overcome them. It is important for the therapist to be non-confrontational. The clients should simply be nudged in the right direction. Essentially, the client is responsible for resolving their issues. The therapist merely acts as a guide to help them understand and resolve those problems. This way, clients enact changes in their behavior because they want to, not because they are forced to. Addicts frequently change their minds on whether they want to quit their substance abuse or not.

This is because to an addict, while there may be many reasons to stop their substance abuse, there are also many reasons not to. Thus, therapists assist the clients in debating the pros and cons of dealing with their addictions. Once the client has reached a decision on their own and is clear about the path they want to take, it becomes easier for the therapist to work with them to develop a practical plan to achieve their goals.

"Contingency Management - Contingency management is a type of therapy based on the psychological concept of operant conditioning. In theory, good behaviors are rewarded while undesirable behavior is punished. Much of the practice focuses on rewarding good behavior in the belief that rewards encourage the individual to continue to exhibit good behaviors with increasing frequency and intensity. On the other hand, bad behaviors are punished or ignored to ensure the frequency of occurrence decreases until the behavior is eliminated completely."

The process of an operant condition is believed to help individuals change existing behaviors or learn new ones. Rewards are often given in form of vouchers or prizes. For example, if a recovering addict returns a clean drug test or attends a meeting, a voucher is given. The value of the voucher or prize may increase with subsequent evidence of good behavior.

In theory, bad behavior should be punished. In reality, punishments are rarely handed out. This is because the having a disciplinary attitude is counterintuitive to therapeutic settings. Punishments also inspire fear, leading to patients often withholding information from the therapist or key worker, which is detrimental to recovery.

The first step in contingency management is to identify the behavior that needs to be encouraged or eliminated. A reward system is established, making sure that the reward is something that the patient actually wants. If the patient does not like the reward, the system will not work. The reward is often given immediately after the desired behavior is achieved, in order to ensure that the behavior is strongly associated with the reward. The goal of this conditioning is to make sure that the desired behavior continues especially after the rewards are stopped.

Contingency management can be done as a stand-alone therapy but is often used alongside therapies such as CBT and motivational interviewing.

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Dialectic Behavioural Therapy

Dialectic Behavioural TherapyDialectic Behavioural Therapy (DBT) is based on CBT, but with a few modifications. While CBT focuses on changing behaviors, DBT adds the concept of validation and dialectics. Validation is used to explain why a patient acts the way they do. It does not excuse negative behaviors or emotions. Dialectics introduces the idea that change is constant and everything is connected in one way or another. DBT explains that emotional imbalance and invalidating environments are key to several mental health issues, including addiction. DBT in addiction treatment focuses on treating addiction as a symptom of environmental issues and emotional imbalance. There are cases where people abuse substances to cope with negative or painful emotional experiences. Abusing drugs enables them to escape their feelings, at least temporarily. There are also cases where people resort to drug abuse because they live in invalidating environments, where they are often told that their feelings are wrong or subjected to ordeals that lead to low self-esteem.

DBT encourages recovering addicts to accept they are doing their best to improve their situation, providing an air of optimism in the process. DBT practitioners promote the concept of dialectic abstinence. Some addiction treatment processes favor complete abstinence for recovery. Some others focus more on harm reduction. With dialectical abstinence, the therapist helps the client to try and achieve complete abstinence, while also educating them on harm reduction in case of relapse.

This allows the client to remain committed to abstinence while knowing that they will be supported to get back on the right path if a relapse occurs. Regardless, the client maintains control over their recovery.

DBT is anchored on skills training and therapist consultations. Skills training sessions are conducted with groups of clients who are taught life skills that are influential in changing negative emotions and behaviors. Skill include mindfulness, where one learns to be aware of their own thoughts and emotions; distress tolerance, where one learns how to cope with distressing scenarios in a positive manner; emotional regulation, learning how to control emotions that could lead to addictive or destructive behaviour; and interpersonal effectiveness, learning how to be assertive while maintaining healthy personal relationships with others. Individual therapy sessions and phone coaching are also integral to the DBT process.

Art and Music Therapy

Art and music therapies are often categorized as alternative or complementary forms of therapy. Art therapy is the use of art techniques to enable the individual to express their feelings and aid in the addiction recovery process. Spending time on artistic approaches may reveal underlying feelings and emotions related to substance abuse. Art therapy is also an avenue to decrease anxiety and achieve relaxation. A certified art therapist is often involved in the process and works with the individual to interpret any hidden meanings and explore the thoughts and behaviors present in the finished artwork. Art therapy involves visual arts techniques such as drawing, painting, sculpting and collaging. It is always meant to be a form of teamwork between you and the therapist.

Music therapy, like art therapy, involves the use of creative self-expression, this time through music, to explore the mental processes underlying an individual’s addiction. Through music, therapists aid the clients in improving self-awareness, examining emotions, relaxing and focusing on positive feelings, developing coping strategies. Music is especially beneficial for young adults, as it is a large part of the young adult culture. Most young adults are comfortable with expressing themselves through music, whether through singing, playing an instrument or even by their song choice. Music therapy incorporates the following activities:

  • Song writing
  • Creating beats and sounds
  • Listening to music
  • Singing
  • Discussions centred around beats, lyrics and genres
  • Playing an instrument
  • Musical games

As with art therapy, music therapy should be conducted by a certified music therapist. Music and art therapy are often important in enabling clients to relax, accept that they have addiction problems and find the courage to face them. Due to their ability to express themselves creatively, clients are more open and find themselves motivated to work hard to live a sober-free life.

Food Therapy

To a recovering addict, eating well may not be a top priority. In reality, healthy nutrition is an integral aspect of recovery. Food therapy involves not only ensuring that the recovering addict is eating well but also training the individual to understand the importance of nutrition in addiction recovery.

Substance abuse often interferes with the uptake of proper nutrients needed by the body, leading to nutritional deficiencies. Vitamin and mineral deficiencies are very common among addicts. Poor nutrition can also result in low blood sugar levels. Nutritional training serves to teach the individual what foods to include in their diet in order to feel strong and balanced during and after recovery. All-natural or organic foods are highly recommended.

Proper nutrition helps the body remain strong during the detoxification process and also helps to flush out the toxins left behind by the abused substance. It also gives the body strength and materials needed to repair any physical or internal damage caused by substance abuse. This includes the brain damage. The brain is a resilient organ that will try to return to its pre-addiction condition. This cannot happen if the individual is suffering from nutritional deficiencies.

It is also known that a healthy body contributes to good physical and mental health, encouraging the recovering addict to maintain a positive attribute and continue to strive for a sober lifestyle. Many addiction centers promote food and nutrition as part of their recovery programmes. Food is planned according to nutritional value and a chef is usually on hand to prepare meals in residential rehab.

Animal-Assisted Therapy (AAT)

AAT is offered by some addiction treatment centers as a form of therapy geared towards relaxation and promoting positive attitudes. AAT works only for animal lovers, as non-animal lovers may experience feelings of anxiety near the animals which, coupled with the stress of addiction recovery, is detrimental to their mental state.

For animal lovers, introducing AAT into their recovery programme usually occurs by bringing the animals into the rehab center or visiting the animals in another location. Small animals, such as hamsters and dogs are often brought into sessions to induce calmness and a positive mood. Stroking the fur of an animal is known to be calming, and may enable shy speakers to find their voice and be more open to sharing their experiences. For larger animals such as horses, or animals that require specific conditions, such as dolphins, excursions are usually taken off-site to visit and connect with these animals. Therapeutic animals are bred to be docile and are properly cared for to avoid health complications.

AAT has been shown to improve positive attitudes among rehab clients, reduce anxiety, alleviate feelings of sadness and loneliness, boost confidence, improve social interactions, and reduce feelings of anger and insecurity. AAT is also particularly effective for children whose lives have been affected by a parent’s addiction.

Family Therapy

Daughter confided to her parents.Family involvement is often an instrumental part of the addiction recovery process. This is because the effects of addiction are felt not only by the addict but extend to the family as well. As such, the strength and health of the family unit play a major role for many as they go through addiction recovery. Family therapy focuses on strengthening the mental and physical state of the family, ensuring that support is provided for the substance abuser. This is achieved by helping the family members to:

  • Identify enabling behaviours and learn how to avoid them
  • Address any co-dependent behaviour
  • Learn self-interventions to improve the well-being of the family as members deal with addiction
  • Understand the addiction recovery process and the systems in place to help the substance abuser

Family therapy also ensures that other members of the family do not follow in the same path of addiction. It can be done in combination with medical detox and the individual therapy and group therapy done in residential rehab. Family therapy is often extended to include anyone who has a close relationship with the substance abuser, including friends, dating partners, and co-workers.

Addiction rehab therapy can be modeled on any of these programs, or in some cases, a special program may be developed for a patient when necessary. Consider the variety of therapy options before starting, and ask each facility which treatment philosophy they subscribe to. This will help ensure that the clinic is a good fit.

After Addiction Rehab Therapy

At the addiction rehab center or when you are scheduling a visit, you may want to ask about:

  • Sober living.
  • Extended care.
  • Other aftercare measures, including individual counseling appointments, 12-step meetings, or more structured, intensive outpatient programs.
  • Treatment center alumni programs.
  • How individual treatment programs handle post-rehab relapses.

Finding the Right Addiction Rehab

Finding the right addiction rehab is a huge step. It can be intimidating, especially with the many treatment facilities available. No matter how serious the addiction has become, addiction rehab therapy can work, allowing people to reclaim their lives, health, and happiness. Treatment facilities can help individuals free themselves from the chains of a substance use disorder or a behavioral addiction.

If you or a loved one is struggling with a substance or behavioral addiction, please call our confidential helpline at here today. A rehab placement specialist can help you determine the best course of action and assist you in finding the right addiction rehab for you or someone you care about.

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