Substance Abuse Counseling Techniques
When seeking help for substance abuse or addiction, there are several different methods of counseling and treatment. Counseling seeks to identify the root causes and triggers for addiction while helping develop tools for coping in stressful situations.
Addiction is caused by both genetic and environmental factors. If addiction runs in your family, you have a slightly elevated risk for developing an addiction. Additionally, genetic traits such as thrill-seeking are passed down from generation to generation. Environmental factors such as trauma and early exposure to substance abuse can also increase the risk of addiction.
In order to treat addiction effectively, both the physical and mental side effects must be addressed, in addition to the environmental and genetic causes. Before counseling can begin, patients must undergo detox. After completing detox at an accredited center like United Recovery Project, patients can begin to receive counseling.
Here are a few of the drug addiction counseling techniques that may be used during treatment. It’s important to note that several methods of therapy may be combined, depending on the individual patient’s needs.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive behavioral therapy is one of the most commonly applied therapies in addiction treatment. It focuses on learning to address problematic habits associated with addiction.
Patients learn to anticipate risky situations and practice coping strategies in order to prevent relapse. This helps them recognize risky behavior, address underlying causes, and develop strategies to handle those situations.
Research shows that patients who undergo cognitive behavioral therapy are able to apply skills learned in therapy sessions to real life.
This type of therapy is the second most commonly used in drug treatment facilities. Motivational therapy helps patients uncover internal motivations to stay sober.
Motivational therapy is often used in combination with cognitive behavioral therapy and therapists often provide incentives for maintaining sobriety. During the first session, the provider will assess the patient’s motivational forces, and develop a treatment plan that supports the individual.
Motivational therapy is best used to supplement other forms of therapy during addiction treatment, and should rarely be used as the primary treatment.
Family counseling is another form of therapy used by addiction specialists. Family counseling helps loved ones learn about the underlying causes of addiction, as well as coping strategies and relapse red flags.
There are several types of family counseling, including family behavioral therapy, multidimensional family therapy, and functional family therapy. Each helps address how addiction affects the entire family and allows a space for family members to heal from the effects of addiction.
Therapists teach skills for improving communication and the home environment, and each family member often sets goals that are reviewed in sessions by the provider and other family members.
Finally, alternative therapy methods are available to people undergoing drug or alcohol rehabilitation. Decades of research have shown that alternative therapy can be just as critical as traditional therapeutic methods.
Alternative treatments depend on the individuals and their addiction but can include meditation, yoga, acupuncture, and animal therapy.
Art therapy and horticultural therapy are two additional forms of alternative therapy. Alternative therapy helps reduce stress, overcome negative emotions such as frustration or fear, and positively impact a patient’s willingness to continue with treatment.
These mindful habits also help provide new activities and structure to a newly sober person’s life, which are key for a successful recovery.
If you or someone you love is struggling with drug abuse or addiction, please remember that no matter the treatment method, seeking help is the most important thing. Please contact an addiction specialist like the ones at United Recovery Project, who can help start the path to sobriety today.