Types of Therapy
Because addiction affects everyone differently, there are several types of therapy used to address a person’s addiction. Like other chronic illnesses, addiction does not have a one-size-fits-all approach, so treatment providers often have to combine several types of therapy to address substance use disorders.
Some different types of therapy for addiction include psychotherapy, substance misuse counseling, behavioral therapy and group therapy. Not all types of addiction therapy will work for each person. However, the goal of addiction therapy remains to help people recognize and realize their struggle with addiction, mental health disorders or both.
Individual therapy is a one-on-one session that occurs between someone with a substance use disorder and a medical professional who has been trained in psychotherapy treatment.
The purpose of psychotherapy, also known as talk therapy, is to help people recognize, understand and change their troubling thoughts and unhealthy emotional patterns. The benefits of individual therapy include:
- Learning techniques for coping with stress
- Understanding why specific behavioral patterns are unhealthy and how to change them
- Offering emotional support during a challenging time
Group therapy occurs when two or more people engage in a variety of therapies with a medical professional present. Types of group therapy include psychoeducational, skills development, cognitive behavioral, support and interpersonal process.
Group therapy provides support from a treatment provider as well as support from others who are also going through addiction treatment. Some benefits of group therapy include:
- Helping people process their thoughts, feelings and actions associated with substance use
- Helping people understand the struggles of others
- Helping to identify triggering situations
- Facilitating an environment of support and acceptance
Family therapy differs from group therapy because it typically involves a person and their family members meeting in a session with a medical professional. Family therapy techniques are used to treat the family as a whole, with each person contributing their perspective to help heal interpersonal relationships.
There are several different types of family therapy:
Addiction doesn’t only affect the person struggling with substance use, which is why family addiction counseling is beneficial for everyone involved.
Behavioral therapies have been in practice since the 1920s, and they work to help people achieve new insight and exercise change. Some common types of behavioral therapy are:
Behavioral therapy techniques generally involve different cognition aspects, including:
- Automatic thoughts
- Distorted thinking
- Underlying beliefs
Cognitive therapies are a subtype of CBT. The most common types of cognitive therapies are:
Cognitive therapy techniques include:
- Helping someone set goals for treatment and aftercare
- Helping someone change unhealthy thought patterns
- Improving someone’s overall mood
- Helping someone establish positive and long-term behavioral changes
Holistic therapy is viewed as an alternative therapy. Because of this, it is often combined with more evidence-based addiction therapy. Holistic therapy treatments involve focusing on all aspects of someone’s health, including spiritual, physical, mental and emotional well-being.
There are a few common types of holistic therapy:
Addiction is different for everyone, and therapy that works for one person may not work for another. Advancements in technology have made new techniques possible, and researchers are always seeking cutting-edge treatments for diseases like addiction. Experimental therapies have not yet been proven effective through scientific research, but some have been effective for people in addiction treatment.
Several types of experimental therapies include stimulating or inhibiting brain cells through an electric current. Some common types of experimental therapies include:
Because addiction is different for each person, treatment should take an individualized approach. The Recovery Village Palm Beach is able to create treatment programs that fit each patient’s unique needs and circumstances. Contact us today to learn more about plans and programs that can work well for your situation.
Encyclopedia Britannica. “Behaviour Therapy.” May 20, 2019. Accessed November 30, 2019.
Glasner-Edwards, Susan; Rawson, Richard. “Evidence-Based Practices in Addiction Treatment: Review and Recommendations for Public Policy.” Health Policy, June 16, 2010. Accessed November 30, 2019.
Premier Mind Institute. “Types of Family Therapy.” January 29, 2017. Accessed November 30, 2019.
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. “2 Types of Groups Commonly Used in Substance Abuse Treatment.” Treatment Improvement Protocols, 2005. Accessed November 30, 2019.