The first step of addiction recovery is typically to go through treatment. The most effective addiction treatment involves comprehensive care that combines several treatment approaches. The goal of drug and alcohol addiction therapy is to help people with addiction overcome their physical dependence on substances and address underlying mental health disorders.

What Is Addiction Therapy?

The addiction treatment process usually starts with detoxification. After someone goes through detoxification, they often begin addiction therapy. Addiction therapy can address addiction directly and provide coping mechanisms to help people in treatment avoid setbacks. These types of addiction therapy are often used to help people prepare for and prevent setbacks when they enter recovery. 

Other addiction therapy models may focus on underlying factors that can contribute to or worsen addiction. Addiction therapy can also be separated into two categories: evidence-based therapies and alternative therapies. Evidence-based therapies are supported by research and studies, while alternative therapies have been successful in clinical settings but have not been tested by research or in studies. Evidence-based interventions should be used primarily, but alternative therapies can also be implemented as additional treatment approaches.

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

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

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

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:

  • Structural Therapy

     

    Structural therapy focuses on four specific principles:

     

    “Matrix of identity” 

    Family structure based on social interactions

    “Well-functioning family” 

    Development as a stronger entity 

  • Strategic Therapy

    Strategic therapy focuses on five different parts, including:

    Brief social stage

    Problem stage,

    Interactional stage

    Goal-setting stage

    Task-setting stage

  • Systematic Therapy

    Systematic therapy focuses on approaching problems as they are created.

  • Narrative Therapy

     

    Narrative therapy helps clarify, develop and support the narrator in life and guide their journey.

     

     

  • Transgenerational Therapy

    Transgenerational therapy gives therapists the ability to examine interactions between family members across multiple generations.

  • Communication Therapy

    Communication therapy strategies include active listening, opening lines of communication and mediated communication.

  • Psychoeducation

     

    Psychoeducation is defined with four broad goals in mind:

     

    Transfer of information

    Medication and treatment support

    Training and support in self-help

    Creating safe places to vent

Addiction doesn’t only affect the person struggling with substance use, which is why family addiction counseling is beneficial for everyone involved.

Behavioral Therapies

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

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 Therapies

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:

  • Nutrition Counseling

    Nutrition counseling focuses on eating and dietary habits, which can benefit someone in recovery. 

  • Recreational Therapy

    Recreational therapy provides a physical or artistic outlet for people going through addiction treatment. Some recreational therapy activities include: 

    Dance 

    Art 

    Equine therapy

    Canine therapy 

    Yoga 

    Sports 

    Community involvement

Experimental Therapies

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.