Why Therapy is Essential When Treating Addiction

Posted by admin on July 15, 2017

Addiction is complex and there is no single approach or treatment that is right for everyone.  Every patient is an individual with unique circumstances, experience and needs.  But, one thing that all patients need as a component of their addiction recovery is counseling.  Though addiction recovery may begin with detox, true recovery goes far beyond that.  Navigating what triggers certain behaviors or the desire to use, potential past abuse, life circumstances, mental health issues and more are complex components of long-term addiction recovery.

Though it may feel like the “hard part” is over after detox, there are many triggers that could lead to an addiction relapse if the addict is not equipped with the proper tools and coping skills.  Once detox or rehab is complete, life’s stresses, work, family dynamics, problematic friendships or peer groups, and other hardships do not simply go away.  They are still there, day after day.  Some individuals benefit from group therapy while others need individual therapy or the combination of both.  It can be helpful to hear from other addicts about shared experiences or triggers and feel a sense of “me too.”  That feeling of not being alone in struggles and triggers can help the addict normalize their experience and understand that they are not fundamentally bad or broken.  Further, family counseling can be helpful as it can lead to restored relationships and enhanced understanding of the addict’s experience.  Often, family cannot understand why the addict makes the choices that they make or has the addiction that they have.  Family counseling led by an experienced behavioral counselor can help everyone be on the same page and begin to restore relationships so that the addict can have a better support team through recovery and in daily life.

Time after time, cognitive behavioral therapy has proven itself to be an important component of addiction recovery. WebMD explains why cognitive behavioral therapy can help support long-term, lasting addiction recovery, “Cognitive behavioral therapy — or CBT — teaches a person how to recognize moods, thoughts, and situations that stimulate drug craving. A therapist helps the person avoid these triggers, and replace negative thoughts and feelings with healthier ones that are more consistent with sobriety. The skills learned in cognitive behavioral therapy can last a lifetime, making it a potentially powerful method of drug abuse treatment. However, not all therapists are trained in cognitive behavioral therapy techniques, which can be complex.”  If you or a loved one are experiencing addiction and trying to determine what the next step is for addiction recovery, seek the assistance of a trained and experienced behavioral counselor.  For the greater Phoenix and Scottsdale area, Diebold Behavioral Counseling can help get you on the right track to addiction recovery.

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