Types of Therapy for Rehab | Withdrawal.net
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Types of Therapy for Rehab

There are many different types of therapies that are used during treatment for drug and alcohol addiction. Read on to learn more.


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There is no denying that substance abuse treatment can be an essential step in helping you achieve recovery from drug or alcohol addiction. Treatment for substance use disorders (SUDs) often involves several different services, with therapy being a common type of treatment . Therapy for substance misuse can occur in various settings, and many therapeutic approaches remain effective in treating substance use disorders.

Psychotherapy for substance use is often combined with other types of evidence-based treatments such as medication and support groups.1 As a result, therapies may be just one part of a larger treatment program. Understanding which therapies you may experience during rehab and what they are designed to do can help you prepare for rehab.

What Is the Role of Therapy In Addiction Treatment?

Substance abuse treatment is multifaceted, and it is helpful to think of it as a process. Therapy may not be the first step. For many people, the initial step in the treatment process is detox. Detox, the process by which drugs and alcohol get safely eliminated from the body, is an important first step in drug rehab treatment for many people, but detox alone does little to change long-term drug use or misuse as it does not address the underlying psychosocial and behavioral problems that have contributed to the development of addiction.2

After you complete alcohol or drug detox, psychotherapy for substance misuse begins. During psychotherapy you’ll work to address underlying issues and learn new skills to help you cope with stressors that may worsen any patterns of substance misuse. Psychotherapy can be conducted in inpatient and outpatient settings and provided individually or in a group or family setting. There are also many different types of therapies that can help those with unique or specialized treatment needs.

What Are Benefits of Therapy in Rehab?

Many benefits come from receiving therapy for addiction while in rehab. These include:

  • Increasing your motivation to change.1
  • Building coping skills to manage stress and resist drug and alcohol use. 1
  • Identifying healthy and enriching activities that replace substance-using activities. 1
  • Strengthening and repairing damaged relationships.1
  • Developing personal accountability and self-awareness.2
  • Addressing underlying mental health problems.2
  • Improving occupational and family functioning.2

Group therapy is also common in treatment programs for substance use disorders., When used in addition to individual therapy and formatted to reflect behavioral therapy principles, positive outcomes can be achieved for individuals struggling with drug and alcohol addiction.2

In addition to the benefits listed above, group counseling:3

  • Reduces social isolation and withdrawal.
  • Is a source of positive peer support and comfort.
  • Successfully addresses underlying issues that exist alongside addiction like shame, social withdrawal, and mental illness.
  • Facilitates an opportunity for members to witness and experience the successful recovery of others.
  • Is a source of stabilization and positive persuasion.
  • Can help teach new social skills.
  • Can instill a sense of “hope.”

Goals of Therapy in Rehab Treatment

There are many different types of therapy for addiction, and treatment facilities may incorporate several types to meet the goals in your treatment plan. Certain therapies have proven effective in treating the underlying causes of addiction and help you achieve your recovery goals.4

In an individual setting:2

  • Therapy can help you address short-term behavioral goals.
  • Therapy addresses areas of dysfunction such as family and peer relationships, employment, and illegal activity.
  • Therapy can help you develop coping skills and strategies to maintain abstinence and achieve recovery goals.
  • Therapy programs may be able to connect you with additional services like medical and psychiatric services.

Focuses and goals can vary in a group setting. Different groups include psychoeducation, peer support, interpersonal processing, and skills building.3

Types of Therapy in Rehab Treatment

There are many types of therapies you may encounter when attending rehab. Common therapeutic modalities used in substance abuse treatment include:

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT).Therapy explores the positive and negative consequences of drug use while teaching coping skills to help prevent future use.6
  • Contingency management (CM).CM motivates abstinence through reinforcement; you are given tangible rewards or incentives for achieving periods of abstinence.7
  • Family therapy.Therapy engages you and your family members to improve the home environment through skills development.5
  • Motivational interviewing/motivational enhancement therapy.This therapy works to rapidly increase your motivation for abstinence and create a plan for change.8
  • Matrix model. With the Matrix model, you learn about crucial issues about addiction and relapse, are guided and supported by a licensed therapist, engage in self-help programs, and are monitored with urine screenings.9 The Matrix model is primarily used to treat stimulant use disorders (e.g., cocaine, methamphetamine).
  • Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT).DBT uses a combination of behavioral and acceptance strategies to help you effectively navigate through emotions and behaviors.10

Who Determines the Best Therapy Program For Me?

During the initial assessment and evaluation phase of rehab, you’ll likely work with a licensed professional and a treatment team to determine a personalized treatment plan. The information gathered will help guide the inclusion of therapies and treatment services into your plan. Specialized treatments may be given to certain individuals. For example, if you are in a relationship, you may benefit from behavioral couples therapy. Overall, it’s important to be open with your treatment team to determine what therapy program is best for you.

Does Insurance Cover Therapy in Addiction Treatment?

The Affordable Care Act requires that insurance plans provide some degree of coverage for medically necessary substance use disorder treatment.11 Keep in mind that coverage varies and is dependent on several factors such as the treatment facility you attend, length of treatment, and types of services you receive. It’s important to check with your insurance provider in order to determine your coverage before committing to treatment.

How to Find Addiction Therapy Treatment Near Me

Once you’ve decided to seek treatment, you’ll need to go about finding addiction therapy near you. A good first step would be to talk to your doctor to see what type of therapeutic services best suit you based on your medical and recovery needs. The Substance Abuse and Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) offers a treatment locator to help you find a treatment facility. Furthermore, American Addiction Centers (AAC) offers a free and confidential helpline. By calling or through text, and you can speak with a compassionate admissions navigator that can help answer questions about the admissions process and help you find addiction therapies near you.



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