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How Addiction Therapy Plays a Role in Treatment

A main focus of addiction treatment is establishing sobriety. This may include first going through detoxification and then residing in a treatment center to stabilize sobriety in safe housing. Addiction treatment might also include the following:

Initial Assessment: An assessment is often a self-report measurement of the nature and severity of symptoms. Based on your answers and compared to a scale provided, an early diagnosis might be formulated. An assessment can be a crucial tool in diagnosing and treating alcohol detox and abuse.

Chemical Dependency Education: Learning about the nature of addiction and its dangerous cycle is an important part of treatment. Staying informed about alcohol abuse, addiction, and treatment can facilitate your path towards sobriety.

                                        

Support Groups: Groups on healthy eating, decision making, employment seeking, and more may facilitate creating a new life after addiction.

 

However, in addition to these, a significant part of addiction treatment is having a therapist to work with, particularly one who specializes in addiction. There are a few different forms of therapy that will bring different benefits, depending upon which you feel you might need. For instance, there is individual addiction therapy. This typically involves sitting across from a compassionate mental health professional, who is listening and responding to you.  The advantage of working individually with a therapist is the therapy is entirely catered to your needs. Each week you can bring up questions and topics related to the struggles you may be facing in your recovery. Individual addiction therapy can be mostly directed by you with gentle guidance from your therapist and is a one-on-one specialized service.

Another thing to keep in mind with individual therapy is that different therapists use different techniques and therapeutic methods to address the needs of their clients. For instance, there are a handful of therapeutic tools that have been proven to be successful with treating addiction. One effective form of alcohol addiction treatment is a behavioral therapy called Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). CBT helps you identify negative and distorted thinking patterns so that you can change them to positive ones. This successful form of therapy emphasizes the link between thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, and more importantly, attempt to identify the way that certain thoughts contribute to the unique problems of your life. By changing negative thought patterns and replacing them with thoughts that are aimed towards a specific therapeutic goal, you can slowly begin to change.

Another successful form of therapy used in addiction treatment is Motivational Interviewing. This is a type of addiction therapy that helps to address the ambivalence that many addicts have around their addiction. They want to quit because of the damage the addiction is causing but they do not want to quit because they enjoy the high that the substance use brings. The addiction becomes a prison of loving and also hating their substance use. This form of therapy facilitates getting out of this prison.

Other forms of therapy that can be very useful in addiction treatment are family therapy and group therapy. Family therapy focuses on the systems and relationships within a family network.  Therapy aims to change the relationship within families in order to help them better manage the specific problems they might be facing. Additionally, group therapy includes the presence of a therapist, psychologist, social worker or other mental health professional who is facilitating the group experience. Also in the room are others who are experiencing similiar addiction or life problems. For instance, adults who were suffering from a mental illness in addition to their alcohol abuse might make up a group in therapy. Typically, everyone in the room, aside from the therapist, is experiencing the same life challenges. Group therapy can be incredibly supportive and healing.

Individual, group, and family therapy are forms of counseling that can be used in addiction treatment. Each of them provide different experiences and address different needs. However, in general, therapy can be a crucial part to support recovery from addiction. It can create the mental and emotional framework so that someone can consistently focus on the changes they want to make and take steps to make these changes.

 

 

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Chris Massman is a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist. Chris' training includes Family Systems Theory along with numerous other theories. She believes therapy is an art and chooses the theory she feels will most benefit the individual sitting in front of her. Her specialty lies is in the field of Chemical Dependency and Addictions. Chris is currently seeing individuals, couples and families. Chris is a Clinical member of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists as well as the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists. Chris has two locations including Tarzana and Agoura Hills, CA.