Why Counseling Is Important in Addiction Treatment
Opioid addiction is more than a physical dependence on drugs. Even after detox, when physical dependence is controlled, addicts are at high risk for relapse. Psychological and social factors are often powerful stimuli for prescription drug abuse relapse: Stress, especially sudden life stresses. Cues in the environment, like visiting a neighborhood, or Social networks, like spending time with friends who continue to use drugs. These factors can create ongoing, nearly irresistible urges to use drugs. Counseling helps clients escape craving and learn to cope with life, without using drugs.
Group therapy is generally preferred over individual therapy. In group therapy, a person is more likely to be both challenged and supported by peers who are also going through drug rehab.
Group therapy is a specific form of counseling that is used to treat psychological disorders including substance abuse and addiction. It typically involves regular sessions where one or more therapists work with several individuals who are being treated for the same health issue. People benefit from the peer support in group therapy.
Group Therapy allows people to share experiences with others who are dealing with similar issues. Groups can consist of as little as 3-4 members or more than 10. Groups are generally held once or twice weekly for approximately one hour.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a short-term, goal-oriented psychotherapy treatment that takes a hands-on, practical approach to problem-solving. Its goal is to change patterns of thinking or behavior that are behind people’s difficulties, and so change the way they feel. It is used to help treat a wide range of issues in a person’s life, from sleeping difficulties or relationship problems, to drug and alcohol abuse or anxiety and depression. CBT works by changing people’s attitudes and their behavior by focusing on the thoughts, images, beliefs and attitudes that are held (a person’s cognitive processes) and how these processes relate to the way a person behaves, as a way of dealing with emotional problems.
An important advantage of cognitive behavioral therapy is that it tends to be short, taking five to ten months for most emotional problems. Clients attend one session per week, each session lasting approximately 50 minutes. During this time, the client and therapist are work together to understand what the problems are and develop new strategies for tackling them. CBT introduces patients to a set of principles that they can apply whenever they need to, and that’ll last them a lifetime.
Cognitive behavioral therapy can be thought of as a combination of psychotherapy and behavioral therapy. Psychotherapy emphasizes the importance of the personal meaning we place on things and how thinking patterns begin in childhood. Behavioral therapy pays close attention to the relationship between our problems, our behavior and our thoughts. Most psychotherapists who practice CBT personalize and customize the therapy to the specific needs and personality of each patient.
Motivational Interviewing (MI) is a counseling method that helps people resolve ambivalent feelings and insecurities to find the internal motivation they need to change their behavior. It is a practical, empathetic, and short-term process that takes into consideration how difficult it is to make life changes.
MI utilizes treatments to draw out and strengthen one’s motivation for change. These treatments offer the client acceptance and compassion as they consider making changes in their lives. MI therapists are accepting and compassionate and work to explore values and goals. They focus on the reasons for changing problem behaviors and openly discuss the mixed feelings that are a normal part of making changes. MI help clients use their personal strengths to improve their lives.
MI is used to address addiction and the management of physical health conditions. This intervention helps people become motivated to change the behaviors that are preventing them from making healthier choices. It can also prepare individuals for further, more specific types of therapies. Research has shown that this intervention works well with individuals who start off unmotivated or unprepared for change. It is less useful for those who are already motivated to change. Motivational interviewing is also appropriate for people who are angry or hostile. They may not be ready to commit to change, but motivational interviewing can help them move through the emotional stages of change necessary to find their motivation.
Couples and Family Therapy
Drug abuse and opioid addiction don’t only affect the user’s life; the whole family is transformed. Strong relationships with family and friends are essential for successful drug abuse treatment. Various counseling methods include the spouse and other family members of the addicted person.
There are several potential benefits of family or couples therapy:
- Family members can act as a powerful force for change in the addicted person’s life.
- Including family members can increase the likelihood a person will stay in therapy.
- Each family member can begin to heal the damage their loved one’s addiction has caused in their own life