As one of the staple therapies of any addiction rehabilitation program, cognitive behavioral therapy is used to help individuals identify the ways in which their cognitions — i.e., thoughts, feelings, attitudes, prejudices, etc. — influence their behaviors. This is an extremely important aspect of addiction treatment because of the majority of addictions develop due to some confluence of environmental, biological, and circumstantial factors. Many people resort to substance abuse due to being around other substance abusers, being unable to cope with stress and hardship, or for a number of other reasons. These cognitive links to addiction must be identified and addressed, which is the goal of cognitive behavioral therapy.
Of course, there are other reasons why cognitive behavioral therapy has proven to be so instrumental in the treatment of addiction. For instance, cognitive behavioral therapy is a very goal-oriented form of psychotherapy, meaning that cognitive behavioral therapy allows for the clear identification of problems and the concise, straightforward identification of their solutions. Similarly, cognitive behavioral therapy is ideal for the treatment of addiction since it can be effective when used for short periods of time. Since addiction treatment programs tend to last up to a few months, there needs to be a form of therapy that can yield some type of benefit over the shortened span of time.
After cognitive behavioral therapy, group therapy is also frequently associated with addiction treatment. In fact, many people are quicker to associated group therapy to addiction treatment than cognitive behavioral therapy, and there are some important reasons for this. For one thing, addicts often isolate themselves from their relations, choosing to, instead, socialize primarily with other substance abusers; however, the main goal of almost any substance abuser is the procurement of more alcohol or drugs, making these relationships very superficial and ineffective. As a result, addicts often lose much of their ability to socialize with sober individuals while being sober themselves. Group therapy provides a solution to this issue by being both therapeutically beneficial and helping addicts to relearn how to communicate with and relate to others.
Similarly, group therapy has proven valuable because it helps addicts to see that they’re not alone. In group therapy, an addict will quickly learn that the experiences he or she had in active addiction are often experienced by other addicts. By being able to relate to others and feeling more connected in social settings, individuals often experience a shift in perspective that allows them to consider alternative points of view. In such a situation, they become much better able to see the negative consequences of substance abuse, especially when they hear others’ stories about the misfortune that befell them as a direct result of their alcohol and drug addictions.
It’s not just social skills that addicts lose while in the throes of active addiction. Due to the obsession-level fixation that addicts have on obtaining and consuming mind-altering substances, much of an addict’s life becomes very unimportant. Finding drugs becomes much more important than, for example, making it to work each day so that an individual can maintain his or her job. It also becomes more important than eating healthy, balanced meals, bathing regularly, and addressing most of a person’s other basic needs. Over time, addicts often even reach the point of being unable to take care of themselves, which is why life skills training is often a necessary part of addiction recovery.
As you might have guessed, life skills training is essentially a means by which addicts in recovery can regain the important life skills that are needed for survival. More often than not, life skills training takes place in a group setting, which is both efficient and lets addicts encourage and support one another. There are many different skills that individuals learn in life skills therapy, including but not limited to nutrition, grocery shopping and cooking, first aid, maintaining one’s health with regular checkups with one’s physician, learning how to manage one’s finances, maintaining a clean and organized living space, and so on. While these skills wouldn’t appear to have anything to do with alcoholism or drug addiction, the stress that comes from being unable to care for oneself can be a major substance abuse trigger, which is why these types of skills are important things for recovering addicts to learn.
The therapies mentioned above are specific forms of treatment in which there are very specific goals; however, holistic therapy is a category of treatment rather than a specific type of treatment. If you’re not familiar with the term, holism represents a perspective in which body, mind, and spirit are the three components of overall wellness. In other words, for a person to be considered healthy, his or her bodily, mental, and spiritual needs must be addressed. Some of the most common holistic treatments include yoga, acupuncture, aromatherapy, music and art therapy, equine therapy, and so on. Although holism isn’t considered a traditional form of addiction treatment, it has grown in popularity tremendously in recent years and is now offered optionally by many addiction treatment facilities.
If you would like to learn more about the therapies used in addiction treatment, or to discuss the programs that are available, call Elevations of Fort Lauderdale at 866-200-3224.