What are the Benefits of Individual (Psychotherapy) Therapy?

When a person is ready to get clean of drugs and alcohol, they often think of a detox program. But, there is more to staying clean then just detox. An individual therapy program is the foundation of addiction treatment programs. Also called psychotherapy, it addresses the causes of addiction and co-occurring mental issues. 

What are the benefits of individual therapy? Above all, a life of recovery! In addition, addiction therapy includes alternative or holistic treatments. This combination of therapies allows for a “whole person” approach to addiction therapy. But, the key to recovery for life is continuing individual therapy for life. 

What is Individual Therapy?

Individual therapy is a type of psychotherapy to treat mental and addiction issues. In individual therapy, a member works with a therapist to work through personal issues. Because individual therapy offers a safe and non-judgemental space, a member can process past traumas and develop healthy coping skills. 

Although it is vital to seek addiction treatment, detox alone isn’t enough to maintain recovery for life. But, detox is the first step in the recovery journey for many fighting addictions. At the same time, a crucial element of recovery is addiction therapy. Furthermore, a “whole person” approach to treatment includes individual therapy and various other psychotherapy options. 

Why is Addiction Therapy Necessary?

The addiction recovery journey is more than just ridding the body of illicit substances. Addiction therapy addresses the mental and emotional needs of a member. For the most part, addiction therapy will focus on easing cravings, addressing past and present issues, and relapse prevention. 

Because many people use drugs and alcohol to self-medicate or cope with stresses in life. However, once a person gets clean, they are left with emotions and thoughts that still need addressing. For this reason, individual therapy is necessary to treat the underlying causes of addiction.

Also, addiction therapy helps members avoid relapsing. Because many factors play a role in addiction, treatment can build coping skills to handle the triggers. Triggers of relapse include situational stressors, environmental factors, and social cues.

Situational stressors include stress from work, relationships, family, and other life events. The daily stressors in life lead many people to use drugs and alcohol. But, therapy helps build healthy coping skills encourages lifelong recovery. 

Environmental factors are the places and events that trigger past thoughts and behaviors. Environmental factors can include bars, restaurants, friend’s houses, and other areas that encourage using. Addiction therapy encourages finding new hobbies and hang-outs that promote healthy behaviors.

Social cues can encourage people to use drugs and alcohol. When a person in recovery continues hanging out with the same people pre-recovery, they also risk relapse. Because it can be difficult to resist joining in with friends who are using, it is vital to find friends who encourage recovery. Addiction therapy helps people understand the risk of old friends. Also, people learn how to handle social cues healthily. 

Benefits of Individual Therapy

Individual therapy gives members the tools to cope with triggers and prevent relapse. Also, individual therapy provides insight and healing of the issues leading to addiction. As a result, members understand their motivations, history, and emotional problems surrounding addiction.

Benefits of individual therapy include:

  • Resolve emotional conflict
  • Build self-esteem
  • Reduce anxiety and other mental issues
  • Develop social and communication skills
  • Prevents relapse and encourages recovery for life

Individual Psychotherapy vs. Group Psychotherapy

Group psychotherapy provides peer support for members in recovery. As a result, members feel less alone and build connections with others in recovery. And, while group therapy is important in addiction therapy, individual therapy is the foundation of recovery. 

At Sana Lake BWC, we provide both individual and group addiction therapy. In addition, each member is given an individualized treatment plan. This provides our members with a comprehensive “whole person” approach to addiction therapy. Moreover, we offer our members the best chance at Recovery for Life.

Personalized Addiction Therapy

In the same way that each person’s addiction is unique, so is each treatment plan. For example, one member may have turned to drugs and alcohol to cope with depression. In contrast, another member also suffering from addiction developed anxiety or other mental issues because of addiction. For this reason, therapists create a personalized addiction therapy plan to address all personal psychological and physical problems of addiction. 

What Happens in Individual Therapy?

In individual therapy, a member meets with a therapist in a safe and non-judgemental space. Because a therapist will often see members for months and years, it is crucial for members to feel safe with their therapist. 

Individual therapy focuses on the member’s emotions, thoughts, and past issues surrounding addiction. As a result of the one-on-one attention, members can feel safe to reveal their deepest struggles. By doing so, therapists can help find solutions, healing, and ultimately recovery. 

Individual therapy may involve a variety of different therapies. For example,  cognitive-behavioral therapy and acceptance and commitment therapy are common in individual therapy for addiction. Because of the many issues surrounding addiction, seeking professional treatment is vital to recovery. 

Addiction Therapy: Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy

In cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), members learn to recognize how thoughts and emotions affect behaviors, including the harmful use of substances. For instance, if a person feels unloved or lonely, they may use drugs or alcohol to cope with their feelings. As a result of self-medicating with drugs or alcohol, addiction can develop. This may lead to feelings of shame and even self-harm. 

Thoughts and emotions are so powerful, but CBT in addiction therapy can help members regain control. For instance, CBT helps identify negative and harmful thought patterns. By identifying these patterns, members learn to replace them with positive ones. As a result of changing thought patterns, members can focus on building a life free of addiction.

Addiction Therapy: Dialectical Behavior Therapy

Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is another component of individual therapy. The focus of DBT is helping members control their emotions, cope with stress, and maintain personal relationships. Because emotions fuel addiction, it is crucial to know the emotional triggers and results of substance use. 

For example, stress is a common trigger in addiction. A person may use drugs or alcohol to cope with this trigger. For example, a person may have a drink after a long day at work. Another person may use opioids to cope with the stress of social anxiety. But, whatever the trigger is, the use of drugs and alcohol is not a healthy way to cope. 

Dialectical behavior therapy helps members develop healthy coping skills that promote recovery. For example, therapists may encourage members to meditate or take a walk to cope with stress. Furthermore, members are encouraged to talk about the stress they are feeling. This allows members to put the stress in perspective and receive guidance from others. 

Finally, many people with addiction have problems maintaining healthy relationships. This might be because addiction can lead to avoidance and behavioral issues. As a result, addiction may lead to losing family members and friends. But, addiction therapy and DBT can help build healthy relationship skills. In addition, healthy relationships build strong support systems and encourage recovery for life. 

Addiction Therapy: Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

However, acceptance is also a vital aspect of recovery. When an individual is struggling with addiction, they may also struggle with controlling their behaviors. Addiction therapy helps members regain a sense of control. But, with addiction and mental disorders, some things can’t be changed. 

For instance, the past can not be changed. Although most people would love to, unfortunately, it’s not possible. But, this can be hard to accept and can hinder recovery. For this reason, acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) is an essential part of a personalized addiction therapy plan.

Another important aspect of acceptance is mindfulness. Mindfulness is focusing on the future and not the past. Although ACT doesn’t encourage avoidance of the past, it does encourage moving forward while accepting what can’t be changed. 

Importance of Continuing Individual Therapy

Addiction to drugs and alcohol is a chronic disease. Therefore, like all chronic diseases, addiction needs lifelong care. Just as detox and addiction therapy helps members learn skills to reach recovery, continuing care helps members maintain recovery

Continuing individual therapy provides check-ins for members which allow for adjustments in therapy plans. This is important because life continues to throw curveballs. And, no matter how long a person has been in recovery, all it takes is one curveball to cause a relapse. 

Moreover, sometimes it’s just nice to have someone to listen to the struggles of daily life. Recovery is hard. Furthermore, no one should battle addiction alone. Continuing lifelong individual therapy gives members a person to turn to that will offer helpful advice and promote recovery. 

Individual Therapy at Sana Lake BWC

Addiction is a battle you don’t have to fight alone. One of the many benefits of individual therapy is building a bond with a therapist who will walk each step of recovery with you. At Sana Lake BWC, our psychotherapy and holistic addiction therapy options offer a “whole person” approach to individual therapy and addiction treatment. 

If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction, help is waiting. Our compassionate team of trained professionals is here to answer all your questions. Contact us today and make today your first day of Recovery for LIfe!

References:

https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/principles-drug-addiction-treatment-research-based-guide-third-edition/evidence-based-approaches-to-drug-addiction-treatment/behavioral-therapies

https://www.goodtherapy.org/learn-about-therapy/modes/individual-therapy

https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/psychotherapy/about/pac-20384616