Psychotherapy Addiction Treatment

If you are suffering from an addiction, behavioural disorder, or mental health condition, you may have come across the term “Psychotherapy”. But if you are keen to learn more about what this is and whether it might benefit you, the following paragraphs are for you.

What Is Psychotherapy?

Psychotherapy is the collective name for a range of treatments that are used to help people overcome various problems relating to psychiatric disorders, mental health problems, behavioural disorders, and addiction.

The main aim of psychotherapy is to help you become aware of your feelings and to understand why these make you act in a certain way. When you can understand your feelings, you will be in a better position to alter various aspects of your life to bring about positive change.

Psychotherapy usually refers to those so-called “talking therapies” that can help to tackle emotional problems, relationship problems, unhealthy habits, and stress. These talking therapies can take place either on a one-to-one basis or within a group setting.

In a group setting, you might be with other members of your family or with other people who are suffering from a similar problem to yours.

While talking generally forms a major part of psychotherapy, there are other methods that are sometimes used, such as drama, art, exercise, and music. During psychotherapy sessions, it is usual to speak with your counsellor or therapist about how you are feeling and the thoughts you are having. In a secure and comfortable environment, and once you have established a level of trust with your counsellor, you are more likely to open up about the issues that are troubling you.

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How Does Psychotherapy Work?

Psychotherapy looks to give you a greater understanding of the issues that are affecting your everyday life. It is important that you are aware of why you are struggling with these issues so that you can implement positive changes to improve your quality of life and hopefully move on from where you currently are.

A key part of counselling is developing a trusting relationship between you and your counsellor. It is essential that you are comfortable with the counsellor or therapist and that you feel you can trust him or her. This will ultimately help you to be more open and honest with your thoughts and feelings.

It could be that you feel as though you have no one to talk to about your current situation. Your family and friends might be finding it hard to understand what you are going through and cannot relate to the thoughts you have. However, a counsellor or therapist is different. In psychotherapy, you will have a person who does understand what you are going through and who can provide you with a non-judgemental environment in which you can just be yourself and say the things you want to say. This is how psychotherapy works.

It is hard to believe that simply talking about your issues could help you to overcome them, but with the use of various techniques, counsellors have been trained to use psychotherapy to get to the heart of your problems and help you see why you need to make positive changes.

It could be that you will be helped to identify the negative thoughts that have been causing you to act in a harmful manner. Oftentimes, people find it difficult to see the truth of their own situation. Their brain practice denial as a protective measure and this prevents them from seeing what others can clearly see.

In the case of addiction, for example, many addicts find it hard to understand why everyone else has a problem with their drinking or drug taking. To them, it is not really an issue. The chemicals they are taking have resulted in changes in their brain, but they are incapable of seeing this. To others, they are in deep trouble and need help. Psychotherapy can help addicts to recognise their problems and understand more about why they are acting in the way they do.

Understanding Psychotherapy

Although there are so many different psychotherapy techniques and approaches, all look to help you develop healthier and more positive habits. The type of psychotherapy that is used for you will usually depend on your individual circumstances. Things like the type of condition you want to overcome, how severe it is, and how responsive you are likely to be to various methods will influence the type of psychotherapy technique that your therapist will employ.

What you should know about psychotherapy, however, is that it works. It is a treatment that is based on the relationship between you and your counsellor. The supportive environment encourages dialogue between you and the therapist and because this person is empathetic, objective, non-judgemental and neutral, you are much more likely to discuss the issues that have been plaguing you.

You might be reluctant to try psychotherapy at first because you may feel that it will not work, or you might be uncomfortable with the idea of talking to a stranger about your deepest emotions and feelings. Nevertheless, if you can overcome this reluctance, you will more than likely discover that the benefits of psychotherapy are well worth any discomfort you might have felt in the beginning.

Psychotherapy sessions are typically held on a weekly basis and tend to last for an hour. When you leave your session, you should feel happier and content because you will have made progress. You will begin to look forward to your sessions because you know that with each one you will be one step closer to resolving the issues that have been causing so much pain and suffering.

What Abuse/Addictions Is Psychotherapy Used to Treat?

  • Drug Addiction
  • Alcohol Addiction
  • Prescription Drug Addiction
  • Gaming Addiction
  • Gambling Addiction
  • Food Addiction
  • Shopping Addiction
  • Sex and Love Addiction
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How Does Psychotherapy Help in Addiction Treatment?

Those who struggle with addiction will need help to overcome the physical addiction, but the psychological addiction must also be treated. In the case of an addiction to a chemical substance such as alcohol or drugs, it is important to learn how to live without these chemicals; however, it is also important to learn how to avoid a relapse in the future. While a detox will help you to quit the substance you are addicted to, it will do little to address the cause of the addiction or to help you avoid a possible return to it in the future.

To fully overcome addiction, you will need to combine a detox with a programme of rehabilitation. Psychotherapy is a commonly used technique in the treatment of all types of addiction. It is important that addicts get to the root cause of their illness and address these issues so that they can move forward.

Psychotherapy can be used in many ways when it comes to the treatment of addiction. As well as helping to identify the cause of the illness, it can be used to develop healthier habits. By learning more about the reasons behind your self-destructive behaviour, it will be easier for you to overcome your illness. Basically, you are far more likely to achieve permanent sobriety if you understand the reasons you became addicted in the first place.

Since addiction tends to be rooted in a range of triggers, thoughts, emotions, behaviours, and social interactions, it is important that you can understand how each of these things has contributed to your addictive behaviour. As part of psychotherapy, you will learn how to either avoid these things or cope with them should they arise.

Psychotherapy Techniques

There are so many different techniques that fall under the umbrella of psychotherapy. Your therapist will assess your situation to determine the best techniques in terms of helping you to overcome your illness. Below are just a few examples of the different psychotherapy techniques that might be used:

  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) – used to help you identify the negative thoughts and beliefs that have led to your harmful or self-destructive behaviours. By learning how to challenge negative thoughts and developing positive coping strategies, you can overcome a range of issues, including substance addiction and behavioural disorders. You and your therapist will work together to develop ways of coping with your problems, and you might be set tasks to complete during each session.
  • Psychodynamic Therapy – aims to help you become more aware of your unconscious thoughts and how these could be driving your negative behaviours. This technique looks to tap into your unconscious, encouraging you to say whatever you are thinking. The idea is that this will give greater insight into hidden meanings of the things you say and do.
  • Interpersonal Therapy – your relationships with other people are examined. It may be the case that your relationship with family members or friends could be the catalyst for your negative behaviours. You will work on improving how you relate to others and will be taught skills to help you cope with stressful situations.
  • Motivational Interviewing – commonly used for the treatment of addiction. The idea is that you will find something that will motivate you to change your behaviour and make positive decisions going forward. The therapist’s job is to help you develop a desire to change by being empathetic and by showing you how to achieve your goals with positive methods.
  • Family Therapy – takes place with important people in your life. It is not just for those who are blood relatives or those who live with you. It is important that anyone who plays an important supportive role in your life can get involved in your treatment. During family therapy sessions, you and your loved ones will meet with a counsellor or therapist to discuss those issues within the family unit that may have contributed to your illness. It is also an opportunity for your loved ones to discuss how your illness has impacted on their lives. The idea is that you can all work together to improve communication and learn how to overcome the illness by becoming more aware of each other’s needs and feelings.
  • Humanistic Therapy – designed to help you become much more aware of yourself. By learning to recognise your strengths, you can improve your self-awareness. This therapy is based on the idea that everyone has good inside them; good that is ready to emerge –humanistic therapy helps this to happen. With acceptance and understanding from an objective and unbiased therapist, in a supportive environment, you should be able to resolve your own problems to improve your quality of life.
  • Contingency Management – used commonly in the treatment of substance abuse problems, and more common among teenage addicts who are unable to see abstinence as a reward. Instead, they are provided with tangible rewards for good behaviour and for achieving set targets and goals. Within an inpatient facility, for example, addicts may be awarded a prize for meeting a certain target. Nevertheless, negative behaviour may face consequences such as privileges being taken away. In an outpatient programme, the addict may be rewarded with vouchers for providing a negative urine test, for example.

How Psychotherapy Differs from Other Therapies?

Psychotherapy is the term used to describe a range of counselling techniques used to address emotional and behavioural issues associated with illnesses such as behavioural disorders, addiction, and mental health disorders.

Unlike in pharmaceutical therapies, medication is not used. With psychotherapy, a variety of talking or movement therapies are used to help tap into the issues that are causing the maladaptive behaviour and to encourage the development of new positive behaviours and coping strategies.

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Co-Occurring Mental Disorders Psychotherapy Treats Include:

  • Generalised Anxiety Disorder
  • Panic Disorder
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
  • Social Anxiety
  • Phobias
  • Anorexia Nervosa
  • Bulimia Nervosa
  • Binge Eating Disorder
  • Major Depressive Disorder

Other Supplemental Therapies

  • Music Therapy
  • Yoga
  • Art Therapy
  • Animal Assisted Therapy
  • Meditation
  • Mindfulness
  • Acupuncture
  • Acupressure
  • Massage
  • Drama
  • Exercise and Nutrition
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