Recovering from drug and alcohol addiction can be taxing. The psychological, physical, and emotional toll it takes on a person requires determination and strength of will, as well as a loving and stable support system.
Tackling withdrawal and detox alone is possible. However, the chances of relapsing or suffering withdrawal-related medical issues are high, especially within the beginning stages after treatment. Recovery is best undertaken under the supervision of a trained, empathetic, and experienced medical professional. They have years of skills to call upon to help you along your road to sobriety or abstinence, no matter where you are coming from or how dire your situation may seem.
Knowing where to start can be a challenge in itself with all of the information available online and in public. Follow Santa Barbara Recovery’s guide to individual therapy, and how types of addiction counseling can help you reach a path of long-term sobriety.
What is Addiction Therapy?
Therapy for substance abuse is a key aspect of rehabilitation. Therapy provides rehab centers and patients with various options that can be fine-tuned to suit each patient’s specific needs. Addiction therapy is a science-backed and evidence-based treatment practice that helps patients identify and challenge negative feelings, thoughts, and behaviors that lead to taking drugs and abusing alcohol.
Patients will progress to learn coping and management skills as well as level up their communication and heal their relationships with family and other loved ones. This will enable them to kick the habit of using drugs and alcohol as coping mechanisms and lead them on to living sober and fulfilling lives.
What is Individual Therapy (Psychotherapy) for Addiction?
Individual therapy (also known as psychotherapy, psychosocial therapy, or talk therapy) is a collaborative technique between a person in recovery and their therapist. Therapy provides a safe space for dialogue and educating a person about their addiction, relapse, triggers, and their personal recovery process.
Individual therapy sessions also teach people how to cope with and manage their addictions and cravings, how to build a healthy support system around themselves and help establish goals that align with their journey towards abstinence and sobriety.
Discovering the root cause of the addiction allows the healing and recovery process to begin on firm ground.
How Does Therapy Work?
There are many different therapy methods, and each one has its own approaches and goals. Certain therapy forms are better at handling certain issues. During the assessment and treatment process, a good therapist can combine several different disciplines of therapy to custom-tailor a treatment and rehabilitation plan that perfectly suits your goals and preferences.
- Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT): CBT works by identifying, challenging, and negating unhealthy thought patterns and beliefs about oneself. It teaches people how to think differently, how to improve their behavior, and how to approach problems from different angles.
- Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT): DBT focuses on teaching a patient how to improve their emotional regulation skills and on building their motivation to help them manage and cope with life’s challenges better.
- Family counseling: Addiction is often called a family disease because of how it affects an addict’s immediate family and close friends. Family counseling sessions can help recovering addicts better understand behavioral patterns in their personal relationships. Family members may also be gathered together to aid the communication and healing process and build a loving support system around the patient.
- Motivational interviewing (MI): This therapy method goes hand-in-hand with the Stages of Change model and helps a therapist and patient produce positive changes in behavior by identifying strong personal motivators to recover and get well during addiction treatment.
- Equine therapy: There are many addiction treatment and substance abuse centers that use horses in therapeutic activities to teach important relationship skills and improve mental health. You can also find individual therapists who specialize in providing equine therapy within a private setting.
- Holistic-Based Therapies: Holistic treatments include alternative modalities that take mind-and-body-encompassing approaches such as meditation, yoga, hypnotherapy, massage, acupuncture, animal therapy, art or music-based therapy.
People suffering from stress-related conditions such as anxiety are able to attain calm minds and spirits through meditation. Yoga is proven to elevate people’s moods and boost their endorphins
- Teen-specific: Young adults and teens can gain more help and benefit from therapists and counselors trained in adolescent psychology.
- Gender-specific: Your comfort level with either gender could make you prefer to work with either a female or male therapist, particularly when it comes to talking about gender-specific issues.
- Faith-based: Many people place great importance on working with counselors or therapists who share their cultural or religious views.
- Executive: People who work in high-profile professions, celebrities, and entrepreneurs often prefer to work with counselors who specialize in their care and understand the demands of high-profile lifestyles.
- Integrative: This therapy specialty sees therapists and psychologists who are trained and certified to utilize a broad range of holistic and integrative modalities.
Integrative Mental Health (IMH) was developed by combining different therapeutic approaches. IMHs may address your unique psychological, spiritual, emotional, spiritual, and social relationship needs more adequately.
How long does individual therapy last?
Individual counseling sessions typically last from 45 minutes to an hour. The exact time depends on each individual’s needs as well as other factors, including:
- The mental health issue being addressed and how severe it is
- How long the patient in therapy has suffered from the issue
- How much the mental health issue affects the patient’s day-to-day life
- How much distress the mental health issue causes
- The rate at which the patient in therapy shows improvement
- Financial limitations
Some problems can be addressed and resolved through short-term therapy over a few weeks. However, chronic or more complex issues will most likely require long-term treatment. At times, more than a year can pass before noticeable progress is recorded.
Benefits of Individual Therapy
Examining the extensive scope of individual therapy for addiction recovery can help you determine whether or not it will suit your needs and goals. This form of psychosocial therapy involves delving deeply into your psychological and emotional troubles and laying them bare.
It may be an enormous challenge at first as you acclimate to the process, but allowing yourself to participate in the treatment process instead of pushing back and resisting it can help you make real progress toward your abstinence and sobriety goals.
Four major benefits of individual therapy include:
One of individual therapy’s biggest benefits is how it draws you out from yourself and your addiction. You will:
- Gain a better knowledge of your triggers
- Learn how to cope with and manage your addiction cravings
- Identify and challenge the root issues that may have contributed to your addiction
You will sit down with a therapist who properly understands the complexities of your addiction and how it impacts your health and well-being. They will help equip you with the fortitude to walk away from the allure of drugs and addiction forever. The rapport you build with your therapist will enable you to confront your issues in a supportive and healthy manner. You will set goals and design a plan of attack to take down each issue.
Many therapists focus on mindfulness during the addiction treatment process. This process teaches you the concept of living in the moment, accepting yourself for who you are, and seeing and accepting your life for what it is. You will learn to recognize and keep note of your triggers as they happen and understand why they happen. Then you can employ the mindfulness process to calm yourself down and avoid turning to different substances to help you cope with anxiety and stresses in your life.
Why do you abuse drugs? Do you know? Do you know what started it? Many people do not understand their triggers on a deeper level and why they cause them to turn to misuse drugs and other substances. Individual therapy is a critical tool used to uncover and understand these factors. This is the most beneficial aspect of individual therapy. Understanding why you use drugs will empower you to master coping mechanisms and stop use completely, which will help you maintain sobriety and abstinence longer and become a more stable person.
Working on a personal basis with a therapist in individual therapy helps patients learn how to talk to others again after a lengthy addiction period. Prolonged addictions can make people lose social graces and interpersonal skills which renders them unable to interact and connect with those around them.
What to Expect in Individual Addiction Therapy
Assessment is always the first step in addiction recovery treatment. The first session focuses on gathering information and establishing boundaries for how you will interact with your therapist from then on. Your therapist will discuss your history of emotional, physical, and mental health. It may take a few sessions for your therapist to build a complete image of the situation, and only then can they begin to customize a treatment plan that is specific to your needs.
The prospective patient should use the first therapy session to determine if the counselor’s style is a good fit for their needs and goals. Your recovery journey will be much easier and successful if you find a therapist you are comfortable working with. Make sure you ask for detailed answers about the session lengths, treatment goals, the types of therapy to be used, and how many sessions will be needed for you.
Many therapists encourage and prefer their patients to do most of the talking. Talking about past trauma, experiences, and present concerns in sessions can stir up deep emotions. You may find yourself becoming angry, sad, or otherwise upset during your treatment, but your therapist can help you become more comfortable and build confidence as your sessions progress.
Your therapist may assign you homework based on the topics and issues you discuss in your sessions. You are free to ask questions at any point during your treatment and care. This process can help you develop healthier thinking patterns and have a more positive mood as time progresses.
Is Individual Therapy Covered by Insurance?
Therapy visits, group therapy, mental healthcare, individual therapy, and addiction rehabilitation are normally covered under health insurance plans. Even with insurance kicking in, therapy can be expensive. Make sure you speak with your insurance agent as well as the admissions team at your prospective treatment center to come up with a sustainable financial plan for your care.
Seek Individual Therapy at Santa Barbara Recovery
Our therapists will work with you to find out your specific needs and requirements and compose a bespoke treatment plan just for you. No two addictions are alike, so no two recovery plans should be alike. If you or a loved one is in need of recovery care, contact us today to get the ball rolling. You have the right to live a healthy and meaningful life.