Overcoming a drug or alcohol addiction is more than just abstaining from drugs. Especially during treatment, talking to a therapist or counselor is vitally important. Various types of psychological therapy that are used to treat a variety of mental disorders, such as stress, depression, paranoia and insomnia, are also shown to help with addiction treatment 1. There are many benefits of therapy during addiction treatment.
The Positive Effects of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
As an example, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a unique approach to mental health treatment. The main focus is on overcoming negative thoughts and emotions that lead to destructive behaviors. It involves controlling emotions and developing personal strategies to cope with problems. This method is designed to treat depression, anxiety, schizophrenia and other mental disorders.
How the Therapy Works for Addicts
When related to addiction therapy, the treatment focuses on identifying problems in the addict’s life and finding the right actions and behaviors to solve them. At our treatment center in Scottsdale, our therapists often create realistic action plans that recovering addict can follow.
An addict’s problems may often include a mental disorder, like depression or an anxiety disorder, that in part causes him or her to abuse drugs. Abstaining from drug use is the first action that the addict takes. The next action that a therapist may suggest is to avoid negative behaviors and people who influence the use of drugs. Often the addict is encouraged to avoid:
- Hanging out with a drug-using crowd
- Living in an abusive household
- Staying out late at night
- Abusing other substances
Why a Therapist is Crucial
An addict may have additional problems with finances, education or family, but a therapist focuses only on problems within the mind and brain. Part of their job may be to perform brain tests and check for abnormalities that cause mental disorders. Even if testing is necessary, it’s often helpful for an addict to see a therapist regularly. A neurologist can perform tests, but only a therapist knows how to come up with an effective action plan.
Most addicts have diminished cognitive functions. Regardless of the type of drug they use, they are not thinking properly and making right decisions. That makes therapy more of a requirement than an option. Once an addict is in recovery and off drugs, they need a long-term plan to find employment, rebuild broken relationships, and remain sober for long into the future.
Some recovering addicts may look for an easier way out, but when it comes to improving their mental health and well being, they cannot take shortcuts. As they undergo a drug rehab program, they need therapy to analyze their problems and figure out why they became addicted in the first place. They frequently need the help of a therapist to come up the best recovery plan.