In addiction treatment, it is important for an individual to understand the underlying reasons for their addiction and behaviors. Individual therapy is a one-on-one therapy session with a trained and licensed clinician. This type of therapy is used to help individuals recognize triggers, develop coping skills, and learn effective tools and strategies for correcting unhealthy patterns or behaviors.
Therapy sessions take place in a safe and supportive environment where the client is able to build trust. These sessions allow the client to have the freedom to express emotions, explore feelings, and identify behaviors that may lead to more insight and clarity around their addiction.
In these one-one-one sessions, a therapist works with the client to identify harmful patterns in their life, as well as develop effective coping strategies for correcting these patterns. In addition to deep clinical work, life skills will also be developed in which the client will have a better understanding of the ways in which they can maintain their sobriety outside of treatment. A therapist is meant to empower their client to live a life free from addiction.
Types of Individual Therapy
There are various types of therapeutic practices used in individual therapy. There have been many advances in behavior therapy for substance use disorders in the past decade. This leads to a more robust outcome in which the therapist can utilize a wide variety of modalities to help their client.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is one of the more common therapies utilized in addiction treatment. It is based on the premise that addictions and other mental health conditions arise through a series of dysfunctional and unhealthy thought patterns. Negative thinking can undermine an individual’s efforts to make healthy choices. They also cause an individual to doubt that a full recovery from addiction is possible. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is utilized to modify responses to negative events and develop healthy coping skills.
Dialectical Behavioral Therapy
Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) is utilized with individuals who have difficulty in regulating emotions. It embraces a supportive approach that helps clients identify their strengths and then approaches the need to change the negative aspects of their attitudes and behaviors. DBT is a form of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy that focuses on an individual’s thinking process, belief systems, and assumptions. A therapist’s goal with DBT is to assist their client in changing irrational beliefs and assumptions about oneself or the world. DBT also incorporates relaxation techniques and mindfulness to make an individual more aware of their own feelings and thoughts.
Contingency management is a form of therapy that rewards people for positive behaviors. This practice works best as a supplement to other evidence-based therapeutic practices. In this type of therapy, an individual receives incentives for abstaining from drug or alcohol use.