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What to Expect in Individual Therapy for Recovery

Individual and group therapy are two of the treatment programs offered at Enlightened Recovery, a facility that helps people overcome the effects of substance addiction. Individual therapy, in particular, is one form of treatment provided to every client that walks through our doors, regardless of the additional services they seek. These sessions consist of working with a trained and licensed mental health professional – one who understands the science and nuances of addiction and the role it plays in your unique life and circumstances.

Together, you and your therapist will develop a “plan of action” to deal with triggers or cravings outside of the treatment center in a healthy way.

Common Topics Addressed in Individual Therapy

There are no official “rules” about what is addressed in therapy, especially when using techniques that are client-driven. However, it is common to see the following issues raised during individual therapy sessions:

  • Knowledge about the science and psychology of addiction
  • Recognizing and changing codependent habits
  • Improving interpersonal relationships
  • Addressing mental health disorders such as depression, anxiety, or PTSD, and discussing past traumas that may have influenced addiction
  • Introduction to the 12-Step program

Therapeutic Methods and Models

Individual therapy encompasses a wide range of different techniques and models, depending on whether substance addiction is accompanied by a co-occurring condition, such as depression, anxiety disorder, PTSD, etc.

The following methods and models are used at Enlightened Recovery:

Motivational Interviewing

Motivational interviewing is a therapeutic method that helps people who are perhaps ambivalent or apathetic find the motivation they need to change their lives. Notably, motivational interviewing does recognize that it is incredibly difficult for some people to find the motivation to change long-term negative behaviors, especially if the reason for that lack of motivation is rooted in depression. However, with motivational interviewing, it is possible to overcome this barrier with the right support.

Motivational interviewing is a client-centered approach that helps an individual find the solutions on their own as much as possible, rather than giving unsolicited advice or other “encouragements” that could feel patronizing. The therapist’s role is essentially to come alongside the client to help them see how they can make necessary changes.

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is highly successful and used by many therapists for a variety of issues, including addiction, depression, anxiety, eating disorders, marital problems, and much more. CBT involves redirecting or reframing negative thoughts or behaviors to see changed behaviors and different results. As such, it is highly adaptable to many different issues or ailments.

CBT is guided by core principles, which include:

  • The belief that many psychological issues are based, in part, on negative thinking patterns
  • The belief that many negative circumstances can be changed or avoided by unlearning negative behavior patterns
  • Negative core beliefs about how the self and the world influence negative behaviors (to change behaviors, these negative beliefs must be reframed)
  • People who are struggling mentally can learn healthier coping mechanisms to improve their mental and emotional health

Gestalt Therapy

The word “gestalt” is German and doesn’t have a clear English equivalent. However, it is generally used to mean “whole.” The idea behind this therapeutic technique is to consider the whole person: the body, mind, and emotions, not just the addiction itself. This form of therapy helps clients focus on what is happening in their lives at present, emphasizing the here and now, rather than the past. Gestalt therapy strongly emphasizes the belief that people are influenced and shaped by their present environments.

Rogerian Therapy

Rogerian therapy is an approach that allows the client to direct the course of each session. The therapist may have expert knowledge of psychology and addiction, but the client is the expert on their own life and experiences. By verbally processing the problems, it is common for the client to eventually arrive at their own solution with minimal intervention from the therapist at all.

Solution-Focused Techniques

Change is a natural and expected part of getting sober. In many cases, it requires a complete overhaul of one’s lifestyle habits. Solution-focused techniques are necessary to help clients move closer to achieving their recovery goals. These could be learning healthier coping mechanisms in place of drinking or doing drugs in response to stress. It can also include learning how to eat well and exercise regularly, which plays a vital role in overall wellness.

Individual Therapy with Enlightened Recovery

Every client is matched with a therapist who is both qualified and compatible. We understand that the client/therapist relationship depends on building up a rapport, so it’s paramount that clients feel comfortable disclosing their true feelings and experiences in that space. Whatever additional issues a person struggles with that perhaps fueled or enabled substance abuse, we can find someone who is equipped to understand and guide them.

Therapy appointments are recommended at least once a week, depending on the goals outlined in a client’s treatment plan. It’s important for clients to develop a list of goals they want to achieve, both in and out of treatment. A therapist can help each client get started if they struggle to come up with ideas at first.

We believe that having a safe, judgment-free environment is critical for developing the confidence and encouragement needed in order to help clients develop confidence in both themselves and in the future, outside of treatment. No matter how challenging it may seem at first, a healthier life is possible.

Recovering from substance addiction is a hard thing to do on your own. That’s why Enlightened Recovery exists: to help people struggling with the abuse of drugs or alcohol get started on the overwhelming process of recovery. Our staff is uniquely equipped to understand the nuances of both addiction and mental health. We understand how both types of conditions often go together, feeding each other in a destructive cycle. If you’re struggling with addiction and turn to substances as a form of self-medicating for such things as depression or PTSD, we are here to help. Please reach out to us today at (833) 801-LIVE to learn more about how individual therapy and our other treatment programs can help you. 

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