Addiction not only affects a person’s body but their mind as well. Oftentimes, a person who has become addicted has a reason why they began using drugs/alcohol, to begin with. Whether this is past trauma, stress, or mental disorders, it’s important to rely on addiction counseling for support.
Addiction counseling aims to help a person understand the root of their addiction while focusing on change and understanding. Oftentimes, people forget that a person must change their way of thinking as well as their mind before they can truly overcome addiction. This is where addiction counseling and other methods of therapy come into play. At LUNA Recovery, we provide individual and group therapy for addiction (among other resources).
What is Addiction Counseling?
Addiction counseling, also known as addiction therapy, is when a person struggling with addiction works with a professional therapist to improve and understand their addiction. Addiction therapy typically covers a wide range of topics associated with addiction, some may be specific issues while others may cover other areas.
During addiction counseling, a person will learn the tools and techniques to avoid relapse while handling triggers/cravings. After initial treatment ends, a person needs to be able to navigate their new life without running into old habits. This is why addiction counseling is not only important but necessary for long-term recovery. Addiction therapy is particularly important in cases of co-occurring disorders or dual diagnoses. This occurs when a person is dealing with both an addiction and a mental health disorder.
Addiction counseling falls into two categories: evidence-based treatment and alternative therapy. As the name suggests, evidence-based therapy focuses on methods that have been proven and studied over the years. Alternative therapies use other more specific methods that can be deemed useful. While every case of addiction is different, addiction counseling is almost always part of the recovery process.
What to Expect in Addiction Counseling
There are different types of addiction therapy, each with different treatment approaches. Group therapy for addiction and individual addiction therapy are both main forms of addiction counseling. Group therapy focuses on specific topics in a group setting while individual therapy focuses on a more intimate 1-on-1 setting with a therapist.
Regardless of whether it’s in a group or individual setting, addiction counseling settings typically involve sessions that last up to an hour (sometimes more). During this time, a person can talk with a therapist about a wide variety of topics associated with their addiction. Over time, a person can end up building a strong and trustworthy relationship with the therapist or those around him/her. Having a safe and effective environment is crucial to overcoming addiction and living a better life, free of drugs.
Types of Addiction Therapy
When it comes to addiction counseling and therapy, there are many different methods are the process. Some cases may use a variety of these methods and may involve a mix of both individual and group therapy for addiction. At Luna, we provide several options and methods to ensure that a person has all the tools to succeed in life after treatment.
Addiction counseling involves the following therapy options:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
- Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT)
- Individual therapy
- Group therapy
- Holistic therapy
- Family therapy
- Neurofeedback therapy
Each of these approaches to addiction offers a unique take on treatment. Addiction counseling is very important when it comes to understanding and overcoming substance abuse. Let’s take a closer look at each of these and how they are used to treat drug addiction.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy is among the most commonly used addiction therapy methods when it comes to recovery. CBT for substance abuse puts focus on a person’s behaviors and thoughts. When people get into a cycle of abusing drugs, this typically stems from specific thoughts which lead to behaviors. CBT is focused on the idea that negative behaviors breed from negative thinking/feelings. CBT for substance abuse is based on this idea.
With each session, a person works with a professional therapist to evaluate these thoughts and feelings. Finding the root cause of a person’s addiction is the first step to making the necessary changes. In a safe and open environment, Luna makes it easy to work towards a better mind and life. CBT is also used in cases of mental health disorders and other conditions. This is especially essential in cases of dual diagnoses. CBT for substance abuse continues to be one of the most widely used methods of addiction counseling.
Another widely used method of therapy is dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT). DBT is another behavioral therapy and shares many of the same ideas as CBT. One of the major differences, however, is that DBT focuses on how a person’s environment/vulnerability affects their mental health. Like CBT, DBT has been used for anxiety disorders, PTSD, and drug addiction. DBT for substance abuse continues to be an effective method during treatment.
DBT for substance abuse treatment focuses on promoting and encouraging beneficial changes. They are motivated and pushed towards better decisions and options. DBT, like all types of addiction therapy, uses both individual and group therapy methods. DBT also focuses on building a person’s skills so they can better control their situation and future situations. Some of the major points of DBT include:
- Mindfulness (being focused on the present moment/awareness in general)
- Emotional regulation (identifying and coping with unwanted thoughts/feelings)
- Distress tolerance (coping with distress without extreme actions)
- Interpersonal effectiveness (communication/listening skills, assertiveness, etc.)
Along with CBT, DBT gives the person the necessary tools to navigate their lives while controlling their emotions and negative thoughts. It’s important to be able to understand and navigate stress or other feelings effectively without giving in to triggers and other elements in the environment.
Individual therapy covers many of the above-mentioned therapy methods among others. As one of the oldest methods of therapy, individual addiction counseling focuses on 1-on-1 sessions with a professional therapist. These sessions provide a safe and non-judgemental space to speak freely about anything that may be on your mind. In the process, the therapist will give you pointers and help you navigate the situation and elements of it.
Individual therapy uses CBT, DBT, and other methods during the recovery/treatment process. While some people may prefer group settings with other people, individual therapy is best for those who want a more intimate and private setting to speak their minds. Individual therapy has been proven to result in longer-term sobriety and success in treatment.
On the other hand, group therapy is also a widely used method of addiction counseling. Group therapy follows specific topics in a group setting with other people in the same situation. This can foster a safe and open environment with a sense of community and help. Group therapy lets a person know that they are not alone in their struggles, no matter how hard they may seem. Community is a vital part of the process for some and can be extremely effective in the long term.
Group therapy sessions are usually moderated by a therapist, with each session being a different topic or discussion. During these sessions, people share their thoughts and feelings while others provide support and encouragement. There are also several support groups and 12-step programs (AA, NA, etc.) for specific needs. Group therapy, along with our professional staff, makes sure that you don’t go through addiction treatment alone.
Holistic therapy is a widely used form of addiction treatment that involves spiritual and physical wellbeing. The holistic treatment uses several different techniques to help a person become more spiritually and physically improved. A healthy and relaxed body/mind is essential to addiction recovery, and holistic treatment does just that.
Holistic therapy utilizes several different methods to help a person cope with triggers/relapse prevention; these include:
- Herbal medicines
- Nutritional therapy
Usually, holistic therapy is not enough to overcome addiction but when paired with CBT and other more individualized therapies, it can be a great addition.
Addiction is a disease that affects not only the person using it but everyone around them as well. It is not uncommon for a person’s family to be affected by their drug addiction. To help a person break free of addiction, they must have a strong support system, this includes their family. Family therapy seeks to improve communication and educate family members of the addicted person. A family therapist will usually work with the person and their family to help strengthen the family unit while helping improve communication.
Start Your Journey Free From Addiction at LUNA Recovery Services
Addiction counseling is a vital part of the treatment process. Due to its importance, it is best to do it under the trust of quality professionals like our team at LUNA. We’re ready to help you reach a better life without addiction or drug use. If you or a loved one is dealing with addiction, don’t wait, give us a call today to start the process.