Understanding Psychotherapy (Guide)

There are a lot of steps involved when it comes to addiction recovery. Multiple kinds of therapy are one of the many steps that will lead you away from addiction and on the path to sobriety. Psychotherapy for addiction is one of those many methods of treatment. Put, psychotherapy is “talk therapy” and is popular for all sorts of different recovery treatments. Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a one size fits all treatment. It’s crucial to find a rehabilitation center that will personalize the recovery process to your needs. If you or someone you love is ready to take the step into recovery, it is essential to know what psychotherapy is, what kinds of benefits come from it, and why it might fit your treatment. Psychotherapy for addiction is only one of many treatment types to go with other treatment forms.

If you or a loved one are ready for treatment, call us at 912-214-3867 today and start the path of recovery. Overcoming substance abuse is a long and challenging journey, but is done correctly. Let us guide you and help you reach sobriety by connecting you to a personalized program.


Continue reading on for a better understanding of psychotherapy. If you require additional assistance, then please contact our trained experts today.

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Understanding Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy in addiction treatment is to get someone talking. It is to engage the patient verbally to discuss troubling emotions and behaviors. By talking through these thoughts, a medical professional can begin to help the patient understand why they think that way and prevent it in the future. The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) recommends that psychotherapy take place in the office of a licensed and professionally trained mental health care doctor. The meetings can vary, being one-on-one or group sessions, but it is vital to work with a professional mental health doctor. The brain is easy to manipulate, especially when addiction is involved. Feelings are personal, and it can be hard to open up and share what is going on, so working with the right professional is essential.

Choosing the right professional can be a challenge if you’re not enrolling in a rehabilitation center program. Fortunately, by working with a rehabilitation center, they will design a personalized plan to help you recover in the most effective way possible. In addition, these centers will have professionally licensed mental health doctors making your progress easier. By getting a patient to engage in psychotherapy, they will see their behavior start to change. As they begin to talk through their mental struggles, parts of the brain will start healing.

Bottling up emotions can not only lead to severe cases of anxiety and depression, but it also leads to addiction. Often, those who abuse substances are suppressing emotions with illegal drugs or excessive substance use. By talking through your past with a professional, your brain begins healing portions that have become damaged from addiction. Psychotherapy sounds like a rather no brainer, but why choose psychotherapy as a form of treatment?

Why You Should Consider Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy has a lot to offer someone recovering from addiction and substance abuse. It may seem like talking might not be up your alley, but it can provide you with different skills to cope with your situation. For instance, the NIMH lists some of the most common reasons to consider psychotherapy for substance abuse.

  • Personal Life Stress – Personal life can cause all sorts of stress. Stress can come from relationships, work, family conflict, the passing of a loved one, or just about anything else life throws at you. Symptoms of significant stress can be all sorts of things. Some symptoms include a change in sleep patterns, loss of energy and alertness, loss of interest in hobbies, irritation from things around you, or a sense of constant disappointment and hopelessness.
  • Mental Health – With stress comes changes to mental development. No one is immune to the brain changing its operation. If you have mental health problems like depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder,` or any other mental illness, psychotherapy is recommended as one of the first treatments to try. You will be able to talk about certain aspects of life that have led you to this moment.
  • Doctor Recommendation – Going to the right doctor is vital for recovering from addiction or overcoming a mental obstacle. Going through psychotherapy can change how you think, why you feel a certain way, and how you can take control of your thoughts.

While psychotherapy is standard for those struggling with mental illness, it can also assist those in addiction recovery. There is often an underlying mental condition or a past event that leads someone to abuse substances. By talking with our medical professionals, you can find why and how to control it. The benefits of psychotherapy can be long-lasting. Start your treatment with us today.

Benefits of Psychotherapy

Not every substance abuse is the same. For example, alcohol abuse will cause different kinds of damage to the brain compared to heroin or cocaine abuse. Approaching psychotherapy will depend on the medical professional you work with. They will need to personalize it to you as an individual.

Furthermore, a medical professional will use different contingency management principles to keep you involved with treatment and retain what you have learned. Additionally, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) found in their research that contingency management, or providing an incentive to patients to reinforce positive behavior, helps recovery patients keep on track. Outside of offering incentives to stay on the path, for example, the NIMH has found several benefits to psychotherapy for addiction treatment.

Additional Benefits

  1. Psychotherapy helps patient’s awareness of their thinking habits. This includes positive and harmful thinking. By teaching the patient why they think the way they do, they can begin questioning their behavior and alter how they feel about their situation and personal development. This approach of awareness is essential to cognitive behavioral therapy.
  2. Patients can learn how to properly cope with the stresses found in life, such as work, family, or relationships.
  3. There is an in-depth examination of social interaction. Medical professionals will offer guidance on interacting with others if it is something that needs attention.
  4. Patients can learn how to implement mindfulness and relaxation techniques. When they become overwhelmed and consider relapsing into old habits, controlling the mind can help avoid this obstacle.
  5. Psychotherapy also offers exposure therapy for those dealing with anxiety. This helps dissipate fear of a particular situation by placing the patient in a supportive environment.
  6. Patients also learn the correlations of different unhealthy activities and emotions. Those two will impact one another, so learning how they operate together will help avoid future obstacles.
  7. They will also teach safety planning for warning signs and triggers. By talking through what kinds of situations and environments trigger a patient, they can plan to avoid those triggers and learn what warning signs they have. Getting friends and family involved can help them notice when warning signs are present.
  8. Getting involved with supportive counseling to explore your issues. Medical professionals will help with emotionally navigating situations that the patient has not been through before.

Choosing the Right Style

Once you have entered treatment, it’s critical to understand the different kinds of psychotherapy programs offered. Some might not be suitable for you, causing more damage than help. The American Psychiatric Association (APA) has found five significant psychotherapy forms that help patients recover, so knowing which one will fit you better will help your recovery. However, it’s also good to keep in mind psychiatrists may combine aspects of some therapy styles to personalize your recovery best.

The Five Forms of Psychotherapy

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) – CBT allows patients to identify and change thinking behaviors that are considered harmful or damaging to themselves and others. These thinking ways are replaced with more positive thinking habits, allowing the patient to approach a situation and solve it successfully.
  • Interpersonal Therapy (IPT) – IPT is a short form of treatment that focuses on a patient’s underlying conflicts. This form of therapy often resolves problems such as the grief surrounding the passing of a loved one, changes in social or work roles, or relationship problems. With IPT, the patients will learn to express themselves healthily when confronting conflict. 
  • Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) – DBT is a form of CBT and is used specifically for those struggling with suicidal thoughts, personality disorders, eating disorders, or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Using individual and group therapy, the patient will learn to take responsibility for their behavior and convert negative thoughts into positives.
  • Psychodynamic Therapy – This form of treatment dives into the patient’s childhood, correcting past thinking patterns. Someone going through this form of psychotherapy will learn to improve self-awareness to alter thinking behavior.
  • Psychoanalysis – This is a more intense version of the previous treatment and done more often.
  • Supportive Therapy – Supportive therapy helps guide patients in building their resources. They can reduce anxiety, build their self-esteem, and create more robust coping mechanisms.
  • Other common forms of therapy are different treatment forms, but the latter is the most commonly used in rehabilitation. Other remedies include animal-assisted therapy, creative art therapy, and play therapy.

If you or someone you care about is suffering from addiction, then contact us today. Our professionals will be able to guide you towards the happiest and healthiest path you can travel. Find the best treatment option for you and your situation.

Getting Help

Finally, no matter how severe your addiction may be, some treatments can help you overcome it. Moreover, psychotherapy for addiction is a popular option as it allows you to talk and open yourself up. You must work with a licensed medical professional if you want to experience the full effects of psychotherapy. Knowing what psychotherapy is and how it will affect your brain is critical to understand before attending. This form of therapy’s benefits are tremendous and will alter how you think to better recover from addiction. There is no single therapy that is a perfect fix, but you can get a lot of help from psychotherapy. When paired with other treatment methods, you can overcome addiction.

To summarize, if you or a loved one want to start the recovery path, call us at 912-214-3867 today. You can make this journey to sobriety with healthy relationships, support from loved ones, and hard work. This journey is not comfortable, but you can achieve everything with the mindset of achieving recovery. Do not lose hope. Call today, and start your personalized treatment.


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