To reap the full benefits of rehab, it’s imperative that your addiction treatment program includes individual therapy. Individual substance abuse counseling is important because people’s negative thoughts and emotions or past trauma are often what causes people to start abusing substances in the first place. Therefore, by incorporating individual therapy into your addiction treatment, you’re minimizing the chances of you relapsing later on.
While individual substance abuse counseling may seem like a simple concept at first, there are many layers to it. It may be helpful to learn more about the various types of individual therapy. Each approach and method that individual therapy includes can assist those who are working to overcome substance dependence and addiction. We’re also going to go into more detail about the benefits of individual substance abuse counseling.
What is Individual Therapy?
Individual therapy is a form of talk therapy in which a therapist meets one-on-one with a patient. The purpose of individual therapy is to improve people’s mental health and overall well-being.
Through individual therapy, patients are able to overcome their addictions, mental illness, emotional struggles, self-esteem issues, or past trauma. Standard individual therapy occurs once a week for anywhere from 45 to 60 minutes.
Because individual therapy occurs one-on-one with a therapist, it’s very intimate. Thus, it’s important to find a therapist that makes you feel safe and comfortable. That way you can be open and honest with your therapist and maximize the benefits that you’ll receive from therapy.
Due to its intimate nature, individual therapy is also a great tool to use to learn more about yourself. Other forms of therapy, such as group or family therapy, will not give you as much time to do this. This is particularly true when treating an issue that affects everyone, as addiction does.
Individual Therapy vs. Group Therapy
As we’ve mentioned earlier, individual therapy occurs between a therapist and one patient. Individual therapy differs from group therapy in that group therapy occurs between a therapist and two or more patients simultaneously.
Since there are two or more patients within group therapy, members of group therapy must take turns expressing themselves. Therefore, group therapy patients must learn from the experiences of others rather than only reflecting on themselves. Group therapy patients must also be comfortable talking about their private issues around others to receive group therapy.
So, if you want to gain advice and multiple different perspectives about your substance use, group substance abuse counseling is certainly helpful. But, if you need to talk privately about your challenges, individual substance abuse counseling is beneficial.
Individual Therapy vs. Family Therapy
Another major form of therapy is family therapy. This type of therapy allows the close family members of a recovering individual to attend some therapy sessions with that person.
The purpose of family therapy is to work out any issues family members are having with one another. Due to the familiar nature of family, family therapy can be intense. This is particularly true when treating a sensitive issue such as addiction while in family therapy.
Just like family substance abuse counseling is usually more intense than regular family therapy, individual substance abuse counseling tends to be more intense than regular individual therapy. This is because chronic substance abuse alters your brain’s chemistry. Therefore, there is much more to tackle in individual substance abuse counseling than just normal individual therapy.
Individual substance abuse counseling is also more intense than regular individual therapy because addiction is an illness that ruins every aspect of your life if you let it. Therefore, there is usually much more on the line when receiving individual substance abuse counseling than regular individual therapy.
Types of Individual Substance Abuse Counseling
When most people think of therapy, they think of standard individual therapy. What most of these people don’t know though is that individual therapy comes in many different forms. Below are the most popular types of individual substance abuse counseling.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a type of individual therapy that aims to change the negative thoughts, feelings, and behaviors of a patient into positive ones. When addiction treatment therapists use cognitive behavioral therapy in the form of individual substance abuse counseling, they’re looking to exchange negative thoughts, feelings, and behaviors for positive ones. Cognitive behavioral therapy is one of the most popular forms of individual substance abuse counseling.
Dialectical Behavioral Therapy
Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) works to help patients accept their negative thoughts, feelings, and behaviors so that they can calmly cope with them until they change them. DBT in the form of individual substance abuse counseling helps make patients accept and cope with their negative thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that caused them to want to abuse substances.
Interpersonal therapy helps patients learn how to communicate and build bonds with other people. This type of therapy also helps patients learn how to communicate. This allows individuals to rebuild the bonds that they may have broken with their family members and friends due to their addictions.
There are four phases of interpersonal therapy. During the first phase, a therapist will address the conflicts that a patient has with his or her relationships with others. In the second phase of interpersonal therapy, a therapist will help the patient resolve any unresolved grief that he or she may have.
In the third phase of interpersonal therapy, a therapist will help the patient transition back into real life. Finally, in the fourth phase, a therapist will help the patient resolve any new conflicts with family or friends.
When attending interpersonal therapy for substance abuse, the process is the same. The only thing that’s different is that the conflict and unresolved issues amongst the patients and their family and friends arose due to addiction.
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) is a form of individual therapy that makes patients use mindfulness skills to help them accept their past, present, and future trauma. Unlike CBT, acceptance and commitment therapy only focuses on the acceptance aspect of negative behavior and past trauma and not the changing aspect. Also, unlike DBT, there is no focus on changing behaviors at all or even coping with behaviors.
Instead, acceptance and commitment therapy is just about accepting. When it comes to acceptance and commitment therapy for substance abuse, addicts are supposed to simply accept their past struggles with addiction.
Psychoanalysis is the form of individual therapy that analyzes a person’s unconscious thoughts and behaviors. This is one of the more classic forms of individual therapy that Sigmund Freud created. Psychoanalysis in the form of individual substance abuse counseling analyzes a person’s unconscious thoughts and behaviors to see what causes that person to abuse substances.
Humanist therapy helps people make rational decisions so that they can reach their potential. Examples of humanist therapy include client-centered therapy, gestalt therapy, and existential therapy. Humanist therapy for substance abuse helps people reach their full potential by making them make the rational decision to turn away from drugs.
Holistic therapy is a form of individual therapy that only uses natural and creative forms of treatment. This means that no prescription medications are given in holistic therapy. Even when used for individual substance abuse counseling, holistic therapy uses creative practices like creating art or making music to help patients gain insight as to why they abuse substances.
Benefits of Individual Substance Abuse Counseling
Regardless of the therapy type, there are numerous benefits to individual substance abuse counseling. Some of the more well-known benefits of individual substance abuse counseling are discussed below.
It Helps Provide Self-Awareness
Since individual substance abuse counseling is one-on-one with a therapist, it allows patients to focus only on their own psyche. This allows these patients to gain a ton of self-awareness. Through this self-awareness, many patients are able to get to the root of why they started abusing substances in the first place.
Individual substance abuse counseling also allows patients to recognize what their triggers are for using substances. Once patients figure out the reasons why they abuse substances, coming up with solutions to avoid using substances that work for them becomes much easier.
It Helps Patients Learn How To Cope
Another benefit of individual substance abuse counseling is the coping mechanisms that it teaches patients. This is particularly true with dialectical behavioral therapy for substance abuse.
By getting the one-on-one time to learn their triggers while in individual substance abuse counseling, patients can really figure out what coping mechanisms will work best for them. Once patients figure this out, maintaining sobriety becomes easier.
It Betters the Communication Skills of Patients
Communication is one skill individual substance abuse counseling encourages. By learning how to better communicate with others, individuals can more easily rebuild the relationships that they may have lost due to their addictions.
Silver Linings Recovery Center Can Serve All of Your Addiction Treatment Needs
At Silver Lining Recovery, we know the importance of incorporating different forms of individual therapy into our addiction treatment programs. Thus, you can rest assured that when you receive treatment with us, you’re reaping all the benefits.
We also make sure to individualize all of our addiction treatment programs. That way you can make sure that all of your personal addiction treatment needs are met.
Due to all of our addiction treatment programs and services being evidence-based, you can even trust that the methods that we use in our treatment programs will work. To learn more about Silver Linings and all of our evidence-based addiction treatment programs and services, contact us today.
Call us to speak with a drug and alcohol addiction treatment expert, and get on the path to rehabilitation today.