The mental health world has seen tremendous changes in the use of behavioural therapies to treat various mental illnesses, including substance abuse and addiction. Addiction counselling in Orange County and other parts of the world has helped users get to full recovery. There has also been a significant increase in the conceptualisation of approaches to the development of behavioural theories. The different types of therapy for substance abuse and addiction include:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

CBT is used to help patients recognise, avoid and cope with the situations in which they are most likely to use drugs. This approach seeks to understand drug use and consequences within the context of an individual, as well as recognising situations the individual is most vulnerable to substance abuse so as to find workable solutions.

Treatment using this approach is centred around how an individual’s beliefs and thoughts influence their actions and moods. Through this, an individual can slowly change their unhealthy thoughts and behavioural patterns and actions into healthier ones.

  • Motivational Interviewing

In this approach, therapy aims to increase an individual’s intrinsic motivation for change. The strategies used aim to make the most out of an individual’s readiness for change. This approach works best when combined with other evidence-based therapies.

  • Multidimensional Family and Couples Therapy

This strategy is mainly used on young people and their families and helps them address the addiction and find ways to work together as a couple or family. Engaging in a social support system for the individual helps the support system predict any changes in the individual, figure out the common influences to their addiction, and reduce the chances of attrition. Most family-based therapies combine a variety of techniques and treatments, which may include personal therapy and/or training on communication skills.

  • Motivational Incentives (Contingency Management)

This approach mainly uses positive reinforcement like rewards or privileges for meeting specific behavioural goals. For instance, faithfully attending meetings, staying sober, etc. This approach is based on the principle of operant conditioning, in which an individual is likely to repeat a behaviour that was followed by positive consequences.

It has been proven that positive reinforcement and motivational incentives have more impact on individuals as opposed to negative stimuli. For instance, an individual who is rewarded every time he/she attends therapy will be more likely to stick to the program as opposed to an individual who had their treatment terminated for missing sessions.

  • Aversion Therapy

In this type of therapy, individuals are taught to associate the unhealthy but desirable addiction with an unpleasant one, with the end goal of changing the desirability of the harmful behaviour. For instance, an individual will learn how to associate particular behaviour with an unpleasant memory. With time, the individual loses the glorified need to associate with or desire the unhealthy habit.

  • Twelve-Step Facilitation (TSP)

This type of therapy is delivered in 12 weekly sessions, with the end goal of engaging in a 12-step mutual support program. This approach provides social and complementary support to the individual. It follows the 12-step themes of acceptance, surrender and active involvement in the treatment program.

These therapy approaches will vary depending on an individual and the type of addiction they’re struggling with. It is important to find a therapist who will guide them on the best treatment program.

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