Addiction is a mental disease that changes the way the brain works. People who develop a substance use disorder often begin using drugs or alcohol as a way to cope with stress, depression, or another psychological issue.
Each time someone abuses a substance, their brain makes connections between the drug and the reward.
The brain starts to expect drugs or alcohol to be present to control its activity, so it becomes less effective at regulating itself. As a result, the brain craves the substance and does not function well without it.
Psychotherapy is an addiction treatment method that works to rewire the brain. When a person stops using drugs or alcohol, the brain needs time to adjust, and it also needs help. Psychotherapy guides the individual toward alternative ways of dealing with stress and other mental issues.
Often called “talk therapy,” psychotherapy helps the individual discover why they turn to substance abuse and what they can do instead. It uses verbal communication and non-medical methods to empower the individual to find healing within themselves.
This form of therapy is available in a few different forms. A core component of most alcohol and drug rehab programs, psychotherapy is included in each individual’s treatment plan at Swift River.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a form of psychotherapy that helps a person alter their behavior by changing their thoughts. It has been scientifically proven to work in many cases of substance abuse and other mental disorders.
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During cognitive-behavioral therapy, the individual works with a therapist to detect flawed thinking. Many people who suffer from addiction have negative thought patterns that lead them to seek comfort in unhealthy ways.
Once faulty thinking is addressed, cognitive-behavioral therapy fosters the development of healthy coping skills and positive thought patterns. This prepares people to resist relapse by responding to stressful situations more effectively.
Psychotherapy And Mindfulness
Psychotherapy at Swift River emphasizes mindfulness. Mindfulness is a mental state in which a person is aware of what they are doing and why. It is a practice that helps people live in the moment and experience their emotions as well as the world around them.
By encouraging awareness and attention to the present, mindfulness lessens the burden of stress in the past or future. This helps many people live happier lives and be less inclined to use drugs or alcohol for comfort.
When a person uses mindfulness in everyday life, they respond thoughtfully to situations and feelings rather than reacting to them.
When someone is addicted to drugs or alcohol, substance abuse is a reaction rather than a conscious choice. Mindfulness encourages the individual to take time to find a better solution.
Individual psychotherapy takes place one-on-one between a person and a therapist. The two develop a relationship and explore unique issues in the individual’s life that contribute to substance abuse.
This one-on-one setting ensures personal attention and guidance. It allows the individual and therapist to focus on the most problematic areas and adjust the course of treatment if necessary. It also helps them create an appropriate relapse prevention plan.
Group psychotherapy is run by one or more therapists. It brings a group of peers together to examine issues related to substance abuse. This format helps individuals realize they are not alone in their struggle.
As people share their experiences and advice, others may find a new perspective on their own problems. Positive social interaction encourages individuals to reach out and build relationships with others.
At Swift River, we offer gender-specific groups. Men and women tend to have separate issues when it comes to substance abuse.
They generally relate to each other differently and may be hesitant to share personal details with members of the opposite sex. Gender-specific groups provide a safe space for individuals to feel comfortable opening up to each other.
Family psychotherapy is offered weekly at Swift River. It encourages family members to rebuild relationships and improve their communication.
Many individuals who suffer from addiction act distant and lie to or steal from their loved ones. Their family may feel powerless to help them and unsure how to talk to them.
In some cases, conflict with family members leads a person to use drugs or alcohol in the first place. A loved one may even enable or encourage substance abuse that leads the individual to addiction.
Family members come to Swift River to address these types of issues with their loved one and a therapist. This helps a family to gain understanding and support so they can heal together.
Eye Movement Desensitization And Reprocessing (EMDR)
Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) is a type of psychotherapy that assists people in overcoming trauma or stress. It may focus on a memory or current situation that negatively affects someone’s life.
In EMDR, the therapist may use eye movements, sound, and touch to prompt activity in both sides of the brain (called “bilateral stimulation”) as the client recalls a past event.
The goal is for the individual to process painful memories and transform them into empowering experiences. The therapist also teaches the person coping skills and how to adjust their attitude to overcome difficult situations.
Psychotherapy For Addiction Treatment In Massachusetts
Swift River provides psychotherapy for addiction treatment in Massachusetts. Our residential rehab program removes a person from the stress of everyday life and immerses them in a new way of living.
Psychotherapy is an essential part of addiction treatment that is most effective when paired with other therapies. We offer many alternative therapies for stress management and positive emotional expression, such as yoga, art, music, and sports.
To learn more about psychotherapy for addiction treatment, as well as other healing methods at Swift River, contact us today.
- EMDR Institute, Inc. — What is EMDR?