The standard psychotherapy definition is talk therapy. It refers to the practice of treating mental health conditions via behavioral modifications based on discussions. Not surprisingly, it’s a perfect modality for use in a drug rehab facility. But did you know that it also works well for treating process addictions?
What Happens During Talk Therapy?
There are many schools of thought that govern the various approaches to a psychotherapy definition. Case in point is the Freudian method that focuses primarily on interpreting information. Other methods use the information to engage in an agreeable behavioral modification. Within the treatment of addictions, a psychotherapy definition might include:
- Cognitive behavioral therapy, which emphasizes adjustments of negative behavior, thought or feeling patterns
- Dialectical behavior therapy that hones in on a practice to embrace and accept within certain parameters
- 12 Step program therapy stresses the importance of accountability and active pursuit of personal growth
- Family therapy helps a close-knit group of individuals to re-establish connections, boundaries, and healthy engagement techniques
- Group therapy applications of various techniques allow for healing in a community environment
When getting together for one-on-one talk therapy, you and a therapist meet privately for an appointment. During your session, you might explore past traumas with an eye on unresolved situations that affect you today. This time is also an opportunity to investigate the possibility of a dual diagnosis. The therapist acts as a guide and sounding board in these sessions.
Applying the Psychotherapy Definition in Addiction Counseling
Addictions do not happen overnight. Nobody goes to bed after having a glass of wine and wakes up with an alcohol use disorder. Rather, this condition requires years to develop. In the process, it affects those you live with.
Unresolved traumatic experiences are among the most common causes of suffering from an addictive personality. Here, a psychotherapy definition allows for talk therapy that affects changes in coping mechanisms. You learn to recognize triggers that stem from past experiences. Then, you find ways to diffuse these situations through coping strategies you learn in therapy.
Another reason why someone may fall victim to an addiction problem has to do with a dual diagnosis. If you have an underlying mental health challenge, you may reach for alcohol or drugs to self-medicate. Doing so happens when you don’t have a formal diagnosis and fail to receive treatment. Many rehab program participants are surprised to learn that they suffer from anxiety or depression, for example.
In some cases, an addiction may cause the onset of a mental health challenge. Talk therapy must now function as a means to identify the dual diagnosis and treat it. A psychotherapy definition would, in this case, point to the reactive rather than proactive nature of the discussions. Therapists work closely with program participants to narrow down the list of co-occurring disorders.
Group Therapy Assists with Ending Self-Imposed Isolation
So far, we’ve talked about the psychotherapy definition against the backdrop of one-on-one talk therapy. However, remember that there’s also a group therapy setting where discussions are integral components of healing. Good examples are 12 Step meetings or experiential outings that form unity among groups of participants. The goal in this setting is to break down isolation.
Drug use inevitably leads to self-isolation. Whether you hide your use from friends and family members or you decide to get away from warnings, you end up alone. Sometimes, close relationships break apart because the other party cannot handle the cycle of drug abuse. You may also have a mental illness but not receive the treatment you need to deal with the symptoms.
Group therapy typically takes place in smaller settings. Therapists carefully put together groups so that like-minded individuals participate simultaneously. The goal is to avoid trigger situations and foster communication. Lively discussions bolster self-esteem and help participants re-learn how to relate to others.
These settings are also ideally suited for individuals close to discharge. Because peer group formation plays an essential role in relapse prevention, it makes sense to emphasize group therapy early on. While these interactions happen organically in a 12 Step environment, they take more effort during other therapeutic settings. Although a therapist may get the discussion going, she or he typically bow out when it’s in full swing.
Benefiting from the Psychotherapy Definition at a Rehab Facility
When you’re struggling with addictions, there’s more to healing than just breaking the physical dependence. This process is something that happens at a medically supervised detox facility. What frequently remains intact is the craving as well as the mental addiction. Fighting it calls for talk therapy.
You undergo this level of treatment at a rehab facility. Although you could opt for a less intensive level of treatment, success typically comes when applying the psychotherapy definition in-house. Examples of treatments against this backdrop include:
- Residential stays of varying lengths–30 to 90 days are typical durations for treatments
- Life skills training that helps you replace current bad habits and replaces them with new, healthy ones
- Vocational mentoring helps you to switch gears after discharge and ensures a productive lifestyle
- Relapse prevention training helps you to identify trigger situations and teaches how to disarm them
- Mental health education allows you to become an active participant in your recovery by understanding various psychotherapy approaches
Addiction Helped by Psychotherapy
If you’re suffering from substance abuse or process addictions, the psychotherapy definition of recognizing negative patterns and replacing them works. In the cases of process addictions – gambling, sex, shopping, eating, or self-harm – you cannot move forward right away. Until you know the why behind the action, healing will prove elusive. During talk therapy sessions, you have the opportunity to explore various potential causes.
Of course, for this modality to succeed, experts must incorporate it into a whole person approach. After all, the addiction is not a stand-alone condition that you can fix without also integrating physical, mental health, and emotional wellness. Getting this level of care to succeed calls for a tightly aligned, effective collaboration between therapists and program participants. By achieving this goal, therapists can customize talk therapy as well as experiential healing to your personal needs.
Part and parcel of this approach is to find ways of motivating you to stick to your resolve of quitting an addiction. Cravings are intense and may tempt you to return to using at the most surprising moments. When you recognize that everyone’s in your corner and heavily invested in helping you, you can use their strength to keep going. Before long, you’ll notice that you stand on your own strength.
Are You Ready to Apply the Psychotherapy Definition to Personal Healing?
If you suffer from a chemical or process addiction, there’s hope for healing. Don’t let it control your life and rob you of relationships or your livelihood. Instead, get help from the caring therapists at Healing Springs Ranch. Dial 866-656-8384 today for a way out of addiction.