Addiction Therapy

Addiction Therapy

Addiction Therapy

Addiction therapy is the phase of a rehab program that offers addicts a number of ways to address their underlying issues that may have been catalysts and/or contributors to their addiction. This is a crucial element of addiction rehab because it is here that addicts can learn a number of things about themselves and their addiction that often lead to life-changing epiphanies. There are two main types of addiction therapy, and within those, are a plethora of modalities and individualized approaches. The two main types of addiction therapy are group and individual.

Group Therapy

Group addiction therapy is a setting in which multiple addicts share their experiences, vulnerabilities, and begin to build support and fellowship along their individual paths to recovery. Commonly underrated, group therapy is very important dynamic of addiction treatment because a group is always stronger than any one person in any given situation.
Especially with addiction, the understanding that one is not alone in his or her struggles with addiction and personal traumas can be a very powerful motivational tool. One of the most common underlying issues with addicts is some form of trauma, pain, or disappointment that they think is unique to them, and not understandable by others. As a result, issues are internalized, unaddressed, and left to fester, and so begins the destructive behaviors often associated with addiction. In group therapy, addicts get to know others, many of whom have experienced similar traumas, and from that, they gain an understanding that neither their issues or addiction defines who they are or their potential in life.

It is very common for addicts to form strong and supportive bonds through group therapy, and maintain those relationships long after treatment has ended. Regardless of the underlying issues associated with any given addict, group therapy is a powerful tool in establishing the understanding that he or she is not alone, and many others can relate on a deeper level than thought possible.

Individualized Group Therapy

Because group therapy is so important and powerful in addiction recovery, many treatment centers have tailored their programs to be specific to various demographics for higher efficiency. While members of every group in addiction rehab have many things common among them, the least of which being addiction, there can be a caveat in this dynamic, depending on the more specific demographics within the group. Some examples are as follows:

Gender Specific Addiction Therapy

Men and women can be very different in the way they handle issues, communicate, and form relationships. With an issue as sensitive as the underlying causes of addiction, gender may play a role that can either facilitate or stifle the success of group therapy for a number of reasons.

  1. If the cause of trauma in an individual is gender-based, an intense discomfort or lack of trust can develop with any member of the opposite gender, entirely based on the trauma that person represents. Some examples of trauma that can prompt these reactions are:
    • abuse
    • sexual assault
    • neglect
    • a devastating relationship

    In a group setting with men and women, someone who feels threatened or uncomfortable with the opposite gender may be introverted and consequentially fail to share, trust, and develop relationships within the group.

  2. Since men and women tend to communicate and bond in different ways, their ability to relate to one another, even with a commonality as strong as addiction, may be limited to the point at which group therapy does not have it’s full intended effect. Many men have difficulty with showing their vulnerability in front of women from fear of appearing weak. While this is not generally the way men are viewed in this environment, the perception can be insurmountable for many men.
    Contrarily, many women may feel overly-vulnerable in a group setting with men, and fear being perceived as too weak or defenseless. Also not the general perception in a group therapy environment, personal perceptions and fears can prove to be more powerful than reality.

Regardless of the reason, when a man or woman feels uncomfortable with the opposite gender, the group therapy dynamic must be shifted to accommodate for that, and the result is gender specific therapy where men meet with other men and women with other women. Some addiction rehab centers are entirely gender specific, while others are open to both genders, but offer gender specific activities and group therapy sessions.

GLBT Specific Addiction Therapy

Members of the GLBT community are unfortunately met with apprehension and discrimination, even in addiction recovery environments. To ensure the comfort of all who participate in group therapy, many treatment centers have been developed specifically for the GLBT community, iterating all of the dynamics of addiction rehab within the comforts of an exclusively GLBT community. As with any other demographic, those within the GLBT community are more likely to relate to each other in healing from addiction, as many underlying traumas and issues may be specifically related to their sexual orientation.

Adolescent and Elderly Specific Addiction Therapy

Age and generational gaps can be a very dividing factor on any subject, including addiction. For adolescents these days, life is stressful, and full of dangers and traumas that older people may not be able to understand. Likewise, an individual who is elderly is likely to still have the belief systems and social standards of the time when he or she was younger. When adolescents and elderly addicts meet in the same space, it is not uncommon for there to be some sort of disconnect between the members of the two generations. Both adolescents and the elderly need things from potential members of a fellowship that they are unlikely to get from each other. Some of the things needed for fellowship for individuals in a group are:

  • Someone who moves and speaks at their respective pace
  • Someone who shares common interests and goals in life
  • Someone whose traumas and issues are similar to their own (i.e. a high school romance gone bad is likely not a relatable subject for an elderly individual)

With respect to age differences, it can be much more effective for adolescents to be in a group with others in their own age range, as it is important for elderly individuals to be with others who are closer to their age.

Religion Specific Addiction Therapy

Many people find solace and comfort in their respective religious beliefs, and for those who do, addiction rehab has been customized to facilitate and support belief systems of all kinds. There are many rehab centers that are entirely focused on a specific religion, and others that offer various religious tracks (or therapy formats). Some of the religious beliefs that are supported in addiction rehab are:

  • Christianity
  • Catholicism
  • Muslim Faith
  • Buddhism
  • Agnostic/Atheist

Regardless of one’s personal religious beliefs, or lack thereof, it is important that he or she not feel judged in a rehab environment because of it. Religious-based rehab programs can be especially important to any individual, as treatment integrated with his or her belief system can be a life-saving source of strength in recovery.

The goal for any group therapy dynamic is to group individuals with others who are most likely to generate the crucial elements for an effective group therapy, such as:

  1. Trust
  2. Commonalities
  3. Comfort

Individual Therapy

Addiction Therapy

Individual Therapy

Individual therapy is the part of addiction rehab that allows an addict to sit with his or her counselor and go through life, traumas, issues, disappointments, grievances, and transgressions. It is most likely that one or more of these things is/are contributing to addiction. Individual therapy is intended to work with the individual addict and get to the bottom of whatever may be causing him/her pain or suffering in life. Since addiction is almost always a symptom of other issues that exist deep within an individual, it is imperative to discover those issues, and address them in a way that is most conducive to recovery.
Depending on the rehab program and its offerings of therapy, an addict may be able to engage in a number of therapy treatments that support his or her recovery, and build a foundation for a healthy and sober life once treatment has been completed. Some of these treatment methods can be as follows:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
    Helps addicts to understand the thoughts and feelings that influence their behaviors
  • Equine Assisted Therapy
    Therapeutic use of horses and horseback riding
  • Massage Therapy
    Use of massage to promote blood flow and total body relaxation
  • Art Therapy
    Therapeutic use of art to express feelings that cannot be articulated or are still difficult to address directly
  • Nutrition and Vitamin Therapy
    Consultation of healthy eating habits in conjunction with vitamin supplements to promote a healthy lifestyle in recovery
  • Yoga
    Use of yoga to build health and promote mind and body relaxation
  • Acupuncture
    Intended to release the trauma in muscles that is retained from drug and alcohol abuse
  • Adventure Therapy
    Use of adventurous activities like hiking, rock climbing, and camping, among others to promote a healthy lifestyle in recovery
  • Hypnotherapy
    Use of hypnosis to tap into unconscious issues and traumas that may be contributing to addiction

This is not a complete list of all forms of individual treatment available throughout all addiction rehab centers. However, the various forms of therapy an addict can experience are intended to be specific to the needs, preferences, and belief systems of the individual.
Over time, addiction professionals have learned that everyone must learn and heal in their own way. As a result, addiction rehabilitation is extraordinarily specified to each individual and what he or she needs to get the most of the rehab experience, to ensure a life-long recovery from addiction.

Find the Right Addiction Rehab Center

When addiction enters the life of any individual and his or her loved ones, the effects are terrifying and often leave loved ones feeling hopeless and devastated. Effective addiction rehab is not a vacation from life, or a one-sided approach. While there are some rehab centers that do not offer the personalization needed for optimal recovery, most do.

When an addicted individual is ready to get help for his or her addiction, it is crucial to find the right treatment program that will be able to provide the activities, fellowship, and therapy necessary to build a strong foundation for recovery.

At, we understand that this process can be grueling and confusing, but it is also among the most important decisions the loved ones of an addict can make. The wrong rehab program can launch an addict further into his or her addiction if he/she feels isolated, judged, unsafe, and/or discriminated against. Understanding the importance of an effective treatment program is what has created the massive range of options available for addicted individuals. These options have also created a maze of confusing program descriptions that can take months to understand and analyze, and for addicts, there is no time to waste. We are here to help you sift through the options and narrow down the best choices for addiction rehab for yourself or your addicted loved one.

If you or a loved one are suffering from addiction, and in need of addiction rehab, please call us now and speak with a trained counselor who will listen to your situation, needs, preferences, and belief system, and work with you to find the best program with the most appropriately specified therapies and environments. Dealing with addiction is hard enough, so when there is hope of getting help, time is not a luxury. Please call us now to get the help you need to help yourself or your addicted loved one.

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