It used to be the case that those struggling with addiction to drugs or alcohol had few options but to quit cold-turkey alone or, more recently, to engage in a 12-step program. Unfortunately, addiction is a serious disorder that is incredibly difficult to beat alone and the 12-step program has not proven to be a successful model for all addicts. Thankfully, modern scientific research has provided a variety of alternatives. Read on to find out about some of the most popular and effective research-based treatment modalities for addiction.
Addiction counselors used to take a confrontational approach to interviewing clients and discussing their substance abuse problems, and many still do today. However, research has demonstrated that this approach tends to elicit stress, resentment, and an unwillingness to change. Motivational interviewing is a much more effective, research-backed approach that leverages the collaborative processes and individualized treatment plans to address problems in a positive way. Its purpose is to help clients find the motivation to change for themselves and ensuring that they are truly ready to commit to sobriety.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) began as a treatment for mental health disorders, but it has since been used to great effect within the addiction recovery community, as well. CBT encourages clients to examine their own thoughts and replace negative, self-destructive thought patterns with healthier responses. Like all forms of addiction therapy, it requires a willingness to change on the part of the client and a commitment to following through on the exercises taught by addiction counselors who specialize in CBT.
Relational Framework Theory
Relational framework theory (RFT) is a therapeutic perspective adopted by addiction counselors that takes into account how common language structures in the brain create meaning and, in this case, can drive self-destructive behaviors. Once counselors and their clients can precisely identify harmful verbal structures, they can leverage the power of language to help create positive change.
Transactional analysis (TA) is a mode of therapy that analyzes social transactions to create a basis for understanding a person’s behaviors. With the help of a trained psychotherapist, addicts can learn how to analyze their own ego states to encourage a state of improved self-control. This makes it easier to avoid relapses by giving clients the tools they need to continue their recoveries at home once they have left the structured environment provided by rehabilitation clinics.
Many addicts are driven to use their drugs of choice by underlying problems with stress, but even those who did not originally turn to drugs or alcohol as a coping mechanism will still have to deal with the stress of primary and secondary withdrawals. Learning relaxation practices like meditation and yoga can help addicts develop coping mechanisms that are more effective and less self-destructive than drugs and alcohol.
The Bottom Line
There are plenty of ways to get clean and sober, but those who are serious about turning their lives around should always seek the help of licensed addiction specialists. Ready to get started? Check out available options from ARC online or get in touch to schedule an initial assessment.