Recovery Process Pages

Therapy Methods

If you or your loved one has decided to enter treatment for a substance abuse problem, it’s likely that some form of therapy will be involved. It’s worth taking the time to educate yourself about the many options for treatment out there, both to alleviate your own concerns about therapy and to answer burning questions that you might have.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT, is a form of therapy that can be applied to a wide range of mental problems, including depression, anxiety and addiction. In fact, while other factors will come into play, CBT is frequently the most effective part of substance abuse treatment. CBT may also be effective if you have a dual diagnosis, since it can treat both a substance abuse problem and an underlying disorder.

CBT is all about thoughts and behaviors. From a therapist’s perspective, problematic behaviors, including those that are a part of your addiction, stem from thoughts. Among other activities, a therapist specializing in CBT will have you discuss your thoughts. With a therapist’s guidance, you may begin to notice patterns, including errors and distortions in thinking that could be pushing you down the wrong path. As these thoughts and behaviors become clearer to you, it will become easier to change them.

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Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)

Though we’ve separated it here, dialectical behavior therapy, or DBT, is actually a form of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). Originally developed to treat patients with borderline personality disorder, DBT has found increasing acceptance as an effective treatment option for a variety of disorders, including substance abuse.

What sets DBT apart from other forms of therapy is its emphasis on acceptance and change two seemingly opposite concepts that both play a role in DBT treatment. DBT embraces mindfulness, or the idea of being attentive to the present moment, which is derived from Zen Buddhist practices. Developed in the 1970s, DBT has grown in popularity in the years since.

Other Forms of Therapy

Although CBT and DBT represent two of the most popular forms of therapy for the treatment of substance abuse problems, they’re hardly the only options out there. For example, many people suffering from problems with drug and alcohol find relief through 12-step programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous. Teen rehab may incorporate multidimensional family therapy, which involves the family in therapy sessions. You may also find relief through hypnotherapy, a form of therapy involving hypnosis that is commonly used to treat drug abuse problems.

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