Benefits of Individual Therapy for Addiction

Addiction of any kind is a disease that affects every part of life. It’s common to focus on the physical recovery of addiction and the detoxification process, but the emotional side of recovery is just as important. A part of this is because substance abuse addictions are typically rooted in a combination of emotional and physical triggers. 

Individual substance abuse counseling is a therapy option that provides a safe space for people to openly work through their issues whether they have to do with mental health or addiction. By implementing individual therapy into a treatment program, clients increase their chances of long-term sobriety and overall well-being. The Key to Recovery offers different styles of individual substance abuse counseling as a part of our comprehensive treatment plans. 

What is Individual Substance Abuse Counseling? 

Abuse CounselingCounseling is the process by which someone receives guidance or help in any area of life from someone who has expertise in that matter. Whether the counselor has gone through the situation themselves or has been trained on the subject, they can provide insight and helpful advice to make whatever experience easier for the person seeking help.

Many people are familiar with group style counseling, such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meetings or group therapy. These situations bring together people who have shared experiences or relatable challenges in life. Typically there is a guide leading the conversation, allowing each member of the group to share their thoughts and experiences.

Group therapy is a great opportunity to experience compassion and feel seen or understood in whatever challenge one is going through. However, this style of therapy can have its limitations in its ability to help people overcome substance abuse. Having a professional who can go beyond compassion and actually give individuals tools to help them on their journey is crucial in finding and maintaining sobriety.

The Benefits of Individual Therapy for Addiction 

Individual therapy for addiction is between two people—the person seeking help for addiction and the counselor who will help this person. In many cases, the counselor is someone who has experienced addiction firsthand. Therapists for addiction likely have gone through the process of recovery and can now offer insight into what steps helped them and what mistakes set them back in their recovery process.

In other cases, the counselor is a professionally trained individual with educational expertise in topics like psychology, physiology, and pharmacology. This knowledge helps them understand universal trends in addiction. Applying a scientific background with the individual’s personal story allows the professional counselor to develop personalized tools for his or her recovery. 

Types of Individual Therapy

Individual counseling/therapy is an umbrella term, meaning it’s a broad term that references a variety of different therapeutic methods. All of these methods will be one-on-one sessions and involve guidance from an experienced professional. During these sessions, clients will take part in different treatment modalities aimed at finding and healing emotional along with mental trauma that could be impacting their addiction.  Some types of Individual counseling options include:

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Therapy for AddictionCognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is arguably the most well-known style of individual therapy practiced today. This style of therapy involves a one-on-one setting with a licensed doctor or therapist. Sessions will consist of a series of prompts to help the client understand the behaviors, past experiences, and thought patterns that led to the formation of their addiction.

The principle idea behind this style of therapy is that our thoughts and ideas about the world directly affect our lives. If we can understand how our negative thoughts are influencing negative behaviors, we can start to replace them with more positive and healthy ones. Cognitive-behavioral therapy can be either a short-term or long-term treatment. Most professionals will recommend that CBT should be implemented during and after the initial rehabilitation period. 

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)

Dialectical behavior therapy is a method of counseling that was first created to address mental health issues related to suicidal thoughts, depression, and poor self-image. The main purpose of this type of counseling is to help people who are struggling emotionally to obtain and utilize tools for managing stress as well as improving their overall well-being. DBT is based on principles that believe mental health has a direct influence on overall well-being.

By working on mental health, improving self-confidence, and learning how to manage stress, individuals can improve their lives through DBT. This helps them feel less overwhelmed by difficult situations. DBT also works on behaviors associated with productivity, professionalism, and socializing. DBT combines talk therapy with life skills training. It can be both a short and long-term treatment. 

Experiential Therapy 

Experiential therapy is a style of counseling that utilizes activity, expression, and other participatory-based techniques to improve overall well-being. This style of therapy goes beyond addressing the addiction itself and aims to reawaken the healthy and expressive parts of the individual that may have been suppressed due to life’s challenges and stressors. 

By taking part in activities that are enjoyable as well as creative, old negative brain patterns begin to break down and make room for positive experiences. This style of counseling can introduce clients to new skills and activities while learning to let go of old habits and feelings of being “stuck”. Some examples of what clients may do during these sessions include writing, songwriting, dancing, acting, art, and nature-related activities. 

Who Can Benefit From Individual Substance Abuse Counseling?

Individual Substance Abuse CounselingIndividual counseling is an amazing tool to support people on their journey to substance abuse recovery. Studies have shown that these different styles of counseling benefit mental health, stress management, and physical health, all while decreasing the chances of relapse. While group therapy and other styles of addiction therapy are helpful in their own ways, individual counseling addresses the root of the problem. 

It can be hard to understand why or how an addiction started. A licensed professional has the tools and experience to work through any blockages or repressed emotions that could be contributing to negative thoughts or behaviors. 

It’s important to remember that addiction is a complex emotional and physical disease. For this reason, it’s also important to remember that unhealthy mental states increase the frequency of drug use along with cravings. 

Individual counseling is best for those looking to improve their lives in the following areas:

  • Substance abuse and addiction
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Personality disorders
  • ADHD
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Trauma
  • PTSD
  • Life skills
  • Productivity
  • Overall well-being

Since addiction affects all areas of life, the treatment one takes to recover should also address all areas of life. CBT, DBT, and experiential therapy can each help clients understand what areas of their lives they need to work on. Working with a licensed professional who understands patients’ backgrounds can give them someone that holds them accountable and offers them insight into how best to tackle challenges that arise. 

Individual Counseling Intake Assessment

Everyone will find different styles of counseling beneficial for their personal recovery. While it’s encouraged to experiment with all styles of counseling, an intake assessment can help figure out which style might be best. It’s important to be open and honest with a team of professionals regarding current and prior health matters. It’s a safe and judgment-free zone that will allow a team of medical professionals to gain insight into what services will be most beneficial to a patient’s recovery.

Upon entering treatment, professional staff will ask a series of questions regarding a patient’s mental health, childhood, addiction experience, family history, co-occurring health conditions, and anything else that could have an impact on substance abuse. This initial assessment is very important as it gives doctors and counselors a general understanding of a patient’s thinking patterns as well as life experiences.

This knowledge will enable the medical team to gain insight into which counseling modalities will be most beneficial for each individual. For example, if a patient struggles to express him or herself, the medical team may recommend trying experiential therapy to move past fears and blockages. If a patient struggles with confidence and goals, he or she may be suggested more DBT sessions. The assessment is just an initial understanding of what one’s treatment program should include, and can always be adjusted to meet specific needs.

Individual Substance Abuse Counseling at The Key to Recovery 

The Key to Recovery has created treatment programs that encompass different services and therapies aimed at addressing every aspect of the client’s addiction. Our individual therapies are an important part of our recovery programs, and we make sure that our clients get the most out of what we have to offer by implementing multiple styles. With a combination of CBT, DBT, and experiential therapy, our clients’ mental and emotional needs are met with compassion.

The Key to Recovery expands the ways in which we treat our clients’ substance abuse to encompass services that bring total wellness. Our professional team is clinically trained and has extensive experience in treating substance abuse through individual therapy. Our goal is to have our clients leave our facility with confidence in their ability to maintain sobriety, and live the lives they deserve. If you or a loved one is suffering from substance abuse, contact us for information on our programs and individual counseling options.