Psychotherapy in Addiction Treatment

Psychotherapy is a broad term that incorporates several aspects of analysis and counseling. Although psychotherapy is a key part of alcohol and drug addiction treatment, not all individuals struggling with addiction seek psychotherapy as treatment. Yet, often utilized alongside 12 step programs, psychotherapy is essential in helping patients find the root cause of their addiction.

What Is Psychotherapy?

The term psychotherapy refers to any type of interaction between a trained licensed psychology professional and a patient. Often delivered through timed sessions this interaction offers therapeutic support to address the patient’s psychological issues and concerns. The purpose of psychotherapy is to increase the awareness of the patient’s self and well-being and to help the patient resolve psychological issues and improve mental health.

The history of psychotherapy dates back to at least ancient Greece, but it was during the 1890s that Sigmund Freud created psychoanalysis therapeutic techniques such as the use of free association and discovered transference, establishing its central role in the analytic process. Today, there are many different categories of psychotherapy from behavior modification to group therapy, hypnotherapy and expressive therapy.

How Can Psychotherapy Help with Addiction?

Many addiction treatment programs and mental health professionals recognize addiction as a true disease of the brain. There is a genetic component that predisposes certain people to addictive behaviors and there is evidence that substance addiction actually changes the chemistry of the brain. Simply wanting to stop using drugs or drinking is not enough for someone to go from addiction to sobriety. Going cold turkey or only receiving medical detoxification are approaches that often fail because besides the severe and uncomfortable physical withdrawal symptoms caused by the absence of drugs or alcohol, there are also psychological issues that must be identified and treated. There is no short term solution to a long term problem with intrinsic issues. Addiction treatment should not be considered without psychotherapy within a program that treats the individual as a whole – body, mind and spirit. Through Psychotherapy the root cause of addiction surfaces, whether trauma or other mental health issues, by addressing those, the individual can begin to understand his or her behavior and choices and start making corrective changes.

Psychotherapy for addiction treatment at Florida Center for Recovery can take many different forms and is an important component of the comprehensive treatment offered. It includes one-on-one sessions, group sessions, support groups, and family therapy. Our Therapeutic sessions offer a safe place where recovering individuals feel comfortable to talk about issues important to them and hear the experiences of others. Our family sessions provide families with a forum to learn positive communication skills, address chronic issues and concerns, and help family members work towards repairing broken relationships.

While therapy may focus on a particular therapeutic strategy such as behavioral or cognitive therapy, the sessions may be broad and include a variety of techniques and methods. During these psychotherapy sessions, recovering individuals can learn how to be more introspective and to understand the decisions they have made regarding substance abuse. Individuals are encouraged to examine the problems in their lives and to come up with pragmatic solutions as safeguards against relapse. Our recovering clients are introduced to a variety of coping strategies as part of our relapse prevention program. The goal is while recovering individuals are going through the physical healing in our facility, to also prepare them mentally to face the challenges of addiction recovery and successfully progress to lifelong sobriety.

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