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4 Aspects of Psychotherapy that Aid Addiction Treatment

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Psychotherapy is at the heart of most addiction treatment programs. Sometimes called talk therapy, this modality of dealing with psychological issues was largely popularized and pioneered by the famous Austrian neurologist and founder of psychotherapy, Sigmund Freud. Freud had many theories that are now considered debunked or downright silly, but his emphasis on treating psychopathalogy through dialogue is something we now take for granted as a de-facto foundation of all basic therapeutic efforts.

Offering addiction treatment in VA, Encore Recovery also utilizes various forms of psychotherapy, group therapy, and general counseling as a basis for diving into our patient’s circumstances leading to their addiction.

What is Psychotherapy Exactly?

As stated, prior, psychotherapy is essentially attempting to utilize dialogue to understand and bring light to a person’s issues which they often are not aware of. Traditionally, this was once seen as a process in which there was an “expert” or authority, and then there was the patient, who was beholden to that person’s authority.

This model of treatment was used early on for quite some time in the history of modern psychotherapy, but now psychotherapy is considered more of a cooperative effort in which the professional leverages their education and experience to help guide discussions in a meaningful manner.

It is typically discouraged for professionals to theorize and try to fit patient’s circumstances into theories or narratives, as this is not only anti-therapeutic but also has a high degree of error.

While there are no conclusive findings that indicate the exact reason why therapy is so effective, many assume it is due to the guidance of a professional who may be able to identify things about a person that they would ordinarily have a tough time doing through self-reflection. While that may seem like an obvious statement, it points to the idea that it is much easier from the outside looking in than vice versa.

Others speculate that simply the act of speaking to a person about one’s issues is therapeutic, especially if that stranger is paid and trained to be non-judgmental.

Potential Goals of Psychotherapy Treatment in Addiction

woman upset - love addiction

Because psychotherapy is a broad ranging style of therapeutic treatment, there are several angles a therapist or counselor can take to guide the dialog in a meaningful direction for their patient. There are 4 particular angles that are important in the realm of addiction treatment.

Open Ended Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy that takes an open-ended approach is more in line with the traditional model most people picture when they think of counseling. There isn’t a particular goal to the session but rather the session itself is the goal.

Our addiction treatment in VA offers a place to come and simply speak to someone about troubling things you have experienced or are currently experiencing which can itself provide relief and healing. It is when individuals bottle up feelings and have no outlet to discuss and share them that they feel the most stressed.

Counseling Based Psychotherapy Treatment

Depending on who you ask, counseling and psychotherapy are two different modalities with very different goals. However, a shared purpose lies in the desire for the counselor/therapist to see their patient grow on a personal level, and so in the context of addiction treatment, they are often used interchangeably.

Psychotherapy in addiction treatment that aims at personal growth is typically centered around the social world. It is quite common for those suffering from a substance use disorder such as alcoholism to experience a degradation of their social relationships concurrent with the increasing severity of their addiction.

For our addiction treatment in VA, one of the chief goals of counseling is to aid the patient in improving their communication skills—especially their ability to articulate their feelings and express them in a healthy way.

Stress Management Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy that is focused on stress management is centered around discussing and identifying coping strategies that the patient is using currently and if they are proving to be inadequate. This type of psychotherapeutic agenda is highly popular in group settings as well. Maladaptive coping mechanisms are said to be a driving force behind why addictions are developed and then reinforced.

Speaking to someone as well as others in an individual or group setting can help you identify your relapse triggers. Group therapy has the added benefit of hearing other people discuss their relapse triggers, which can show you that what you’re experiencing is both common and also at times unique to you.

Trauma Focused Psychotherapy Treatment

At Encore Recovery, our addiction treatment in VA integrates the knowledge we have accumulated about how trauma affects the mind, body, and nervous system in relation to substance use disorders. Trauma is a major root cause of many comorbid conditions such as depression and/or anxiety, and so certain patients may benefit from exploring that trauma in a safe and confidential environment.

While this can be incredibly healing for some individuals, others are better focused on coping strategies that allow them to lead healthy and stable lives rather than dredging the past up. This is a major reason why at Encore, we support many different modalities and approaches to both therapy and addiction treatment.

Addiction Treatment in Fairfax County, VA

There is no one-size-fits-all solution. Our compassionate staff at Encore Recovery know that through listening and understanding we can help provide our patients with the right treatment so that they may enter a stable and lifelong recovery.

Contact us today at (703)-594-7397 to learn more about our programs and so that you can help yourself or a loved one get the help they need.

Addiction is hard

Getting help shouldn’t be.

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