Common Behavioral Therapies Used in Rehab

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Rehab for alcohol or drug addiction incorporates a variety of different behavioral therapies, each of which are designed to address different aspects of long-term recovery. These therapies help patients address the origins and sustaining factors that drive addiction and help them develop coping mechanisms to avoid relapse and temptation in high-pressure situations. The dynamics of these therapies are different and are offered to clients based on their case history, ongoing care needs and lifestyle. These rehab techniques have proven successful in the immediate and long-term treatment of chemical dependency and can help you or your loved one develop the behavioral framework you need to stay clean and thrive in recovery. Here are some of the various behavioral therapies commonly used in rehab for alcohol or drug addiction.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Cognitive behavioral therapy is one of the most common behavioral therapies used in addiction treatment. It is a safe, effective and proven means of addressing the psychological components of substance use disorder. Cognitive behavioral therapy was initially adapted for alcohol addiction but was later utilized in individuals struggling with cocaine addiction. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) reports that the effects of CBT, and the skills participants develop in therapy remain after treatment is completed.

How Does Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Work?

Cognitive behavioral therapy works by altering established negative perceptions, believes and behaviors that reinforce addiction and substance use. Unlike traditional talk therapy, the sessions are structured beyond just one-on-one dialogue. Therapy starts with participants establishing specific problems and setting goals toward which they’d like to work. Generally, at the beginning of a session, the client and therapist will decide together on the main topics they want to work on for the week. They will also allow time for discussing the conclusions from the previous session.

There will also be homework between sessions that focuses on the revelations and breakthroughs made in the prior session. Cognitive behavioral therapy is often covered by private insurance plans.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)

DBT is another common behavioral therapy used in rehab. It involves participants learning to improve their emotional and cognitive regulation by identifying triggers that lead to reactive states and helping to assess which coping skills to apply in the sequence of events, thoughts, feelings, and behaviors to help avoid negative reactions. DBT is an evidence-based therapy that has proven effective in the treatment and management of substance-use related mental health conditions like borderline personality disorder (BPD).

How Does DBT Work?

DBT is divided in to four distinct components to provide a comprehensive framework for healing:

  • Individual Therapy – Therapist and participant talk about difficult issues that emerged during the previous week and work toward prioritizing treatment, based on urgency of behavior. Self-harm or suicidal behaviors get first priority followed by behaviors that may interrupt therapy or get in the way of treatment.
  • Group Skills Training – Group meets once per week and breaks out into multi-hour sessions to talk and develop coping strategies based on established problem areas. Skill modules include core mindfulness, interpersonal effectiveness, emotion regulation, and distress tolerance.
  • Team Consultation – Weekly meeting of all therapists providing the treatment to assess progress and exchange clinical insights to improve treatment.
  • Phone Coaching – Phone coaching is especially useful in crisis situations. It includes brief phone sessions that help participants reinforce the coping skills they have learned.

DBT is often covered by private insurance plans, but it’s important that you talk to your provider to learn your full range of coverage options.

Motivational Interviewing

Motivational interviewing is a common behavioral therapy used in rehab to help patients explore and resolve contradictory feelings about a person or circumstance. It’s broken up into four main components:

  • Engagement – Clinicians work with patients to get to know them better and identify the problem issues that are going on in their lives. This helps to build trust and cultivate a relationship based on mutual respect and understanding.
  • Focus – Clinicians work with patients to identify specific areas that are important to them and zero in on what areas they want to focus on. There will undoubtedly be more than one area so the therapist will help patients prioritize them in order of importance and life impact.
  • Evoking – Clinician encourages patient to open up about their reasons for change and asks questions to assess how open the patient is to embracing these positive changes. They work together to develop ways to cope with adversity during the process and develop strategies to move forward.
  • Planning – During this stage, the clinician helps the patient develop a plan for their change and comes up with realistic goals to incrementally make change more possible.

Motivational interviewing may be covered by private insurance. Talk to your insurance provider to determine your scope of coverage. Other common therapies used in addiction rehab include eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), TMS therapy and more.

Behavioral Rehab at Recovery Unplugged

Recovery Unplugged offers a full array of behavioral therapies for addiction rehab, including those listed above and more. We apply our Music-Assisted Treatment approach to help you or your loved one embrace these and other evidence-based therapies so you can overcome your alcohol or drug use. Addiction is generally the product of underlying mental health issue, which also needs to be addressed in long-term recovery. Get the personalized help that you or your loved one need for addiction today. Call Recovery Unplugged to start your treatment now.

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About The Author

The Senior Content Writer here at Recovery Unplugged, Dominic Nicosia oversees the maintenance of our online blog while also handling and overseeing all written communications within Marketing. He also writes articles, thought leadership pieces, and basically everything written regarding web content. Dominic has over seven years...
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