Individual Therapy for Substance Abuse

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Substance abuse treatment often involves a number of different types of treatment methods, therapies, and support groups. One of the therapies that are prominently utilized in substance abuse and addiction treatment is individual therapy.

Individual therapy allows both the treatment professional and the person in therapy to break down some of the proverbial walls and discuss things that may not be appropriate or comfortable to address in a group setting.

At Relief Recovery Center, we offer individual therapy as part of all of our treatment programs including:

  • Outpatient Treatment (OP)
  • Intensive Outpatient Treatment (IOP)
  • Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP)

Also, referred to as talk therapy or psychotherapy, individual therapy is a form of substance abuse and addiction therapy that is conducted in a 1-on-1 setting.

The concept of talk therapy goes all the way back to ancient Greece. The ancient Greeks were the first known culture to view mental health conditions as not just a mental issue but a physical one as well. They recognized and understood the benefits of using encouraging words when speaking to people, especially those with mental health issues.

Here in the United States, and in North America as a whole, individual psychotherapy was first introduced in the mid-1700s in conjunction with the creation of asylums. Since it started being utilized in the U.S., it has continued to evolve. What we know and utilize as individual therapy today began in the 20th century.

Even today, as we continue to grow and evolve as a society, individual therapy has gone through some new evolutions with the creation of alternative, experiential therapies such as yoga, meditation, and mindfulness.

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How Does Individual Therapy Work?

As the name implies, individual therapy is done in a 1-on-one setting. Individual therapy consists of the therapist, counselor, or treatment professional and the person who is participating in therapy. Everything discussed during an individual therapy session is completely confidential in nature unless the therapist or treatment professional deems that the person in therapy is in immediate danger of harming themselves or others.

One of the more popular, and effective types of individual psychotherapy is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). CBT helps peel back the layers, allowing the person in therapy to be able to properly identify the thoughts, emotions, and behaviors that either led to or contributed to their substance abuse and addiction.

Once these thoughts, emotions, and behaviors have been properly identified, the therapist can teach the person new ways to deal with these stressors in a more healthy and productive way.

Some other effective forms of psychotherapy include:

  • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)
  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
  • Interpersonal Psychotherapy

Benefits of Individual Therapy

The ultimate goal of individual therapy is to better understand how your addiction developed and learn healthy ways to handle possible triggers in the future. Below are some of the benefits of attending individual therapy as it pertains to addiction recovery:

Learning About Your Triggers

Being able to fully understand and grasp the triggers that played a role in the development of your addiction is crucial to the overall recovery process. After all, the only way to be able to truly stop using drugs and alcohol is to learn why you started in the first place.

By learning what your triggers are, you can learn how to address those triggers and temptations in a more healthy and productive way, without the use of drugs or alcohol. This is a vital step in the recovery process.

Learning About Yourself

By learning about your triggers, you are, in a way, learning about yourself. In order to properly get to the bottom of what ultimately led to the development of your addiction, you have to break down the proverbial walls and take a deep look within yourself. In the process of doing this, many people learn new things about who they truly are.

Practicing Mindfulness

Mindfulness is one of the tools that is used by therapists and counselors during addiction treatment. Mindfulness teaches us to live in the moment and accept life for what it is. By practicing mindfulness you can be better equipped to deal with any triggers as they occur. It will also allow you to calm yourself down in any type of stressful or upsetting situation instead of turning to drugs or alcohol.

Better Communication Skills

Suffering from addiction can be a dark and lonely time. For many people, their friends and family don’t want to be around them anymore and the only people that do are others who are also using. As a result, one of the things that those in recovery have to work on is learning how to communicate with people again. This is often done in both individual and group therapy sessions.

What Can Individual Therapy Help With?

Individual therapy can help treat a wide variety of mental, physical, emotional, and behavioral issues such as:

  • Anger
  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Depression
  • Trauma
  • Family Issues
  • Eating Disorders
  • Substance Use Disorder (SUD)
  • Behavioral Addictions (sex addiction, gambling addiction, etc.)
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Other Mental Health Disorders

What To Expect During Individual Therapy?

While many people may assume that therapy can only be provided by therapists, there are actually a number of different people that can perform individual therapy. An individual therapy session can be led by anyone that has the proper training and the required licensing including:

  • Psychiatrists
  • Psychologists
  • Treatment professionals
  • Psychiatric nurses
  • Social workers
  • Counselors
  • Therapists
  • Recovery Coaches
  • Case workers

Individual therapy sessions will often last anywhere from 45-60 minutes depending on your needs and the type of schedule your therapist or treatment professional keeps. During your initial session, the person conducting the therapy session will ask you questions in order to gather as much information as possible and learn more about you.

While it might seem scary or embarrassing, sharing information about yourself is incredibly valuable to the overall success of individual therapy. If the therapist is unable to learn about the “real you” then they can’t properly help.

Based on your needs and the recommendation of the therapist, therapy sessions can be daily, every other day, once a week, or less frequent. Over time, you will begin to notice an improvement in your overall mental health.

As we mentioned earlier as well, it is important to remember that all therapy sessions are 100% confidential in nature unless otherwise stated. In some cases, a therapist may break confidentiality if they believe that the person is in immediate danger of harming themselves or others.

Does Individual Therapy Work?

As is the case with the addiction treatment process as a whole, individual therapy is only as effective as you allow it to be. Nobody can force you to go to treatment, just like nobody can force you to go to therapy. In order for individual therapy to be effective, you have to want to be there.

A major factor in the overall success of individual therapy is the relationship and comfort level that you have with your therapist or treatment professional. In order to feel comfortable opening up to your therapist you first have to trust them and feel comfortable talking to them. That’s why the initial therapy session is so important. Not only is it a time for the therapist to get to know you but it is also a time for you to “feel out” the therapist and decide if you think they are a good fit for you.

It is also important to remember that therapy is not a cure for any condition, including substance abuse and addiction. What therapy can, and does do though is it can help you develop healthy coping mechanisms when you find yourself in situations where you might have an urge or craving to use and abuse substances again.

Is Individual Therapy Covered By Insurance?

Individual therapy is often covered by most major private healthcare providers as part of their mental health and addiction coverage. The amount that is covered usually depends on your insurance provider and the type of plan you have.

If you have any questions about your insurance plan as it pertains to individual therapy, you can reach out to your insurance representative or you can contact us directly. We will look over your policy and let you know what is and isn’t covered before you start treatment.

Seek Individual Therapy for Substance Abuse at Relief Recovery Center

If you or a loved one are in need of individual therapy, it is important to remember that there is nothing to be embarrassed or ashamed of. Seeking treatment to make yourself a healthier and happier person is commendable.

At Relief Recovery Center, we understand the importance that individual therapy has to the overall treatment process. That’s why we utilize individual therapy with all of our treatment programs including:

For more information about our treatment programs and to learn how we can help you get on the road to recovery, contact us today.