Six Effective Psychotherapy Models for Addiction Treatment

Quality treatment for addiction is two-fold. The first part involves intensive one-on-one psychotherapy to address the reasons why a person needed to abuse substances in the first place. We have found that an eclectic type of treatment works best for almost all addicts. That means, instead of trying to pigeon-hole all addicts into a particular type of psychotherapy, our highly trained psychotherapists draw from a number of different types of psychotherapy to help our clients work through the core psychological and emotional issues that drive them to use. The psychotherapeutic approach changes as the needs of the client change. This varied approach achieves great results.

Following is a very brief description of six psychotherapies that can prove useful in helping addicts recover:

  1. Positive Psychology is a type of psychological intervention that focuses not on an individual’s diagnoses or problems, but instead pays attention to their strengths, aptitudes, dreams and goals. By focusing on the positive, we are able to bring all the resources a person has to bear on the problems of the past and refocus attention onto what can happen in the future.
  2. Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is a cognitive behavioral treatment approach with a focus on behavioral problem solving, blended with acceptance-based strategies. DBT emphasizes balancing behavioral change, problem-solving, and emotional regulation with validation, mindfulness, and acceptance.
  3. Motivational Enhancement Therapy (MET) replaces undesirable behaviors with more positive ones. MET is a one-on-one counseling approach that helps a person resolve any ambivalence about engaging in treatment and stopping addictive behavior. This approach aims to evoke rapid and internally motivated change and helps get people into treatment.
  4. Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is designed to reduce trauma-related stress, anxiety, and depression symptoms and to improve overall mental health. EMDR is delivered in sessions where the length and the number of sessions will vary with the complexity of the trauma. This therapy works to “clear” trauma from the body.
  5. Transformational Therapies focus on an individual letting go of the fears, patterns of behaviors, thoughts and beliefs that get in the way of being drug free. The therapist helps a person learn how to connect with him/herself, how to cultivate that connection, and then how to put what was learned into practice day-to-day.
  6. Equine Therapy is a form of psychotherapy in which a person works with horses on a regular basis as a means of rebuilding responsibility and growing emotionally. A horse is a mirror of a person’s emotions; horses react to non-verbal cues and emotions. This provides an opportunity for an individual to understand how their behavior affects others.

All of these therapies may be useful at some point in the recovery process. Seek out a therapist skilled in delivering many of them or work with multiple therapists during your treatment program.