A drug addiction--whether an addiction to prescription medication or illicit drugs--is a difficult burden to overcome. While detoxification forms a significant part of the treatment process, long-term recovery can only be achieved with a program of psychological counseling. Whether cognitive behavior therapy or family counseling, a psychotherapist can design the correct treatment program to help deal with the causes of drug addiction.
Counseling is important to help tackle the anxiety that is frequently a part of drug withdrawal. There are many stimuli that can increase anxiety and the desire for drugs, such as stress, or visiting old friends with whom you used to partake of the drug.
There are several types of counseling, which can all have a vital role in the treatment of drug addiction.
Didactic counseling involves providing information about the condition and its self-management in a straightforward way.
Support counseling involves providing encouragement to the person who’s withdrawing from a drug, allowing them a safe environment to express their feelings about their addiction and recovery.
Therapeutic counseling is a patient-centered approach, where the counselor listens to the patient, providing empathy, understanding and the opportunity to reflect.
Psychoanalytic therapy aims to resolve drug addiction by discovering and resolving subconscious conflicts that may have led to the patient’s drug use.
Cognitive behavior therapy involves working to alter conscious thoughts and behaviors. It works by challenging and changing negative thought patterns, replacing them with healthy thought patterns. Cognitive behavior therapy can be a very effective therapy for anxiety, which – as discussed – can occur during the treatment of drug addiction.
Family therapy is usually a branch of psychoanalytic therapy; it works by engaging with the wider family to provide a more supportive environment for the drug-addicted individual. If the patient has strong connections with his or her family, they are more likely to be able to avoid drugs when the treatment program has ended. Family therapy isn’t focused only on the addicted individual; people with a drug addiction can cause a lot of hurt, and a major part of the process is for the other family members to have their hurt acknowledged so they too can heal.
Not every patient with a drug-addiction will be equally helped by all the methods outlined above. A 1983 study by McLellan and Luborsky highlighted the importance of matching patients to the right treatment program for them. They found that, with the right treatment program 60% of patients had a vastly-improved outcome.
For some patients, the right treatment program may include individual therapy; for some, sharing experiences in the supportive environment of group therapy may be preferable. Many patients can be treated in the community, but it may be preferable to separate some patients from their home environment in in-patient care for a while.
Whatever the correct environment or therapy for the individual patient, it is clear that the right psychological counseling can improve your chances of slaying the dragon of drug addiction. For more details visit: http://www.therapytribe.com/therapy/addiction_treatment_drug_abuse_counselors.html
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