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The Importance of Therapy in Recovering from Addiction

on Friday, 01 August 2014. Posted in Breaking News

The Importance of Therapy in Recovering from Addiction

There is much more to recovering from addiction than most people realize. Many addicts need extended stays in special programs and support from friends and professional counselors for years until they can feel confident to remain sober on their own. There are many different approaches used in treatment centers that all work together to give an individual the skills they need to recover. One of the most important parts of treatment is therapy in a variety of forms that can help an addict cope with the psychological and emotional aspects of addiction. Drugs can cause physical dependence but it is often the mental dependence that is the hardest for people to escape. Therapy can also be essential in order to address many of the mental health conditions that often accompany addiction such as depression and anxiety. Without proper counseling, addicts face a much stronger chance of experiencing relapse in the future.

Counseling for Cravings

The first step for most people going through treatment is to detoxify and rid their body of addictive drugs. This can get help people get some relief from their physical dependence on drugs but once detox is finished there will still be many cravings to fight. People with addictions have a number of other triggers aside from a physical need that can cause them to seek drugs for relief. The type of stimuli that could lead someone to use again could be daily stress or sudden and unexpected life stresses, spending time with friends who still use or being in an environment where they used to engage in abuse. Triggers can happen anywhere and at any time so it is important for people in recovery to learn how to deal with their cravings. Therapy provides an opportunity for addicts to learn life skills that will help them cope with situations that could be dangerous for their sobriety. Counseling will teach those in recovery how to avoid triggers as best they can but also how to escape intense cravings then they do occur.

Benefits from Group and Individual Therapy

In some types of treatment programs, people will have the options of individual therapy and group therapy. Both of these types of counseling can be beneficial for those suffering from addictions. With individual therapy, an addict has the chance to speak one on one with a professional so that they gain important insights into why they developed an addiction and how they can manage it in the future. They can also use individual therapy as a way to resolve any other mental health issues that could hinder their progress in recovery such as depression, anxiety or other disorders. Group therapy offers recovering addicts a time to share their stories and concerns with other people involved in the program. It can be very cathartic for people with addictions to hear that other addicts went through many of the same struggles. In group therapy, peers can connect with one another and start building the kind of support system that they will need after they leave rehab.

Emotional Connection through Therapy

While in the midst of a serious addiction, people can often push others away and become very isolated, withdrawn and lonely. They may try to hide their behavior and never speak to anyone about their addiction. Therapy is a good opportunity for people with addictions to emotionally connect with their therapist or the people in their group counseling. They can finally open up about everything that happened while they were addicted and stop hiding or isolating themselves. Feeling connected to others on a deeper level can help addicts stay more grounded and less likely to relapse.

photo credit: Drew Levy via photopin cc

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