Why Is Individual Therapy Useful for Recovery?

Posted in: Treatment

September 15, 2016

A counselor having a conversation with their client

Some people think that recovering from an addiction only involves detoxification from the drug. In reality, though, detoxification is only the first of many steps that a person takes to recover from a drug addiction. Recovery is a life-long process, and one of the most useful steps a person can take during recovery is committing to a therapy program.

Types of Therapy Used in Addiction Treatment

Therapy is an essential aspect of most successful addiction recovery plan. Many addiction treatment programs understand this, and therefore incorporate different forms of therapy into their patients’ treatment plans. Therapy can come in many forms, but as the National Institute on Drug Abuse’s Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment guide explains, research suggests that behavioral therapies are most effective in effectively treating drug addictions. The most common types of behavioral therapies are:

  • Cognitive-behavioral: this therapy focuses on modifying responses to negative events and developing healthy coping skills.
  • Contingency management/motivational incentives: in contingency management and motivational incentives therapy, the person receives incentives for abstaining from drug use.
  • Community reinforcement: the person learns life skills that will help him avoid his addiction in the future.
  • Motivational enhancement: this therapy helps the person develop internal motivation to continue the addiction recovery process.
  • Matrix Model: the person works directly with a therapist, who serves in a nonjudgmental role as a teacher and a coach, to learn ways to avoid relapse and future addictions. The person also engages in self-help programs that help him build self-esteem and healthy life skills.
  • 12-Step Facilitation: in this type of therapy, the person accepts that his addiction is a disease and that he can therefore not deal with it alone, surrenders himself to a higher power that will help him with recovery, and actively participates in a 12-step program group.

Importance of Individual Therapy in Addiction Recovery

Most of these types of therapy can be done in either a group or an individual setting. A well-rounded addiction recovery process, however, should incorporate both group and individual therapies. While it’s important for a person going through addiction recovery to participate in group therapy to develop positive relationships, practice social skills, and learn from peers, it’s also essential for him to receive individual therapy. SAMHSA’s research on therapy relationships emphasizes the importance of a positive relationship between a person going through addiction rehabilitation and his therapist. Specifically, a person who has a trusting and supportive relationship with his therapist is more likely to complete addiction treatment and stay sober long-term. This relationship provides the person with someone who:

  • can combine his abilities, needs, and expectations into a specific but modifiable plan for recovery
  • will listen to his problems and discuss them with him without judgment
  • is willing to help him reach his recovery goals on his own terms, not those prescribed by any set rules or plans

Similarly, individual therapy gives a person an opportunity to discuss private issues that he may not feel comfortable talking about in a group of people. It also gives him more one-on-one time with his therapist, which in turn allows them to cover more ground each session.

Where to Find More Information about Individual Therapy and Addiction Recovery

Several different types of therapy are available for a person recovering from an addiction, and each type has specific benefits that it offers. For almost every person going through recovery, though, individual therapy is essential in order to ensure long-term sobriety. If you are struggling with an addiction and have been looking for a place to receive professional help, our admissions coordinators can help you. Please give us a call at 615-490-9376.

Related Posts