What’s the best way to treat drug addiction? There isn’t one approach that works equally well for everybody. That’s why our programs in Boynton Beach, Florida, offer a variety of treatments, including different kinds of individual addiction counseling. One-on-one sessions with a skilled and compassionate therapist can give you lasting benefits, putting you in a better position to fight addiction, strengthen your mental health, and improve your life.
Why Do People With Substance Use Disorders Need Counseling?
Some of the most obvious signs of addiction are physical symptoms. For example, when you abstain from a drug and go through detoxification, you may experience painful and potentially life-threatening withdrawal symptoms. These include seizures, fever, and digestive problems.
Physical dependence, however, isn’t the only characteristic of addiction. Addiction has various psychological, social, and behavioral components. You crave the drug, and you feel as if you need it to function. You’re not sure how to live without the drug and how to rebuild your life. Your habits and thought patterns increase the likelihood of a relapse.
Although detox is necessary to overcome addiction, it shouldn’t be the only step. You also need high-quality counseling to help you tackle the underlying psychological and behavioral issues that fuel addiction.
What Are the Goals of Addiction Counseling or Therapy?
Although there are different types of therapy, they share similar underlying purposes:
- Tackling the psychological underpinnings of your addiction, including your beliefs about yourself and the drug.
- Developing a personalized treatment plan for you and helping you follow it.
- Devising strategies that help you cope with cravings and triggers for drug use. For example, stressful situations increase the chances of a relapse, so it’s important to create and practice healthy strategies for stress reduction.
- Addressing other psychological issues that endanger sobriety, such as depression and post-traumatic stress. Your addiction treatment center may take an integrated dual-diagnosis approach, which means that mental health issues get treated concurrently with addiction.
- Empowering you to maintain a sober life and to improve your life in various ways, such as by exercising greater emotional regulation and learning new skills.
- Helping you discover greater meaning and purpose in your life, including goals you want to achieve.
The issues you focus on most during addiction counseling won’t necessarily stay the same from one session to another. What you focus on will depend in part on the challenges you’re facing during a given week and the progress you’ve already made throughout your recovery.
Some people are just starting counseling, and they’ve only recently come out of detox. Other people have been sober for at least several months and continue to benefit from counseling. It continues to give them support, healing, and insights.
Is Individual Addiction Counseling the Same as Addiction Therapy?
The answer to this question depends on the context. When discussing counseling or therapy, it’s common for people to use the terms interchangeably.
However, if you’re at a rehabilitation center, you may find that each term gets used distinctly. When mentioning therapy, the rehab center may refer only to interventions involving licensed therapists or psychologists. Counseling, on the other hand, may involve a greater variety of trained individuals. For example, some programs allow you to meet with a pastor or another member of the clergy who has been trained to offer certain kinds of addiction counseling.
A rehab center may also make distinctions between counseling and therapy based on educational attainments and the types of treatments a professional is licensed to provide. A therapist may be someone who has a graduate degree, while a counselor may or may not have pursued graduate-level studies.
The specifics vary from one rehab center to another. In a high-quality program, any distinctions between counseling and therapy shouldn’t impact your treatment. Your treatment plan will be individualized, adapted to your addiction’s severity, mental health issues, and unique life circumstances.
For the purposes of this piece, we’ll continue to refer to counseling and therapy interchangeably. When we discuss individual addiction counseling, we’ll use it as an umbrella term for therapeutic interventions that involve talking one-on-one to a professional.
Comparing Individual Addiction Counseling to Group Therapy
After detox, people typically participate in a rehab program. They may start with an inpatient or residential program, which they then follow up on with outpatient services. Other times, they start with outpatient rehab.
Whether they’re in an inpatient or outpatient program, they’ll have access to different kinds of therapy, some taking place in one-on-one settings and others in groups.
Group therapy can be highly beneficial. Just by listening to other people talk about their addiction, you can gain important insights and discover new possibilities for healing and growth. Group therapy can help you work on your interpersonal skills, particularly when you’re talking to other participants. Furthermore, you’ll feel less alone with your struggles. When it’s run well, the group can be incredibly supportive and help keep you motivated.
At the same time, it’s important not to neglect individual therapy. It has its own irreplaceable benefits, including:
- More personal attention from counselors or therapists. You don’t feel overlooked. You’re more likely to feel seen and understood and perceive your counselor as a personal ally.
- A greater opportunity to tailor therapy to your individual needs. The type of therapy, the way you structure a therapeutic session, and other details get adapted to you.
- More control over what you focus on during a given session.
- A greater degree of privacy. Although what you share in group therapy should be protected by confidentiality, you may still feel more comfortable talking about certain topics only in a one-on-one session.
- A different dynamic than group therapy. For example, in a group session, you may have a tendency to say little and let your mind drift. In contrast, one-on-one counseling can push you to focus more and confront painful issues that you need to think about and work on.
Which Types of Individual Addiction Counseling or Therapy Are Available to You?
As you work on healing from addiction, you can utilize more than one therapeutic approach. Also, the types of therapy that work best for you may vary depending on how far along you are in your recovery and the specific mental health issues you’re dealing with.
The following are some beneficial techniques that may become part of your individual counseling:
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Responding to the close connection between thoughts, emotions, and actions, CBT helps you change the way you currently think and behave. It focuses mostly on your present habits and problems and places less emphasis on your childhood or other past events.
One major CBT strategy involves addressing damaging beliefs or cognitive distortions, such as:
- The assumption that you won’t know how to live well without drug use.
- A belief that it’s too late for you to heal from your addiction or fix other problems in your life.
- An all-or-nothing distortion presents you with two extreme paths: Either you enjoy immediate success in abstaining from drugs or give up on sobriety forever.
- The persistent thought that no one can possibly like you or that a lot of people are out to get you.
Because these harmful thoughts affect your emotions and choices, CBT helps you replace them with more reasonable, helpful, and compassionate thoughts. You build new mental habits.
CBT can also help you adopt healthier behaviors. For example, in response to feeling stressed out, you can replace harmful coping mechanisms with behaviors that don’t damage your physical and psychological well-being.
Dialectical Behavior Therapy
- A stronger ability to deal with distressing situations.
- Stronger relationship skills, including communicating effectively and handling conflict thoughtfully.
- Improved emotional regulation means you become better at understanding and managing your emotions.
- Greater mindfulness and awareness of your emotions, thoughts, and surroundings.
When you’re in addiction treatment, DBT techniques can be useful in many ways. For example, if you experience less emotional volatility and more control over how you act on your feelings, you’re more likely to deal with your emotions in healthy ways instead of seeking relief in drug use.
This therapeutic approach helps you set clear goals and develop the motivation and confidence to pursue them. It can be especially helpful for people who feel unsure about how they can change or are questioning whether they even need addiction treatment. Even when substance abuse leads to serious problems, people sometimes downplay the severity of their issues, and they feel ambivalent about needing to change.
There are four core processes to this treatment approach:
- Engaging. The therapist develops a rapport with you and builds trust.
- Focusing. You explore your goals, values, and concerns regarding your addiction and recovery.
- Evoking. The therapist helps stimulate motivation by encouraging you to talk about your potential to change and how important it is to you.
- Planning. You’re planning practical steps to help you change and meet your goals.
Throughout these processes, which don’t necessarily unfold in perfect order, your therapist works with you in a collaborative way. Their questions prompt reflection and help you clarify what you need and why it’s important to you.
Your individual counseling doesn’t have to be entirely conventional or traditional. For example, you may want to participate in sessions of art therapy or guided meditation. Addiction recovery involves your whole self, and you can benefit from activities that promote general wellness and help you better explore psychological or spiritual issues.
The Importance of High-Quality Therapists
Your counseling sessions may draw on a range of techniques from multiple types of therapeutic approaches. You may also find yourself discussing deeply personal topics beyond your addiction.
Regardless of how a therapy session is structured, a crucial aspect of individual addiction counseling is the relationship you build with therapists.
What can you expect from an excellent addiction therapist or counselor?
- Compassion and patience.
- The appropriate licensing and training.
- Trustworthiness, which includes a consistent respect for your privacy and dignity.
- Excellent communication skills, including the ability to listen well.
- A sincere interest in understanding you and figuring out the most effective treatments for you.
- The ability to provide you with inspiration, support, and healthy challenges that facilitate healing and growth.
Join Us in Boynton Beach, Florida
Through our programs in Boynton Beach, we offer a wide variety of individualized treatments, including one-on-one counseling with high-quality professionals. Individual addiction counseling is a critical part of your recovery journey and must be responsive to your particular needs and circumstances.
Although addiction treatment presents many challenges, you can face them more easily with the consistent support of our professional staff. The warm weather of Palm Beach County and our proximity to the ocean also contribute to your healing.
Don’t hesitate to contact us today or through our live chat on our website. Our counseling will help you maintain sobriety and achieve other goals that matter to you.