Therapy in Addiction Treatment

When it comes to substance use disorder, there are many areas in which a person’s life is impacted for the worse. In 2017, 20 million people who suffered from substance use disorder in the United States required addiction therapy. This being the case, one may think at least half of these individuals sought treatment. However, less than 3 million people received substance use disorder therapy.

Individualized treatment is at the heart of everything we do at Rock Recovery. This is because we aim to address the cause as well as the symptoms. Without addressing the patient on an individual basis, there’s no way to address the cause of their substance use disorder. When we’re able to evaluate the personal lives of our patients and identify the root causes of their substance use disorder, we can do so much for them in regards to their health. One of the ways that we do this is through addiction therapy.

What is Addiction Therapy?

Therapy is a medical practice in which there are efforts to remediate someone’s psychological health. This usually happens after someone is diagnosed medically, but sometimes it occurs on someone’s own accord with no knowledge of any medical issues.

Therapy isn’t just a stereotypical meeting with someone on a couch and another person jotting down notes. There are many different kinds of addiction therapy. For example, not only is there group and family therapy, but there are also many different holistic methods.

How Does Therapy Help in Addiction?

The first step towards sobriety in anybody’s journey with substance use disorder is to accept that there is an actual issue. If someone can’t accept the reality of their addiction, there’s no way they can get any better. Once someone can accept the fact that they need help, the first step to take is to find the right treatment for them. For most individuals, this involves some sort of addiction treatment therapy.

When it comes to addiction therapy, any one person could be fit for any sort of therapy, but the key is finding the treatment that works best for them on an individual level. For example, the kind of therapy one pursues may be largely dependent on what their substance abuse patterns have been like in the past. Once this has been discovered, the process becomes more efficient and allows an individual to develop healthier coping mechanisms to prevent relapse.

Different Kinds of Addiction Therapy

Some of the different forms of addiction therapy include the following:

  • Individual Therapy
  • Group Therapy
  • Family Therapy
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy
  • Motivational Enhancement Therapy
  • Psychodynamic Therapy
  • Trauma Therapy
  • Holistic Therapy

An individual’s journey in therapy for addiction treatment will depend largely upon their patterns of behavior from the past. There are some forms of treatment that work well for some individuals while others require a more unique approach in terms of therapy.

Individual therapy is perhaps the most common form of therapy. The person on the couch with a counselor asking them, “How does that make you feel?” is a common stereotype, but it doesn’t mean it’s not far from accuracy. Individual therapy is used to provide an intimate environment to patients in which they feel more comfortable opening up to someone about their physical or emotional trauma.

Each therapy session will allow the patient to be led to a place of acceptance concerning their circumstance. Not only will this happen for the patient, but the therapist will also be able to lead the individual to directly address the psychological component of their addiction. Addressing these issues will allow the patient to confront their addiction head-on with the support of someone who knows the ins and outs of their mental state.


Group therapy is not as intimate of an environment as individual therapy. Group therapy allows other patients to be involved in the therapy process, almost like a collaborative environment. Those who participate all contribute to the conversation at hand.

The potential success of group therapy is built upon those who participate in learning from each other. The more connected they feel in their experiences, common struggles, and common goals, the more united they will become; this is a recipe for success.


Family therapy is a sort of combination of individual and group therapy. This is because there’s the personal nature of it all, being connected with a family who is aware of your circumstances, and there’s also an element of having others involved and sharing their feelings as well. Family therapy may include going over topics like communication and family history; anything that relates to a family’s encounters with the patient’s substance abuse.


Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a method of treatment that allows an individual to take their thoughts and perceptions, evaluate them, and flip them on their heads. Redirecting the thought life of patients is imperative to their success in recovery. Addiction is a mental struggle, and helping the brain pivot towards a healthier approach is necessary for treatment.


Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) is a kind of CBT that helps patients find healthier ways to cope with their urges to abuse substances. Therapists who provide DBT aim to lead individuals towards a place where they have healthier self-esteem and stress-management skills. The triggers of life are more than enough to cause detrimental relapse, so it’s imperative that those who require DBT receive it.


Motivational enhancement therapy (MET) is a method of care that helps patients flip their perspective from any negative thoughts, actions, or circumstances related to a substance use disorder. This is done because for some people, there are things that will trigger them to abuse substances again or at least feel the need to. MET allows individuals to pivot away from these triggers so that they can deal with them more healthily. This method of therapy is used to combat post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and bipolar disorder.

In a nutshell, psychodynamic therapy helps identify the cause of someone’s addiction. Those who participate in this kind of therapy analyze their emotions and determine how it relates to their addiction with the help of a therapist. Preparing individuals for the world outside of the treatment facility is imperative to the recovery journey, and therapists who help this form of care their patients better identify their temptations.

Trauma is a difficult part of life and a harsh reality to face. Many throughout the United States and the world deal with trauma in one way or another. Many of those who suffer from substance abuse have experienced some sort of trauma in their lives. From unexpected fatalities to natural disasters, trauma manifests itself in many ways depending on the individual’s circumstance. Therapy programs in addiction will take successful approaches in helping individuals work through their trauma to a healthier state of mental well-being.

There are many other approaches when it comes to therapy besides individual, group, family, and cognitive behavioral therapy. Some individuals suffering from substance use disorder may find themselves connecting more with holistic methods.

Holistic Therapy

Holistic therapy is a method of treatment in which patients focus more on their overall well-being rather than one aspect; this includes the mind, body, and soul. Some individuals can’t get past their addiction without addressing every aspect of their being. While undergoing holistic treatment patients can also receive medically assisted treatment to curb their withdrawal symptoms. Holistic approaches to therapy include the following:

  • Yoga
  • Acupuncture
  • Guided meditation
  • Music and art therapy
  • Exercise therapy
Music and Art Therapy

Music and art are at the very core of many individual’s beings. These forms of creativity have been known to not only benefit society but also to be an outlet emotionally. Engaging in these practices is very fulfilling and produces chemicals in the body that are therapeutic. By participating in this form of therapy, individuals can find and express the emotions that reside in the depths of their souls.

Biofeedback Therapy

Biofeedback therapy helps individuals recognize how their body responds involuntarily. During these sessions, therapists use tools that allow them to monitor an individual’s brain activity. This will allow the therapists to take a specified approach to heal an individual psychologically.

Adventure Therapy

Sometimes, physical activity is the best medicine. Sometimes when people go walking, running, kayaking, or any other form of physical activity, they can relax and unfold, expressing themselves emotionally in the process. This helps individuals develop connections to themselves and others through activities that can be done outside of the treatment facility.

Rock Recovery is Here for You

Substance use disorder is not an easy mental illness to deal with; in fact, no mental illness is. It can often become discouraging when you don’t know how to combat your mental health disorder, but at Rock Recovery, our goal is to help find a treatment that is unique to you. If you or a loved one are interested in addiction treatment therapy and would like to find out more, contact us today. 

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