Behavioral Therapy for Alcohol & Drug Abuse
Trusted Therapeutic Interventions for Addiction
Different therapeutic techniques may be used in rehab for different individuals. Most addiction treatment centers these days perform a personal assessment for each client and create a treatment plan that meets their needs. There is a handful of therapeutic approaches that are tried and true in the field of addiction treatment. Behavioral therapy is one of the primary therapeutic interventions used to treat addiction. In fact, many rehabs model their curriculum and structure based on tenants of behavioral therapy.
You may have heard of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), which is another very common method used in addiction treatment. CBT originated with Behavioral Therapy, as did multiple other therapeutic interventions.
What is Behavioral Therapy for Addiction?
Behavioral therapy focuses on the behaviors that are unwanted or unhealthy and the existing conditions that perpetuate these behaviors. The therapist examines why the client participates in these behaviors and what purposes they are serving. In the case of substance abuse, the therapist tries to understand why the client uses drugs or alcohol.
One part of behavioral therapy in rehab is the education of the client about the rewards and consequences that are enforcing their addiction. For example, it may be discovered that a client has Major Depressive Disorder. Alcohol raises Serotonin levels in the brain, temporarily relieving some feelings of depression. So, in this case, the client would be educated about this.
Planning to Maintain Sobriety
Then the client and therapist to create together a strategy to address these things. Logically moving backwards from the behavior, the client and therapist work together to understand the motivation for the behavior. This way, the client can expect triggers and learn to respond to them differently, avoiding the use drugs or alcohol as a solution.
Someone with Major Depressive Disorder may take antidepressants to feel better instead of drinking. They might go exercise when they start feeling really down, to create some natural happy chemicals in the brain. There are many different methods of coping with triggers: some people call their sponsors or a friend in recovery, some journal.
Develop Tools for Sobriety with Behavioral Therapy
To help the client change behaviors, the therapist will teach them relaxation techniques so that any stress or trigger will affect them less. The client may also be taught to use an assertive communication style, rather than passive or aggressive. This develops a more honest and direct way of thinking and expression, enforcing higher self-awareness.
Contingency management plays a big role in how behavioral therapy is exhibited at rehab. In fact, many rehabs are structured around contingency management, which is essentially a reward-based system that encourages positive behavior. While many therapeutic techniques are exercised in counseling sessions, this one is incorporated into the overall structure of most rehabs.
There may be special privileges and recognition that are given to clients who display positive behaviors. Often, there are even levels of achievement in rehab that you can reach, unlocking further degrees of privileges or prizes. This helps clients observe immediate benefits from behaving in positive and healthy ways. It also provides structure around a value structure that favors health, respect, and well-being.
Many people in rehab have lived a long time with out structure. Contingency management helps these clients to instill a sense of purpose and values in their day to day existence.
Finding Rehab with Behavioral Therapy
If you are struggling with drug or alcohol abuse or addiction, remember that addiction is an ailment. Like any other kind of disease, you need professional attention to get better. Seeking the help you need is nothing to be ashamed of. You can get better; you can be better. Call (520) 288-8484 to talk with someone about your next step.