What to Expect from Behavioral Counseling
Addiction treatment is more than just getting help to stop using substances. It also requires developing skills to help prevent you from relapsing. For example, you may need to learn how to take care of your physical health to help your body repair the damage created by substance use. You may need to work to heal family relationships that may have suffered.
Addressing Behavioral Patterns Is Part of Treatment
A big part of the work you do in treatment addresses patterns of behavior so that you can understand why you used those substances and know how to change your typical behaviors so that you do not start to use them again.
What Are Behavioral Therapies?
Behavioral therapies can provide tools and incentives to help a person to sustain sobriety. They also help people actively engage in drug abuse treatment. They involve a lot of talking, but the results can provide real-world strategies that help you build a strong future for yourself, one that is not reliant on substances of any type.
Behavioral therapies may help you in numerous ways:
- They help you engage in the treatment process. Engagement is typically critical to getting the most out of treatment.
- They provide incentives for you to remain abstinent, such as helping you to understand the benefits of not using. Sometimes, they help you set up a reward system to give yourself incentives to stay sober.
- They teach you how to modify your attitudes and beliefs about how substances function in your own life, family, and community.
- They teach life skills for dealing with stress, one of the most common causes of relapse.
- They teach you how to change behaviors that may be centered around your drug use, such as using when you are anxious.
- They’ll help you learn how to deal with cravings and other intense feelings that make you want to use substances again.
There are several types of behavioral therapies. Some will fit your needs more than others, depending on the types of challenges you routinely face.
Some Common Behavioral Therapies
The use of behavioral therapies is very common in addiction treatment. Detox alone is not enough to break patterns of addiction. The brain must be trained to work in a new way. We highlight below two of the most common behavioral therapies used today, but you can ask your treatment counselors about other therapies that may apply in your situation.
Often used for those with substance use disorders related to alcohol, cocaine, meth, and marijuana, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is one of the most used treatment strategies. This treatment method aims to help a person recognize what they are thinking about and how it impacts their decisions.
The most important element of all CBT therapies is the concept of anticipating problems and developing self-control skills along with effective coping strategies. For example, in some forms of CBT, a person explores the consequences, both positive and negative, of using drugs. They also learn how to self-monitor for cravings, which can help them recognize when they need to reach out for help. CBT also teaches clients to monitor themselves for negative thoughts that often lead to negative behaviors.
Another type of therapy that may be recommended for people with alcohol, opioids, marijuana, stimulant, or nicotine disorders is motivational incentives, sometimes called contingency management. In short, a person receives a tangible reward that helps to reinforce positive behaviors, including abstaining from substance use.
Evidence suggests that these types of therapies are effective at helping to prolong abstinence from drug use. Providing people with an incentive to help them get the treatment they need and remain in recovery is well worth it.
Determining the Right Treatment Plan for You
After an assessment, the team at Victory Addiction Recovery Center in Lafayette, LA, will then work to develop an individualized treatment plan to address your specific needs. This plan may incorporate a number of different therapies that are best suited for your needs.
Over time, you may find that the concepts you learn in therapy help you not only abstain from substance but also improve your quality of life. If you’re unsure what to expect from any therapy, ask us about them. You never have to engage in treatment that is not right for your needs.
Share This Post: