Scientifically Backed Methods for Successfully Treating Addiction
Searching for effective therapy for drug and alcohol addictions can be daunting. When you begin the search for yourself or a loved one, look for a program that features evidence-based addiction treatment practices. These types of behavioral therapies are based on scientific evidence and have the highest success rates for addiction recovery.
Behavioral Therapies for Addiction
Let’s take a look at the most common behavioral therapies that should be strongly considered for a successful recovery:
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
EMDR has been shown in studies to combat post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which is a common disorder found in those facing addiction. Many people who have struggled with addictions also have a history of trauma and abuse, which can make EMDR an even more effective option.
EMDR treatment includes desensitization of past traumatic events and the changing of associations for current emotional triggers. The desensitizing process takes the form of talk therapy along with a series of therapist-led eye movements. After the completion of eight phases, patients typically report significant improvement in their thought processing and subsequent behaviors.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Negative thought patterns are commonplace in those struggling with addiction, which is why CBT is a prime treatment option. This type of therapy is shown to be effective in treating addiction, eating disorders and depression.
CBT is conversationally based with a therapist or in a group setting. In conjunction with a therapist, the client will explore his or her thought processes, identify destructive behaviors and then gradually work to create healthier strategies for living. This requires therapy session work, but the patient must also commit to following new strategies in day-to-day life outside of the therapist’s office.
Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)
DBT was created to combat suicidal thoughts. The method has since been found to effectively treat borderline personality disorder and other serious psychological disorders. Suicidal patients are notoriously difficult to treat due to their passive, often defensive, behaviors in therapy.
The DBT model includes group therapies, activities based on the above-mentioned CBT practices, but it also offers immediate phone consultations with therapists. Patients keep their therapist on speed dial, calling them as situations are unfolding in their lives. This is a useful tool for those struggling with addiction when a patient is tempted to fall back into old habits.
The therapy addresses issues in order of their impact on the client’s life, according to American Addiction Centers. Issues involving suicidal tendencies are first priority, followed by therapist-guided activities to reach personal goals.
Motivational Enhancement Therapy (MET)
So far, this type of behavioral therapy has been successful in treating alcohol, marijuana and nicotine addictions. MET is based on CBT methodology, but typically moves at a faster pace.
Traditional CBT therapy is a slower, step-by-step process, whereas MET can incite internally motivated change within the first two sessions. With regular sessions, the therapist monitors change and helps the patient set incremental goals in his or her life.
Effective Therapies Used in Conjunction with Evidence-Based Practices
In addition to behavioral therapies, many patients credit supportive therapies as being helpful during and after rehab participation. When used in combination with behavioral therapies, these supportive therapies create well-rounded and enjoyable treatment plans.
Learn about various supplemental therapies by browsing through the items below:
The Best Therapies for Treating Addiction Depend on the Person
All of these therapies have proved to be successful to varying degrees, but it is important to remember that there is no one-size-fits-all model for therapy or addiction recovery. The best therapies for addiction treatment are the ones in which individual patients show the most noticeable progress.
It may take some shopping around to find the right type of therapy or combination of therapies that work best. Without a doubt, there is a program out there for every person struggling with addiction.
What experiences have you had with these therapy types? What other options are available that we may have missed? Comment below or in our forum, and then explore the different levels of care available in addiction treatment centers by clicking below.