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Addiction Treatment: What’s Individual Therapy All About?

Treatment for drug addiction or alcoholism utilizes a number of therapies in order to achieve lasting success. These therapies should address the two most pressing issues a person in recovery will face: Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome and Denial Management. Of the most common of these therapies, Individual Therapy often has the best chance of helping a person to stay sober one day at a time. In drug treatment centers where success rates are the highest, the fundamental element of most individualized treatment plans is individual therapy; and it is precisely this type of therapy that helps people to dramatically reshape their lives.

Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (also referred to simply as PAWS) education and Denial Management are essential to any addiction treatment plan. While these issues are addressed with Group Therapy and/or Family Therapy, they are personally addressed in individual therapy. This is accomplished via direct one-on-one sessions with an expert in addiction. Successful types of individual therapy allow the client to have a full experience during their treatment with personal encouragement and guidance in exploring their own emotions, behaviors and thoughts.

Individual therapy sessions allow a person to discuss, internalize and develop critical skills that will be required to maintain a lifetime of sobriety. These skills include the following:

*Avoidance Skills: Understanding what types of people, places and things to avoid is a crucial part of relapse prevention. Numerous studies have shown that relapses are often triggered by neurologically-programmed associations that are developed in the brain during active addiction. Avoiding anything that triggers these associations is vital.

*Refusal Skills: Developing the ability to say no to any situation that makes a person in recovery feel uncomfortable can be hard, but with individual therapy this is possible. The development of the confidence needed to refuse dangerous or tempting people or situations is essential for lasting recovery.

*Coping Skills: Humans are under constant stress, and people in recovery often are affected more easily by stressors. Learning how to deal with daily stress without using is a primary focus of individual therapy.

*Assertive Skills: Being able to ask for what they need and make their voice heard is important to everyone, but many people have little self-esteem after years of addiction and lack assertiveness. Individual therapy helps to regain this by constantly developing a better sense of self esteem.

Ultimately, individual therapy seeks to help a person change negative thoughts and behaviors by exploring and then changing underlying concepts that cause them. This is a critical component to denial management, which should be a major focus of any program for addiction or alcoholism. And in the case of co-occurring conditions such as bipolar disorder or depression, the staff psychiatrist may supplement therapy with appropriate medications.

If you need to get help for substance abuse or alcoholism, you can begin receiving individual therapy the moment you pick up the phone. We have professional addiction counselors standing by to help guide you- confidentially and with no obligation. You have nothing to lose but an addiction that’s ruining your life, so why not get started now?

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