Recovery programs are intended to help patients overcome addictions to drugs or alcohol. They can include a variety of medical and psychotherapeutic treatments. The types of treatments offered will vary based on the program and the patient’s individual needs. Many of these treatment options seek to address both the mental and physical aspects of addiction.
Recovery programs usually include therapies that are based on evidence-based treatment models. A popular treatment format is the cognitive-behavioral model of therapy. This proactive approach has been applied to the treatment of many disorders, including substance addiction.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) helps patients identify distorted thinking patterns that leads them to engage in destructive behavior. When people change their thought patterns, they can also change their behavior. CBT is solution-oriented, and it gets patients to take an active role in their treatment: Patients collaborate with their therapists to create an action plan using the skills they developed in therapy.
The practice of motivational interviewing is another respected form of addiction treatment. This treatment format helps patients resolve any ambivalence about change. A conversational approach helps patients explore their feelings of ambivalence and get inspired to change. Patients make a plan to change during therapy sessions and commit to this set of changes.
Some treatment centers incorporate the practice of motivational incentives into their treatment plans. The premise behind the motivational incentive theory is simple: Positive reinforcements can keep patients motivated and help them finish their treatment programs. Patients in rehab programs can choose the incentives they’d like to earn; they receive these rewards if they complete their course of treatment and maintain their sobriety.
Used in conjunction with standard addiction treatment, motivational incentives can be an effective way to keep patients focused on their recovery.
A wide variety of therapeutic techniques are used in different treatment programs. Some techniques are traditional and evidence-based, and others are considered alternative treatments.
Equine therapy is an example of an alternative treatment that can act as an effective complement to a traditional rehab program. An equine therapy session isn’t focused on riding horses; the participants spend most of their time caring for and interacting with the animals. Caring for the horses gives participants a sense of empowerment and responsibility. Developing a bond with the animals also helps the participants develop a deeper understanding of themselves.
Some rehab centers incorporate the practice of biofeedback in their treatment plans. In a biofeedback session, medical instruments are used to measure a participant’s muscle tension, temperature, blood pressure and heart rate; the patient receives instant feedback on these readings. A specific type of biofeedback, known as neurofeedback, concentrates on the brain’s activity. Participants use the data from neurofeedback sessions to modify negative thinking patterns.
Art therapy has been used for decades in the treatment of various disorders, and it has gained popularity as an alternative treatment for addiction. Art can provide a comfortable way for patients to express painful emotions that can be difficult to put into words. No artistic experience or specific skill is necessary to participate in an art therapy session, because the focus is on self-discovery and self-expression.
Addiction treatment can take many forms, and it’s important to keep several factors in mind when researching recovery programs: The substance of addiction, the duration of your addiction and your own personal circumstances will play a part in your decision.
A good support system can make a big difference in your recovery efforts; recovery programs designed around the 12 steps provide the encouragement and social support needed to stay on the right track. Participants at 12-step meetings can share their challenges and experiences with recovery, and they have the opportunity to build positive new friendships.
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