Mental Health Counseling for Addiction

There’s no question that addiction is a complicated disease that causes a vast array of difficulties in a person’s life. Some studies have shown that as many as 20 million people in the U.S. need treatment for a substance use disorder. Of these 20 million, however, only 2.5 million sought and received treatment. Mental health counseling is a crucial part of this treatment.

Individualized treatment is necessary for a successful recovery; there is no one-size-fits-all solution for addiction recovery. Some individuals are even dealing with two disorders at once. Every person who walks through the doors of a given facility is unique, and as such their treatment should be. There are many options available to cater to the needs of the individual first.

What Are Types of Addiction Therapy Programs?

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Substance use disorder therapy sessions are typically used as a means to help those suffering develop better coping mechanisms. Not only that, but it also gives them an emotional outlet to throw all their baggage onto a safe foundation (one that won’t crumble under the weight of reality). This method of care helps many individuals navigate real-life issues without turning to drugs or alcohol. Some generalized therapeutic approaches include:

  • Individual therapy
  • Group therapy
  • Family therapy
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)
  • Rational emotive behavioral therapy (REBT)
  • Contingency management (CM)
  • Motivational interviewing (MI)

What Is Individual Therapy?

Individual therapy takes a one-on-one approach between patient and therapist. This type of mental health counseling aims to help patients stay sober by talking about psychological and emotional needs. When patients come across emotional, physical, or environmental triggers, they may feel the urge to use again. If they don’t receive long-term care at this point, they could go back down a path they tried to avoid. By letting patients talk about their feelings and emotions with a substance abuse psychologist, individual therapy gives them long-term support.

What Is Group Therapy?

Unlike individual therapy, group therapy involves several participants guided by a therapist. In each session, every participant gets to share their experiences with substance abuse while receiving support from their peers. Group therapy allows like-minded people to relate to each other and practice exercises like role-playing. This mode of mental health counseling is especially helpful in treating addiction.

What is Family Therapy?

Family therapy helps people cope with their loved one’s addiction. This disease doesn’t only affect the user; it impacts every family member, too. In family therapy, a substance abuse psychologist will improve everyone’s mental health by helping them understand addiction. Listening, sharing, and learning are key components of family therapy.

Throughout each session, family members will learn how their roles have enabled their loved one’s addiction. They’ll also learn how to healthily deal with it and repair broken bonds.

What Is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)?

CBT is a method of behavioral therapy in which the focus is on pivoting certain cognitive behaviors and helping people cope in better ways than they did before. Those who participate in CBT learn to adjust their behaviors for the better, setting them up for a recovery that will last, preventing relapse. CBT can be coupled with other techniques as well, making it incredibly helpful and conducive to the recovery process. CBT is also versatile, being used not only for substance use disorders but dual diagnoses and other mental health disorders as well.

What Is Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)?

DBT is a type of cognitive behavioral therapy that seeks to understand the motivations of an individual who suffers from addiction. This technique is used in a vast array of different substance use disorder cases. DBT mainly treats certain personality disorders, such as borderline personality disorder. This method of care also helps reduce cravings and makes tools available for an individual to prevent situations that could facilitate a relapse. Ultimately, those participating learn new coping methods for their addiction treatment.

What Is Contingency Management (CM)?

Contingency management helps an individual by rewarding them for behaving in a way that reinforces their sobriety. CM is known for treating all kinds of a substance use disorder, whether it be with alcohol,prescription drugs, marijuana, benzosopiates, or illicit substances. This method of care is rather effective in helping individuals that participate maintain their sobriety. One of the benefits of this therapy is that it helps a person stay all the more motivated not to leave treatment or relapse.

What Is Motivational Interviewing (MI)?

Motivational interviewing is a kind of treatment facilitated by a therapist to help an individual develop motivation for their sobriety and a plan to enact it. This change doesn’t happen overnight, however; it takes time and effort. This kind of therapy provides a person with a sense of control over their treatment. MI also helps cure any doubt a person may have while in recovery, allowing them to buy into the treatment experience.

What Is Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT)?

Rational emotive behavior therapy helps individuals by analyzing their thoughts and desires so that they can build better habits. It also encourages them to pivot their perspective on what they’re going through at any given moment to keep them mentally healthy and thinking positively. The thought behind rational emotive behavior therapy is that rational thinking comes from inside an individual. In other words, things that happen externally shouldn’t influence an individual’s mood or mental state.

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Medically Assisted Treatment for Addiction

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There are many forms of treatment for addiction, including medically assisted detox. When someone is recovering from a drug or alcohol addiction, they will likely experience withdrawal. Withdrawal is extremely uncomfortable and is usually characterized by the following symptoms:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Seizures
  • Headaches
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Chills
  • Fever
  • Sweating
  • Insomnia

Withdrawal is one of the scariest realities of recovering from an addiction. This, however, isn’t to say that there isn’t a solution. Medically assisted detox allows an individual to recover more comfortably from addiction by providing them with medication that curbs the symptoms of withdrawal.

What Kind of Medications Are Used In Treatment?

Medically assisted detox is usually accompanied by different types of addiction therapy. This combination optimizes an individual’s treatment so that they can recover successfully and comfortably. Medication that helps curb the symptoms of withdrawal plays a vital role in the treatment of many individuals. Not only will it help curb the symptoms of withdrawal, but some medications used in a detox program will subdue any cravings a person might have.

There are medications such as buprenorphine and methadone that work in conjunction with therapy to help those addicted to substances like opioids. Another example of detox for a particular substance use disorder is medications that help decrease continued drinking behavior like acamprosate or disulfiram.

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Holistic Therapy in Addiction Treatment

The forms of therapy listed above aren’t the end all be all when it comes to treatment for addiction; there are also holistic techniques that have proven themselves more than effective when it comes to reaching a complete recovery. These therapies aren’t substitutes for all of the treatment itself, but they do serve well as a method to manage stress and cravings. Some holistic forms of addiction therapy include the following:

  • Exercise
  • Meditation
  • Yoga
  • Massage therapy
  • Experiential therapy


An exercise is a great form of holistic therapy. Physical activity helps individuals reduce stress and releases endorphins that help them feel as though a load has been lifted from them. Not only that but early abstinence has been known to be associated with weight gain; physical activity as a means of therapy may help an individual keep that weight level.


Meditation isn’t just for religious or spiritual people; it also has a positive impact on anxiety and depression. When someone meditates, they become mindful of what their body is telling them and what they’re feeling emotional.


Yoga helps those who participate align with their body physically and mentally. Like physical exercise, it also releases endorphins from the body. In addiction treatment, these forms of yoga may focus on more relaxing yoga practices, allowing an individual to breathe and release tension from their body.

Massage Therapy

Massage therapy, like yoga, is another way an individual can release tension from their body and learn to relax and breathe. This is an outlet for an individual to relax without requiring a substance to do that for them. The good thing about holistic treatment methods like massage therapy is that they can become a part of a person’s routine apart from addiction treatment.

Experiential Therapy

Experiential therapy is a type of care involving animal-assisted or equine-assisted therapy. Animal-assisted therapy has risen greatly in popularity over the years, and it is incredibly effective. There have even been studies conducted that have shown therapies involving horses yield better results for those participating in treatment. Those who participate in this form of therapy are also more likely to stay in recovery rather than dropping out.

Don’t Hesitate; Contact Us Today

There is no one-size-fits-all treatment method for substance use disorder; addiction affects different people in different ways. Because of this, it is imperative to us at Intrepid Detox that those who walk through our doors are evaluated for their treatment based on their individual needs.

No one is ever 100% sure that addiction treatment is their next step. Pursuing recovery from addiction is a scary thing; at Intrepid, we want to help you find the encouragement you need to recover successfully. If you or a loved one needs treatment and want to take the next steps, contact us today.