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Addiction Treatment Explained: Individual Therapy

Author : Terrance Phillip

Drug addiction treatment centers and alcohol rehabs utilize a number of therapies to help people take back control of their lives. While these therapies can vary from place to place, they generally include group, family and individual therapy. These types of therapy seek to help manage the two most significant threats to a person’s recovery: Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome and Denial. Of all the therapies available to a person suffering from addiction or alcoholism, individual therapy provides the most intensive approach to dealing with PAWS and Denial.

Individual therapy is most useful for management of Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome: PAWS refers to a set of symptoms that begin to occur immediately after a person has fully detoxed from a substance such as heroin, cocaine, meth, or alcohol. These symptoms include an inability to organize thoughts, inability to solve simple problems, lack of coordination, depression, emotional outbursts and other behaviors and physical ailments. These symptoms can persist for weeks or even months, leading many people to relapse in order to find reprieve from PAWS.

Individual therapy is also an essential part of Denial Management: Addicts and alcoholics battle with denial constantly. They might deny how powerful their urges to use are, deny their true stress level, deny their ability to abstain, and deny their past life, their present life and the future they are heading toward. Denial becomes a method of survival while in active addiction or alcoholism, but once in recovery these patterns can be extremely difficult to break.

Individual therapy works by providing a format in which a person is guided on an explorative journey to discover, test and implement new skills that will be vital for a lifetime of recovery. These skills include:

*Coping: Stress is one of the largest contributing factors in many relapses. This can be stress from a job or business, stress from family problems, stress from medical issues and stress from financial issues, among many other types of daily stressors. Individual therapy focuses on developing coping skills in order to properly engage, internalize and communicate stress triggers.

*Avoidance: Avoiding people, places and things that are associated with using drugs or drinking is a critical skill that requires a whole new way of thinking- and “doing.” This is one of the most important skills to learn because the associations developed in the brain during active drug or alcohol use can be powerful enough to cause an immediate relapse under the right- or wrong- circumstances.

*Assertive: Assertive skills are essential to be able to communicate needs and indicate boundaries relationship roles. Being able to ask for help, to speak up for themselves or to confront a situation or person is not something that many addicts or alcoholics are inherently good at, so individual therapy seeks to correct this.

*Refusal: Saying no to a drug or drink can be harder than it seems; especially for people who suffer from confidence, self-image or self-esteem issues.

Individual therapy addresses the issues surrounding these skills by allowing a person to honestly evaluate their own thoughts and emotions in a safe, one-on-one setting with a trusted professional. This type of therapy helps patients to analyze and change the underlying concepts that shape their thoughts, behaviors, emotions and actions while identifying and medically treating any co-occurring conditions that could exacerbate addiction or its symptoms.

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If you need help for addiction or alcoholism, you can speak to someone confidentially at our Florida Drug Rehab, no matter where you are in the country.

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Tags:   individual therapy for addiction, addiction therapy, alcoholism therapy, individual therapy for alcoholism

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Submitted : 2011-05-12    Word Count : 609    Times Viewed: 266