After successful completion of in-patient treatment program, many recovering addicts will often find a new set of challenges in the months and years after. Addiction recovery is a continuous process. And while relapse rates are not uncommon for recovering abusers, there are many steps that individuals can take to make the most out of the recovery process. Sober living and its many in house offerings, like therapy, wellness classes, nutritional consultations, and group support are some of the many ways that can ease the challenges of recovery.
The Importance of Therapy
Addiction is often rooted in a combination of genetic, social, psychological, and environmental factors. However, the need to escape is also a factor. When individuals turn to mind altering substances, they block out pain and chase a temporary feeling of euphoria, which has life-threatening consequences.
However, therapy also provides tranquility, happiness, and health if clients commit to therapeutic work. When an individual begins treatment, they will begin to uncover the reasons why they turned to drugs or alcohol in the first place. In order to get to lasting peace, people need to first examine facets of their pain.
There are many therapeutic modalities, like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and psychodynamic therapy, as well as newer treatments like eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR). These are just a few methods that drug and alcohol counselors may use to help combat addiction.
After in-patient treatment, therapy conducted within the safe haven of a sober living home can drastically improve rates of sobriety, in addition to helping people find inner peace. Therapy helps to treat buried issues that may have been repressed through substance abuse or through an individual’s own coping mechanisms. While avoiding or burying trauma is initially preferable, it is not sustainable, safe, or healthy. In fact, it causes greater harm down the road, leading to unsafe coping outlets, like addiction.
However, therapy and its many approaches helps people engage in productive strategies that are crucial for lasting healing. Therapeutic approaches also help relieve stress and provide an opportunity for people to let go of past pain and to replace addictive behaviors with healthy ones. Therapy makes positive change possible.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Cognitive behavioral therapy is one of the most commonly used forms of psychotherapy. It is often used in both in transitional living and beyond. This type of therapy centers on the crucial tie of how people feel and how they behave.
CBT is a focused treatment approach that helps patients uncover triggers (based on past memories or trauma). Based on that recognition, CBT also helps people create an action plan of places to avoid, people to separate from, and new boundaries that need to be created. These actions are necessary for sobriety.
When an individual is back on their own in the world beyond sober living, they will be exposed to potential triggers and stressors of all kinds. It is important that people acknowledge these threats so they can continue to work on them in therapy when they leave sober living.
CBT is incredibly helpful for all people seeking therapeutic treatment. But for recovering abusers, CBT is beneficial because it is one of the most popular forms of treatment, often used in outpatient environments.
It also works on a practical level. Aside from addressing the past, it focuses on a person’s routines prior to treatment. CBT will also focus on determining what day-to-day life will look like once sober living guidance is no longer present. It is important to discuss where you will live and if relevant, with whom. This way your therapist can help you prepare for any challenges that may arise.
In recovery, all modes of therapy serve as a way to provide the patient with the tools to get rid of old, unsafe, and spontaneous behaviors and replace them with careful thought, strategies for coping, and other new behaviors.
Therapy Helps Decipher the Past and Make Changes
Prolonged periods of substance abuse affect physical health, decision-making abilities, and memories. Through alternative modalities like EMDR or hypnotherapy, therapy can help uncover repressed memories or underlying trauma. Therapy is the tool that makes this excavation possible. In order to change behaviors, deciphering the past is a vital step toward healing.
Admitting you have an addiction and completing an in-patient treatment program are positive, beginning steps towards a life free from substances. However, sobriety is something that must be addressed and worked on every single day. Relapse can occur days after finishing treatment or after years of successful sobriety. However, there are many ways to keep sobriety a constant in your life.
Changing your social circle is one way to limit temptations. In sober living, you will be removed from former social circles that may have once been toxic influences. They may have provided you with substances or they may have caused significant stress or pain. In sober living, you will address these facts and therapy will help you delve deeper into understanding how these people became part of your intimate circle, why you allowed yourself to be a part of a group that caused you harm, and what changes need to be made in the future.
Making the Most Out of Therapy
It is important for recovering addicts to make the most out of therapy, especially while they are in the transitional phase of their recovery. Take advantage of the individual care, group therapy offerings, and twelve-step support.
While there is always some initial discomfort when opening up to a therapist, it is important to challenge yourself to answer questions as fully as possible. By doing so, you may find increased levels of comfort with your therapist as you engage more. The more you share, the more insight your therapist will gain into your history, your struggles, and the best course of action for your future. Your therapist is there to help you repair your health and mental health. Make the most out of therapy and make sure you are an active participant in the therapeutic process. Your sobriety depends on it.