Therapy is the most effective form of addiction treatment, and there is no shortage of information online that details its importance. Aside from learning the different types of substance abuse therapy, it can be helpful to understand exactly what counseling is really all about. The principles of addiction therapy are rooted in giving people a better understanding of who they are, how their addiction affects them and who they’d like to become.
Addiction therapy is not about teaching you to live according to a therapist’s standards or follow a “rule book.” Instead, good alcohol abuse counseling meets you where you’re at, helps you define realistic goals and guides you toward a healthier, sober life. Below are just a few of the topics that are often addressed by therapists in both rehabs and individual counseling for alcohol addiction.
History of Addiction
The origin of your substance abuse may play a large part in your treatment; for example, someone who was exposed to alcohol in the home at an early age will most likely have a drastically different view of drinking than someone who started to consume alcohol as an adult. You may not even fully understand the extent of addiction’s influence in your life.
This is nothing to be ashamed of; in fact, it’s normal for people to be so caught up in a problem that they aren’t able to see the bigger picture. You and your therapist can work together to unravel the history of substance abuse in your life; it may surprise you how certain things in your life played a role in your own addiction, such as a parent’s alcoholism or starting to drink heavily to cope with a difficult experience.
Some people might say, “I don’t cope with anything, that’s why I drink,” but the truth is that substance abuse is its own coping mechanism. Alcohol is a way to numb yourself to reality and avoid facing uncomfortable feelings. There are many other ways people cope unhealthily with things, and these behaviors can also lay the groundwork for a variety of mental health problems including depression and anxiety. The therapist will want to understand how you respond to your feelings and why; what is alcohol protecting you from? Learning how you handle things – both positively and negatively – will help you begin to rebuild and learn healthier habits.
Alcohol abuse can often develop as a person drinks to cope with the unbearable symptoms of many mental illnesses. Whether it’s bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety, schizophrenia or PTSD, alcohol can help dull a mind that’s been overwhelmed by difficult thoughts and feelings. When a person has a substance abuse problem and a mental illness at the same time, it’s called a dual diagnosis or co-occurring disorder. Many rehabs offer specialized treatment programs for people with a variety of mental illnesses, ensuring that they are properly diagnosed and treated for their psychological problems while learning to overcome addiction.
Many people with addiction struggle to maintain healthy relationships. They may have never had a good role model, or they could be the victim of abuse. It’s not uncommon for people to grow up being taught that submitting to everything
From what you eat to your sleep schedule, how you live drastically impacts your quality of life, especially when it comes to addiction. Most people don’t seek help for their drinking until it’s significantly impacted their life; their entire day may revolve around alcohol, and they may no longer even have any type of structure in their life.
High-functioning drinkers will find themselves struggling at work, facing conflict at home and slipping through the cracks as they desperately try to keep up with their life. Rehabs that use a holistic approach to alcohol addiction are especially interested in helping people recover and reclaim their lives. Self-care will play a large role in learning how to live a healthy life; self-care looks different for everyone, and your therapist will be able to help you define what it means for you.
Get the Level of Care You Deserve
Whether it’s weekly group therapy or residential treatment, we can help you determine what type of alcohol addiction treatment will be best for you. Contact us today at 844-639-8371 to begin exploring your options. We offer 24/7 care, so it is never too soon to reach out. We’re always ready to help; you are never alone.