Modifying Attitudes and Behaviors in Addiction Treatment
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Behavioral therapies administered in individual, group and family settings are the most commonly used and effective forms of treatment for substance use disorders, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse’s Principles of Effective Treatment.
Behavioral therapy is a method of treatment that helps people change self-destructive behaviors. While a number of different and highly effective behavioral treatments have been developed over the years to treat people with addictions, one thing they all have in common is the innate ability to differentiate treatment based on an individual’s needs and preferences.
How Do Behavioral Therapies Work?
Types of Behavioral Therapies We Use
At Nova Recovery Center, we actively use several different types of behavioral therapies within our addiction treatment program to help clients identify and change self-destructive behaviors related to their substance abuse.
We use a number of evidence-based behavior therapies in all aspects of addiction treatment. These include:
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy – This type of therapy is used to adjust the way a person feels by modifying attitudes and behaviors in regards to substance abuse. At Nova, clients work with clinical counselors to explore the positive and negative consequences of drug and alcohol use, develop coping strategies, identify high-risk situations, and more.
- Contingency Management – Contingency management uses positive reinforcement to change behaviors. It is founded on the principle that if a positive behavior is rewarded, it is more likely to be repeated in the future. Examples of rewards for positive behaviors in drug and alcohol rehab include day passes with family members or extra recreational activities.
- 12-Step Facilitation Therapy – This type of therapy encourages active engagement in a 12-step recovery group. The primary purpose of 12-step facilitation therapy is to promote long-term sobriety with peer engagement. The three key ideas of this approach are acceptance, surrender, and active involvement.
- Family Behavior Therapy – Family behavior therapy is effective in treating substance abuse in addition to coexisting issues, such as family conflict and depression. At Nova, clients work together with a clinical counselor and their family members to reduce the harm of addiction and substance abuse on the family unit and to improve the home environment in a way that promotes abstinence.
- Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy – Rational emotive behavioral therapy is used to help clients identify self-defeating, unhealthy thoughts, consider the validity of those thoughts, and then learn to replace them with healthier ones. As a result, clients learn how to manage negative emotions, modify their thought processes, and develop healthier relationships with others.
Treatment Groups at Nova
The Core Emotional Addiction (CEA) Model is a clinical modality designed to develop and enhance emotional sobriety for a sustained and thriving recovery. The CEA Model empowers clients to investigate and discover their negative and positive imprints and the relation to the core emotional addictions. In the CEA Model, clients look at their addictions to emotional states of Power Control, Security, Suffering and Sensation.
A recovery-based group designed with high accountability. Clients identify behaviors and have the opportunity to understand how their attitudes and actions affect their families and friends. In addition, clients analyze how these continued behaviors affect their recovery community members. Once identified, clients make commitments to change their behaviors and ask the group to hold them accountable. Awareness groups at Nova are facilitated by recovery specialists.
Groups typically include ten to eleven individuals who may be dealing with similar issues. Though their stories differ, they share a common goal: to learn to listen and identify with others in a safe environment. Additionally, there is a range of issues that can be negotiated within a group context that might take longer in individual counseling. Process groups at Nova are facilitated by clinical counselors.
Benefits of Behavioral Therapy in Addiction Treatment
- Provides incentives for maintaining abstinence
- Modifies negative behaviors and attitudes
- Improves life skills
- Enhances ability to handle stressful situations and triggers
A truly holistic approach to treatment will include a variety of complementary therapies that are used in conjunction with traditional behavioral therapies. Complementary therapies may include:
- Art therapy or music therapy – Helps you synthesize experiences in different ways as well as reduce stress and bolster coping skills
- Biofeedback – Trains you to reduce your body’s response to stress on command, such as lowering your heart rate and blood pressure, by engaging in activities like progressive relaxation or deep breathing
- Neurofeedback – Trains you to interact with your brain waves and alter their frequencies to help reduce triggers like insomnia, anger and stress
- Meditation and other mindfulness practices – Help you become more keenly aware of your thoughts and emotions to help you better regulate your mood, cope with triggers like cravings and stress, and improve the functioning of your immune system
There is no single pathway to recovery. If you’re ready to begin working through the issues that led to an addiction to or chronic abuse of drugs or alcohol, choosing a high-quality, holistic-based treatment program is essential for increasing your chances of enjoying long-term success in recovery.
Through a variety of traditional and alternative behavioral therapies that address issues of body, mind and spirit, you’ll learn to evaluate your thoughts, ideas, feelings and attitudes and replace those that are self-destructive with those that are healthy and conducive to a life of sobriety. In the process, you’ll rediscover the joys of life without drugs or alcohol, improve your overall physical and mental health, and vastly improve your quality of life.
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