For professionals who have a lot of people relying on them, the impact of addiction can be widespread, hurting families, colleagues and professional reputations that have taken years to build. At Positive Sobriety Institute, we understand that it can be difficult for professionals to keep all of those balls in the air – especially when coupled with addiction, mental health or behavioral health issues.
During addiction treatment at PSI, our experienced and multidisciplinary team considers you as an individual and the many roles you have as a professional, parent, partner or spouse. In addiction counseling, you will have the support of other adults and professionals who also know what it’s like to have many responsibilities in life and to face similar struggles.
Addiction counseling helps replace self-destructive behaviors with positive thoughts, feelings and emotions so individuals can regain control and develop healthy, productive lives.
Goals of Addiction Counseling
The addiction counseling team at Positive Sobriety Institute works to achieve the following goals:
- Increase the individual’s motivation for change. Teach how to break the addictive cycle and establish abstinence.
- Teach the individual coping and problem solving skills required to maintain sobriety over the long-term. Teach how to cope with cravings and how to avoid triggers that can lead to relapse such as people, places and things.
- Involve family members in the addiction recovery plan. Family members who are involved in the recovery process and who participate in treatment activities can greatly improve the success of treatment for the addicted individual.
- Encourage participation in recovery support groups. 12-Step groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, and Cocaine Anonymous are extremely valuable support systems for recovering individuals.
Evidence-Based Addiction Counseling Methods: Group Therapy
Group therapy is an important, though often misunderstood, component of addiction treatment. Group therapy’s restorative effects emanate from the powerful social bonds that form through shared experience. Group therapy is a place to nurture healthy relationships, and to demonstrate respect, compassion and empathy for others. All are necessary for maintaining sobriety, and for embarking on a happy, healthy life with fulfilling relationships after treatment.
Benefits of group therapy
- Learning that you’re not alone in your struggles. Others have similar issues and problems.
- Seeing the growth and learning from others who are at different stages in recovery.
- Having the freedom to express feelings and receive caring and objective feedback from others.
- Taking responsibility for one’s choices and behavior, and demonstrating respect, compassion and empathy for others.
- Having a safe place to take emotional risks by trusting others and showing vulnerability.
Specific Counseling Techniques: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Motivational Interviewing (MI)
In both individual and group therapy, talking about issues and expressing thoughts, feelings and experiences is a key element of treatment. But addiction counseling isn’t just a time to chat. Our team of board-certified psychiatrists, licensed counselors and therapists uses evidence-based, therapeutic approaches to guide discussion and encourage self-discovery.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) for Addiction
CBT is a form of therapy utilized to treat a wide variety of mental and psychological disorders, including depression, anxiety disorders, addiction, chronic pain and eating disorders. CBT asserts that what we think about our lives and circumstances greatly influences our feelings and behavior. Negative or irrational beliefs lead to poor behavioral choices. CBT has been shown to help those with addictive disease more effectively recognize stressors, triggers and practice self-regulation and self-monitoring techniques.
Self-monitoring helps individuals tune in to feelings, behavioral patterns or situations associated with drug or alcohol use. Being aware of these triggers can help individuals plan changes to help avoid relapse.
Characteristics of CBT
- In CBT, clients and practitioners form a therapeutic alliance and begin to identify and understand problems in terms of the relationship between thoughts, feelings and behavior.
- In contrast to other forms of therapy which delve deeply into early life experience, previous trauma, and family dysfunction, CBT is here and now focused.
- CBT involves identifying distorted or irrational thinking, defenses and unresolved wounds, and assists in reframing beliefs, and changing maladaptive and destructive behaviors.
- CBT emphasizes putting newly learned ideas and behaviors into practice in the form of behavioral “homework,” such as trying new things.
- CBT assists in identifying situations and environments that trigger the desire to use and how to employ adaptive coping strategies.
- CBT helps with understanding biological and emotional cues and sensations of craving and self-defeating thoughts and behaviors
Motivational Interviewing (MI) for Addiction
Motivational interviewing strategically identifies what a patient values the most, and uses that as a catalyst for positive change. Motivational interviewing techniques were developed specifically for the treatment of substance use disorders. The technique involves using an empathic, nonjudgmental and supportive approach to explore a patient’s values, beliefs and personal goals. MI also examines any ambivalence, or reluctance, about the changes needed to live a sober life.
For example, many addicted persons are unaware or only partially aware of the impact of their disease on their loved ones. Motivational interviewing openly and honestly examines the issue, without judgment or harsh confrontation. When a patient fully understands that their drug use is causing shame and embarrassment for their children, the motivation to change increases and ambivalence about making those changes decreases.
Characteristics of Motivational Interviewing
- Motivational Interviewing helps individuals discover their true motivation for change, and to make a personal commitment to invest in treatment. MI has been used successfully in addiction and eating disorder treatment, and has been shown to increase adherence to treatment.
- Counselors ask open-ended questions, engage in reflective and empathetic listening, reframing, and encourage questions and dialogue.
- MI helps patients see how their drug and alcohol use or other problematic behaviors interfere with their personal goals and values.
- Instead of telling a patient how, or what to change, the MI approach builds internal motivation and elicits ideas from the individual as to why they need to change.
- MI encourages self-efficacy and the power to choose a different way of life.
Our unique blend of ongoing, effective therapies in a private, comfortable setting, along with integration with the larger professional recovery community, provides an ideal environment for a lasting recovery.