The Role of Therapy in Addiction Treatment

Finding the Right Type of Treatment for You

One of the cornerstones in addiction treatment is quality individual and group therapy. This helps to address the underlying causes and conditions of substance use disorders. Without directing the underlying psychological, emotional, and behavioural factors the likelihood of a positive outcome will be reduced.
There are many therapeutic schools of thought, philosophy and approaches to treatment and an experienced addiction professional will use the various tools available to tweak a programme specific to your unique needs and circumstances. This article will explore different therapy modalities and their benefits in addiction treatment, guiding you in selecting the most suitable option for yourself or a loved one.

Any of the therapies we mention below are evidence-based.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is often used in addiction treatment and focuses on identifying and changing maladaptive thought patterns and behaviours that contribute to substance use. Through CBT, individuals learn to recognize triggers, develop coping strategies, and build resilience against relapse.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) was initially developed to treat borderline personality disorder patients. It has been extended to other populations and is now applied to various mental health conditions, including addiction. DBT emphasizes the development of emotional regulation, distress tolerance, interpersonal effectiveness, and mindfulness skills, which can be particularly beneficial for those struggling with co-occurring mental health disorders.

Motivational Interviewing (MI) is a client-centred approach designed to enhance an individual’s motivation for change. By exploring and resolving ambivalence, MI helps individuals identify their values, set achievable goals, and take steps towards recovery.

Addiction doesn’t exist in isolation. We often have families drop their loved one, “the problem”, in treatment and head off thinking that if the addict gets well, everything will return to normal. Return to the good life they had before their loved one became addicted. This is incorrect. Family members all play their roles in the dysfunctional family system that perpetuates active addiction. Family therapy focuses on improving communication, fostering understanding, and rebuilding trust among family members, supporting the healing process for everyone involved.

Trauma-informed care is an approach that recognizes the significant impact of trauma on addiction and mental health. This type of therapy addresses unresolved trauma and its influence on substance use, helping individuals develop healthy coping mechanisms and build resilience. To learn more about trauma and addiction, consider watching these YouTube videos:

  1. Gabor Maté – “The Power of Addiction and The Addiction of Power”:
  2. Bessel van der Kolk – “How Trauma Lodges in the Body”:
  3. Nadine Burke Harris – “How childhood trauma affects health across a lifetime”:

When looking for the best addiction treatment, research the different therapy modalities that the rehab centre provides. Engage with therapists and treatment providers to ensure they understand your unique needs and preferences and can tailor the therapy approach accordingly.