3 Reasons Why Psychotherapy is Important in Recovery
"Even if I'm addicted, I'm still a man. If I have a problem of abusing narcotic substances, I still want to be understood and to have a support network, but not to be the reason of numerous arguments or close people turning away from me."
~ Sober Grid User
It seems that such thoughts are quite understandable. However, it often happens that an addicted person who cannot overcome the heavy addiction on his or her own is condemned to die a lonely death.
People with a substance abuse problem need support from others. It is one of the factors that can help them successfully combat addiction. And, vice versa, constant lack of attention from parents, the rejection of loved ones, and not feeling wanted or accepted by others often become the reasons why people are looking for the pleasure narcotics bring.
What's the benefit of a psychotherapist support?
Family and friends may not only lack patience, but also the ability to support a dependent person and help them seek and start the treatment. And, indeed, you have to be able to stay calm and keep yourself accountable. Therefore, in the treatment of drug or alcohol addiction, the help of the therapist becomes practically invaluable.
A skilled specialist can provide the necessary support in treatment, help solve the problems that have led to addiction, to become active in the search for new meaning in life without using substances.
In the treatment of drug addiction, in particular, the following types of therapy are used:
1. Individual psychotherapy — this “one to one” therapy involving a therapist and a patient. Such kind of therapy allows for solving the emotional, personal, and behavioral problems of an addict. It also provides an opportunity to identify the reasons why the patient began to seek escape from the drug addiction, and it helps a person return to living a full and happy life;
2. Group psychotherapy – it is usually conducted in small groups ranging from 3 to 10 people. People in the group learn to productively communicate with other people, see themselves in the eyes of others, and build relationships (including those with themselves). In group therapy, the following methods are often used:
a) Art therapy — patients reproduce their worries and feelings with the help of fine arts like drawing, moldings, and paintings. It is believed that this method allows you to reflect on the hidden feelings and harmonize the state of the psyche;
b) Game therapy — during the game, people usually cease to be serious and become spontaneous. They get to loosen up and let their subconscious desires come through. This can help to recognize the existence of the old traumas and better the patient's condition and behavior;
c) Psychodrama — this method serves to reveal the patient's subconscious mind with the help of dramatic improvisation;
d) Psycho-gymnastics — it is a non-verbal method of psychotherapy, which allows you to express feelings with the help of body movements, facial expressions, and dance. The listed methods are often used in the individual therapy;
3. Thematic trainings – these can serve to address certain psychological/behavioral issues or the questions of self-actualization. Different psychotherapeutic methods are used within this type of training, and the communication between the participants of the training promotes the development of skills in establishing relationships.
The work of the psychotherapist gives recovering addicts the necessary support and motivation to combat addiction; it also can help to prevent relapse and identify triggers which should be avoided or suppressed.
The relatives of any addict should also consult the psychotherapist in order to understand what kind of support they can provide for the treatment to be as effective as possible.