Why is Individual Therapy Used During Addiction Treatment?

why is individual therapy used during addiction treatment

Addiction recovery involves more than just detoxing from drugs and alcohol. The best way to recover from addiction is by participating in a comprehensive treatment program that addresses your unique needs. Treatment typically consists of detox, individual substance abuse counseling, group therapy, and aftercare planning services.

Individual therapy sessions are an extremely important part of addiction treatment. Although the majority of your therapy sessions are held in small groups, your individual sessions help drive your treatment plan. 

When you first arrive at a rehab center, you will go through a medical and psychiatric assessment. This assessment allows the clinical team to formulate a treatment plan specific to your needs. They will also match you with one of the substance abuse counselors on staff who will act as your primary therapist. You may have one or more one-on-one therapy sessions with your primary therapist each week. These sessions allow you to build trust with your counselor, and they also allow your counselor to modify your treatment plan, as needed.

What is Individual Substance Abuse Counseling?

Substance abuse counseling is a type of therapy that is used to treat addiction. It involves addiction education, psychoanalysis, and dual-diagnosis care. Substance abuse counseling can happen in small groups that are led by a therapist or it can happen in one-on-one sessions between you and your therapist.

Most addiction treatment programs offer one individual therapy session per week that may last an hour or more. However, if your therapist determines you need more individual sessions, he or she may schedule them for you.

Individual therapy works by addressing any unique problems you may have. It also gives you an opportunity to discuss any sensitive topics with your therapist that you may be hesitant to share with a group. Most importantly, individual sessions allow your therapist to constantly evaluate your progress and your goals so they can adjust your treatment plan accordingly.

The Importance of Individual Therapy During Addiction Treatment

Everyone who struggles with addiction or mental health is unique. Your treatment needs may be different from others at the rehab center. And, in order for treatment to be effective, it must meet your specific needs. Individual therapy allows your substance abuse counselor to develop a close, trusting relationship with you so he or she can accurately assess your needs.

An individually-tailored program not only improves your ability to stay sober but also allows you to have a more personal connection with your peers in group therapy. This is because your therapist can match you with the specific groups you can benefit from the most.

Individual therapy also promotes an open and honest relationship between you and your therapist. Getting vulnerable and honest isn’t easy–especially with a stranger. However, honesty is vital for your recovery. One-on-one sessions are private and confidential, so they are the perfect place to open up about your innermost struggles.

What to Expect During Individual Substance Abuse Counseling

You will have your first individual therapy session in your first couple of days of addiction treatment. At first, your therapist will work on getting to know you and establishing a trustful relationship. They will also focus on making you as comfortable as possible.

Once your therapist begins to gain your trust, he or she will begin talking to you about your addiction as well as your goals in recovery. Your therapist will guide the discussion, so all you have to do is focus on being open and honest. You may be asked specific questions and be instructed to think critically about your responses. This can help build healthy communication skills.

As treatment progresses, your therapist will help you work through your unique challenges and apply the necessary therapeutic modalities to help you reach your goals. He or she will help you develop an actionable plan that will enable you to stay sober in the future.

Topics Explored During Individual Therapy

Since individual substance abuse counseling sessions are meant to address your individual needs, no topic is off-limits. Common topics that may be discussed between you and your primary therapist include:

  • Goal setting
  • Treatment progress
  • Mental health treatments
  • Trauma
  • Family
  • Intimate relationships
  • Support groups
  • Problems or concerns you have about your experience at the rehab center
  • Aftercare planning
  • Childhood experiences
  • Fears

These topics and more may be addressed using several different types of therapies, including cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical-behavior therapy (DBT), motivational interviewing (MI), contingency management (CM), and eye movement desensitization reprocessing (EMDR). Using these therapies, you and your therapist will work together to find positive solutions that support a sober lifestyle.

Find Addiction Help for Yourself or a Loved One Today

Both group and individual therapy are effective means of addiction treatment, but each has their unique purpose. Individual therapy is what allows your treatment program to be custom-tailored to your personal needs.

If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction, know that there is help available. At Moving Mountains Recovery, our goal is to guide you toward discovering something that gives you true meaning and purpose. Nestled away in the quiet serenity of Randolph, New Jersey, our innovative recovery programs help individuals find the motivation necessary to persevere through challenging situations.

Contact us today to see if our addiction treatment program is right for you.

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