A Look at Behavioural Therapy Options

If you are about to embark on a programme of rehabilitation for addiction, then you are bound to be treated with a variety of behavioural therapy options. They exact therapy offered will depend on the clinic or outpatient programme you will be attending.

Behaviour modification works by identifying a person’s behavioural patterns and then changing negative behaviours for positive ones. The aim is to replace maladaptive behaviours with positive behaviour patterns.

Contingency Management Therapy

Contingency management therapy is commonly used by practitioners treating those with substance abuse and mental health problems. It works on a method of rewards for positive behaviour and, less often, consequences for negative behaviour.

The idea behind the rewards and consequences system is that it encourages patients to want to behave in a positive manner. Patients have a reason to stay clean if they are going to be rewarded for it. Losing certain privileges for bad behaviour is also an incentive to remain abstinent. In many clinics, this type of therapy is commonly used for treating teenage addiction because teenagers may not be able to see that staying clean is reward in itself.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

Cognitive behavioural therapy aims to help the patient become aware of his or her destructive behaviour and show him or her ways of replacing it with positive or less destructive behaviour. Patient and therapist work together to reinforce the positive behaviours until they become natural. Cognitive behavioural therapy is often used in conjunction with 12-step work.

Peer Support Therapy

Peer support or group therapy is a wonderful technique for use in addiction treatment. It allows several patients to share their experiences and offer support to each other. These sessions are productive when it comes to encouraging patients to change their behaviour. Together, patients will motivate and inspire each other to move forward with their recovery.

Skills Development

Many addicts lack the ability to make good judgement, so skills development works to rectify this. It is also effective at providing recovering addicts with techniques such as assertiveness, stress management and relaxation tools.

Motivational Interviewing

When it comes to addiction recovery, a huge obstacle is the patient’s inability to recognise his or her own destructive behaviour. Denial is very common among addicts but motivational interviewing is designed to help addicts come to terms with their illness and accept that their behaviour is causing negative consequences to all those around them. This non-confrontational and supportive form of therapy is used to motivate the patient to recognise that addiction is a problem and to make a commitment to get help.

Family Behaviour Therapy

As addiction affects more than just the individual, family behaviour therapy works to help family members overcome the illness together. The treatment is designed to tackle not only the addiction but also other issues within the family, which could include child abuse, neglect, or conflict.

Dialectic Behavioural Therapy

Dialectic behavioural therapy is used to help patients learn to handle their emotions better. The therapist uses a combination of cognitive behavioural therapy with other techniques such as mindfulness. It is used to help recovering addicts learn how to make better decisions in everyday life.

Various Treatments

The type of therapy you encounter will obviously depend on the facility you attend. Some are designed to help patients manage emotional and physical symptoms that occur in recovery while others are used to help patients improve their ability to handle family situations, relationships, and the temptations they will face when they return to normal life.

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