Overcoming Addiction with Behavioral Therapy
Various therapies and counseling techniques can be beneficial during addiction recovery. Behavioral therapy, which aims to modify negative behaviors, is one of the most effective. At The Clearing, we make behavioral therapies a major part of the curriculum. Explore the benefits of behavioral therapy and learn how they can help patients overcome addiction.
Confronting Fears Through Flooding
Many different factors can lead to an addiction. Often, treating an addiction is about more than just addressing the physical aspects. Fear, anxiety, past traumatic events and other mood disorders can also lead to dangerous behavior. Confronting those fears in therapy can potentially lead to behavioral breakthroughs.
Flooding is one way to confront fears in therapy. If a person is scared of something in particular, flooding will overwhelm them with that specific thing rapidly. For example, a person who suffers from anxiety every time there's a loud boom might listen to loud booms on repeat.
Flooding can lead to desensitization. What once held power over the patient can be eliminated. If it was fear, anxiety or trauma that led to the addiction, this technique could be the key to preventing relapse.
Systemic desensitization is similar to flooding. While the idea is nearly identical, the intensity starts low and builds. This route may be necessary for those with serious fears or severe anxiety.
Another behavioral therapy technique our professionals use is called modeling. If the goal is to change a negative behavior to a positive one, modeling can be helpful.
It isn't always easy or straightforward to know what the right course of action is in any situation. It becomes harder for those struggling with addiction, mental illness or mood disorders.
Modeling teaches patients how to "model" their behaviors after the actions of someone else. Until healthy behaviors become consistent, patients can simply imitate the behaviors of a role model. This coping mechanism can eventually become a healthy, lasting habit.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive behavioral therapy explores the link between thoughts and actions. Often, negative thoughts translate to negative actions. Targeting the thoughts first might make it easier to adopt healthy habits that don't involve addiction.
The goal of cognitive behavioral therapy is to identify negative thought patterns. For example, patients might feel inadequate every time they look in the mirror or experience a temptation. Those feelings of inadequacy might translate to a desire to relapse or sabotage recovery. Through therapy, patients can learn why those thoughts are both false and ultimately unhelpful to recovery.
Mindfulness About Actions and Their Consequences
"Don't let perfect be the enemy of good."
It's an important recovery mantra. Many people struggling with addiction want to be perfect. They may feel they have fallen short, but perfection is the ultimate goal. Whenever patients don't achieve perfection, they might feel like complete failures.
Unfortunately, this black and white way of thinking is dangerous. Behavior therapy teaches mindfulness and a critical view of one's self. You wouldn't throw away a bag of grapes because one was mushy. Similarly, no patient should feel worthless because of a single mistake.
Behavioral Therapy Treats the Underlying Issues Causing Addiction
In order for substance abuse programs to be truly effective, they can't just focus on the symptoms. Behavior therapy targets the root cause of addiction. There are many causes, but they often include a history of trauma, mental health issues, societal factors, negative thought patterns or the inability to manage stress safely.
Overcoming Addiction at The Clearing
While some facilities provide just a few hours of individualized counseling, patients at The Clearing can expect 120 hours or more in just 28 days. Our 12-steps alternative program focuses on underlying issues and emotional stability is key to lasting sobriety and relapse prevention.
In addition to behavioral therapy, patients can expect:
- Small groups for peer support and camaraderie
- Facility on a 43-acre estate
- Secluded, private and peaceful location
- Opportunities for spiritual development
- 24/7 medical support available
- Dual diagnosis and trauma therapies