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How Evidence-Based Treatment Can Help You Recover From Depression, PTSD, or Addiction

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Distraught woman who needs an evidence based treatment center in Seattle

When you’re ready to get clean and sober or recover from a traumatic experience, you want to ensure that you’re going to a facility with useful programs. But for many years, medical professionals didn’t know how to help people who were struggling with addiction.


In recent decades, the medical community has come a long way in discovering effective methods for treating addiction. An evidence-based treatment program employs many of these approaches to help individuals heal from addiction and mental health challenges.

What Is Evidence-Based Treatment?

Evidence-based treatment is a collection of therapy methods that have been shown effective in peer-reviewed scientific experiments. These methods have been standardized and studied in multiple environments to ensure they provide consistently effective results. 

While there are many different treatment options for substance use and mental health conditions, only a few are backed by scientific research and able to be adapted for people in a wide variety of circumstances. When you choose evidence-based treatment, you can rest assured that you are receiving the most effective care possible and have a better chance of a good outcome.

Evidence-Based Treatment for PTSD

Common evidence-based treatments for PTSD include:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), which focuses on changing patterns of thoughts, behaviors, and feelings.
  • Gestalt therapy, in which the person processes feelings fully in order to learn and grow from the experience
  • Cognitive process therapy (CPT), which is a type of CBT in which patients learn how to modify and challenge unhelpful beliefs related to the trauma.
  • Cognitive therapy, which involves modifying the pessimistic evaluations and memories of trauma.
  • Prolonged exposure, which teaches individuals to gradually approach trauma-related memories.

Medication such as sertraline, paroxetine, fluoxetine, and venlafaxine may also be helpful to some individuals, depending on the person and situation.

Evidence-Based Treatment for Depression

In the past few decades, researchers have done many studies on depression and the effectiveness of various depression therapies. Psychotherapy was not always an evidence-driven field, but today, most therapy practitioners focus on using evidence-based treatments such as CBT, person-centered therapy, and rational-emotive therapy to help patients recover.

Evidence-based therapies for depression are structured to teach specific skills and are often intended for a specific population. There is often a generally defined treatment protocol and a manual that clinicians use. However, the treatment is still ultimately unique to each individual since it deals with their personal experiences and involves unique discussions with the therapist.

People who are dealing with depression, including those who have a co-occurring diagnosis such as a substance use disorder, often benefit from talking with a professional. Talking through the underlying issues that led to substance use or other maladaptive behaviors can help you gain insight and develop more control over the thinking processes that lead to depressed moods. In addition to counseling, antidepressants or other medications can sometimes also help individuals deal with their depression.

Evidence-Based Treatment for Addiction

Evidence-based addiction treatment is a collection of practices that have been well-researched and studied to ensure they are effective at helping people overcome substance use disorders. While no program can guarantee that all clients will remain sober after treatment, an evidence-based addiction treatment program can ensure that practices are based on current research findings and proven practices.

Evidence-based practices in addiction treatment sometimes include practices such as:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), which in this case allows individuals to learn how  to more effectively manage stressful situations, emotions, or traumatic life experiences that previously led to substance use
  • Contingency Management Interventions, in which patients are given tangible rewards to reinforce positive behaviors.

Specialized therapies also have been developed to help people with specific substance use issues, including alcohol, opiates, cocaine, and marijuana. Recovering from a substance use disorder often involves a period of withdrawal, and depending on the drug and individual circumstances, prescription drugs may be used to help with these symptoms.

Many people with substance use disorders also have co-occurring mental health diagnoses that must be treated to effectively help the person overcome unhealthy behavior patterns. Substance use also often occurs together with family relationship troubles, legal matters, medical conditions, and job or vocational concerns for which therapy can be helpful.

The Benefits of Seeking an Evidence-Based Treatment Program

There are many addiction and mental health treatment programs in Seattle and beyond, but not all of them are using methods that can help you recover. Medical schools and other research facilities have tested various methods to see which options tend to be most effective. The methods that are shown to have high success rates become known as evidence-based treatment methods. 

Evidence-based treatment programs are based on methods that show improved performance in the parts of the brain most affected by addiction. If you are serious about healing and highly motivated to recover, you may want to seek out this type of treatment program.

Using Insurance for Your Treatment Program

Current healthcare guidelines mandates that insurance must cover addiction treatment. Although insurance companies must provide coverage for substance abuse programs, they choose who they work with. Your insurance company wants to make sure they’re paying for a program that will actually help you. This is why insurance companies only work with accredited facilities who use proven treatment modalities.

12 Step Alternative Treatment

12-step programs like Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous work for some individuals. However, just as many individuals have trouble with these programs and need alternatives for their recovery journey. One benefit of an evidence based treatment center Seattle is that you’ll have alternative options for recovery. You’ll receive a wide range of other forms of counseling that will help you learn how to live a better life.

Some of these methods include:

  • Basic skills training
  • Counseling
  • Learning positive self-talk

In a treatment program that provides you with these options, you can rest assured that the staff understands the complexities of addiction. Not everyone who develops an addiction to drugs or alcohol is the same, which is why alternatives are useful. The goal of these types of treatment facilities is to give you a wide range of tools that you can use. This way, you can see what works for you and continue to use these coping strategies once you leave treatment.

The Clearing began as an addiction treatment center located in San Juan Island, Washington, about 100 miles from Seattle. During the COVID-19 pandemic, we made the decision to transition to an online treatment program that can more easily serve people throughout the United States. Some of the substance abuse programs we offer here at The Clearing include:

Find out more about how The Clearing can help you or a loved one by calling us today at 425-275-8600.

Download eBook:  Healing Underlying Core Issues

Clearing Staff

This post was written by Clearing Staff

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