Brook Recovery Centers Utilizes a number of Evidence-Based Practices in Our Treatment of Addiction and other Co-Occuring Behavioral Health Diagnoses.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive behavioral therapy is used widely today in addiction treatment. CBT teaches recovering addicts to find connections between their thoughts, feelings and actions and increase awareness of how these things impact recovery.
Alongside addiction, CBT also treats co-occurring disorders such as:
- Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)
- Bipolar Disorder
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
- Eating Disorders
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Dialectical Behavioral Therapy
Dialectical behavior therapy helps recovering addicts learn several skills—mindfulness, distress tolerance, interpersonal effectiveness, and emotional regulation—that are effective at helping addicted people stop using drugs and alcohol.
DBT also focuses on changing the recovering addict’s behavior and surroundings to make sobriety easier.
Common DBT strategies include:
- Helping patients seek out environments and peer groups that discourage drug use
- Encouraging addicts to remove triggers such as drug paraphernalia or unhealthy relationships from their daily lives
- Bolstering self-esteem and confidence to help patients stay sober through stressful periods
The primary goal of didactic group therapy is to enhance problem-solving skills, foster healthy coping mechanisms that are commonly needed for people with addiction, reconnect to a community of like-minded people, and to understand the disease of addiction.
Didactic Group Therapy, unlike many other forms of talk therapy (one on one with a therapist), is intended to be a goal oriented and short-term form of therapy. For this reason, it has become one of the most widely used therapeutic methods in the substance abuse treatment field and allows for honest investigation into common problems that addicts face.
The connection between trauma and addiction has been proven multiple times, including in a study entitled “Trauma and PTSD in Patients With Alcohol, Drug, or Dual Dependence: A Multi-Center Study.” This study found that people with PTSD suffered from addiction rates as high as 34.1 percent, which was nearly double the rate of those who did not have PTSD. This statistic illustrates just how prevalent trauma is in addiction, but serves as a hopeful reminder that it is possible to treat trauma and addiction at the same time.
The American Psychological Association (APA) explains that narrative therapy has three main components and goals: exploring the potential “untold” aspects of a person’s personal story, helping people to rewrite and emotionally engage in their own stories and lives, and assisting people in forming new meaning within their lives. The individual is the author of their own story, and the therapist acts as a kind of editor, helping people to recognize certain thoughts and behaviors for what they are.
Some recovering addicts may be uncomfortable talking to therapists in a traditional counseling setting. Experiential therapies put recovering addicts in environments where they feel comfortable, such as the outdoors or in an art or music studio.
Common experiential therapies include:
- Rock climbing
- Ropes courses
- Music therapy
- Wilderness therapy
- Recreation therapy
- Adventure therapy
Experiential therapy is designed to help those in recovery develop a stronger sense of self by coming to terms with buried emotions and past traumas. Through experiential therapy, a recovering addict can learn how to face these issues without turning to drugs for an escape.
Expressive Arts Therapy
According to Americans for the Arts, creating a work of art allows humans to feel fully engaged, effective, and vital. The absorbing process of creation helps to refocus thought patterns on the task, and completing the work can stimulate the reward centers of the brain, so the person feels successful and content. When applied to healthcare fields, arts programming, creative therapies, and evidence-based design can:
- Enhance the ability to cope with stress
- Build resilience
- Reduce pain, which decreases the need for pain medication
- Lessen depression and anxiety symptoms
- Increase self-esteem
- Reduce treatment needs, including hospitalization, length of hospital stay, and healthcare-related infections
- Increase satisfaction
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