The Different Types of Addiction Therapy
Addiction treatment is a complex process that uses evidence-based pharmacological and psychological treatment interventions to help people manage their addiction and get on the road to recovery. Everyone’s treatment experience is different, and treatment plans are tailored to each person’s unique needs and overall recovery goals.1
This page will help you learn about the specifics of addiction therapy, including the types of therapeutic modalities used in addiction treatment, treatment options available to you, how family therapy can be included in your treatment plan, and how to find help if you or someone you care about is struggling with addiction to drugs or alcohol.
What Is Addiction Therapy?
Addiction therapy uses evidence-based therapeutic tools with a specific focus on helping people struggling with addiction and co-occurring disorders to:1
- Significantly reduce and stop drug and alcohol use.
- Achieve long-term abstinence by addressing the underlying causes of addiction, identifying triggers, and learning coping skills to avoid relapse.
- Foster meaningful relationships in recovery to enable individuals to participate fully in work, family life, and society.
What Are Different Types of Addiction Therapy?
There are several evidence-based therapies available for drug and alcohol addiction treatment. Behavioral therapies aim to:2
- Help you learn techniques to prevent relapse.
- Teach you healthy ways of coping with thoughts, feelings, and stress.
- Strengthen your relationships with others.
- Improve communication skills.
- Develop parenting skills.
- Improve family dynamics.
Standard therapies used in addiction treatment can include, and are not limited to:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), including rational-emotive behavioral therapy (REBT).1
- Dialectical behavior therapy.7
- Motivational interviewing.1
- Contingency management (CM). 1
Substance abuse treatment programs may offer alternative and holistic therapies, such as yoga, art therapy, and meditation. Each program is different, and available services depend on your needs and the treatment center.
Substance use treatment programs occur in various settings that range in intensity. Oxford Treatment Center is an inpatient drug and alcohol rehab in Mississippi that offers comprehensive substance use treatment and uses evidence-based therapies to help people get on the road to recovery.
Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Substance Use
Cognitive-behavioral therapy helps individuals address underlying causes that may have contributed to their substance use disorder, as well as identify, avoid, and handle situations where they are likely to relapse and use drugs or alcohol.1
CBT hypothesizes that: 3
- Mental health challenges are based on unhealthy and unhelpful learned behavior patterns.
- Psychological problems are due to faulty and incorrect ways of thinking about yourself, others, and the world.
- By learning healthy coping skills, you can manage and alleviate your mental health symptoms and have a higher quality of life.
Many different therapies utilize principles of CBT, one being rational-emotive behavioral therapy or REBT.
REBT Addiction Therapy
REBT therapy is a form of CBT. What makes REBT distinct from CBT is its emphasis on rational and irrational beliefs and the idea that the types of beliefs a person adopts determine their thoughts and behaviors. Rational beliefs are considered reasonable, logical, and flexible, whereas irrational beliefs are extreme, unreasonable, and inflexible.4
Rational beliefs lead to healthy, functional behaviors and emotions, while irrational beliefs contribute to unhealthy behaviors and emotions.4 REBT believes individuals can improve their behavioral and emotional functioning by identifying and replacing negative cognitions with healthy ones.
Holism — or holistic — refers to the interconnectedness of all aspects of who an individual is, and effective treatment programs evaluate and address all the underlying components that contribute to the development of addiction.5
Many substance use disorder treatment programs incorporate holistic or alternative therapies into their programming.
Holistic therapies can include:5
- Expressive therapy.
- Spiritual/religious interventions.
Drug Therapy in Addiction Treatment
Drug therapy can be a part of addiction treatment. The use of medications depends upon factors unique to the individual, and a medical provider will determine the suitability for medication.1
Medication can be used as part of addiction treatment to:6
- Help manage withdrawal symptoms, particularly during medical detox.
- Reduce cravings for substances.
- Minimize the risk of relapse during recovery.
Different types of drug therapy can include medications to help manage the symptoms of certain mental health disorders, such as anxiety, PTSD, or depression.
Other Therapy Types for Addiction Treatment
Effective addiction treatment needs to address all the person’s needs, and no single treatment approach is right for everyone.1 Other therapies that are used in the treatment of addiction can include:
- Art therapy.5
- Animal assisted therapy.5
- Experiential therapy. 5
Family Therapy in Addiction Treatment
Addiction doesn’t just impact the person using drugs or alcohol; it affects the entire family.8 That’s why family therapy is often included in addiction treatment. Family therapy is different from couples counseling. In couples therapy, only the two people who comprise the couple are included in treatment. In family therapy, members of the family are included in the therapy process.
Family therapy and couples therapy have been found effective in:8
- Strengthening parenting skills.
- Improving communication.
- Reducing family and relationship conflict.
- Decreasing the severity of substance use.
- Strengthening family unity.
Individual vs. Group Therapy
Aside from couples and family therapy, therapy can be conducted individually or in groups. Substance use treatment programs often integrate both settings into treatment as each serves a valuable purpose.
The most significant difference between individual vs. group therapy is who is included in the therapeutic session. Individual therapy is therapy between the person and the therapist. In group therapy, people with similar goals and challenges attend a group session with at least one or two therapists.9
Benefits of group therapy include:9
- Learning and applying coping skills and recovery techniques.
- Strengthening communication and interpersonal effectiveness skills.
- Developing a social support system.
- Decreasing social isolation and social stigma.
In individual therapy, the relationship or “alliance” between the individual and therapist plays a major role in the benefits from counseling.
Benefits of individual therapy can include:10
- Increased life satisfaction.
- Personal growth and a sense of purpose.
- Improved relationships.
Both individual and group therapy can be conducted on an inpatient or outpatient basis. Oxford Treatment Center provides outpatient drug and alcohol rehab in Mississippi.
Most Effective Addiction Therapy
Treatment for drug and alcohol addiction is not a one-size-fits-all approach, and treatment plans are tailored to your unique circumstances and needs. Comprehensive and effective treatment often uses more than one therapeutic modality and treatment approach.1 Some benefits of seeking professional addiction treatment include:1
- Access to mental health and medical professionals.
- Identifying and addressing the root causes of addiction.
- Learning or improving life skills that may have been neglected during the course of active addiction.
- Treating underlying mental health and co-occurring disorders.
- Developing relapse prevention strategies.
- Peer support.
- Managing withdrawal symptoms.
Find Professional Addiction Therapy Treatment at Oxford
If you are struggling with drug or alcohol addiction, help is available to you. At Oxford Treatment Center, we provide comprehensive and effective substance abuse treatment that addresses your specific needs. Contact our trained admissions navigators at to get more information about inpatient addiction treatment, rehab admissions, and levels of addiction treatment.
Our admissions navigators can also help answer questions about drug and alcohol rehab insurance coverage or other rehab payment options. You don’t have to live with addiction any longer. Make the call today.