There are two fundamental forms of psychotherapy:
- Mainstream psychotherapy
- Recovery-sensitive psychotherapy
Receiving therapy from one, when you need the other, is as potentially hazardous to your health as getting an orthopedic surgeon to perform your open-heart surgery.
When we first helped design the first ads for the Partnership for a Drug Free America the ad we helped design for psychiatrist and psychologist read newspapers was a beaker half-filled with water and half-filled with oil, containing a glass stirring rod.
The caption read: Psychoanalytic Insight and Drug Abuse Recovery do not mix.
Recovery-sensitive psychotherapy aides your recovery in many ways.
Let’s show you a few examples.
Recovery-sensitive psychotherapy helps navigate the goals of recovery, such as confronting relapse. This subject we all wish we didn’t have to write about, but the truth is that throughout early recovery danger of relapse is everpresent.
The body is being bombarded by the physical and chemical aftereffects of addiction; sometimes, for this purely physical reason, a person early in recovery can literally find it hard to think straight, attention deficit/dopamine-depleted type confusion.
Beyond that, in early recovery the changes are intense, piling on top of one another so quickly that it’s hard to absorb the information all at once.
The changes that come in a recovering person’s personality, outlook, and belief in himself or herself haven’t yet become incorporated completely. Being sober takes concentration at this point and it takes a lot of courage sometimes. This is why getting the right treatment is so important.
Psychotherapy Treatment Programs
Both inpatient and outpatient recovery-sensitive psychotherapy treatment programs are designed to provide a protective environment, free of personal and social factors that may have contributed to the original dependence.
Generally, however, inpatient treatment or the intensive period of outpatient treatment don’t last long enough for full recovery.
For this reason, many treatment professionals consider less intensive but continuing aftercare programs essential.
But during the aftercare, you will be returning to the environmental stressors that fostered your dependency, and it is loaded with pressures, problems, and temptations. This is why most people who relapse do so during the first few months after completing inpatient treatment or what would be the first phase of outpatient treatment.
The biological effects of alcohol or drugs persist long after you might think they would: weeks or months after abstinence begins the body is making millions of adjustments, and it affects everyone different. Still, there are patterns, and in our programs we sketch out for you what they are so that you can be prepared.
If you’re coming to one of our programs as an addict who has already tried recovery once but not been able to stick with it, I think you’ll find in one of our programs the help you need to begin a successful recovery this time. If this is your first time around or even your second, you should still know this: Relapse can be overcome.
Although relapse is a real danger, especially in early recovery, you’re not doomed to relapse. Many people never do. Psychotherapy will help you to identify your triggers, which puts you in a position where you can better prevent relapse. On the other hand, don’t think that relapse is something you can take lightly, that you can have one night of “fun” and then pick up where you left off. Maybe you can, but as one counselor puts it, “You may have one sober person inside you struggling to get out. You might even have two, three, or four. But you’re not likely to have an infinite supply.”
If you’re in recovery, take it seriously.
Take yourself seriously and get the help you need to begin living sober.
It’s worth it.
If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse problem, please reach out to our addiction specialists for guidance and support, at (877)-RECOVERY or (877)-732-6837. Our addiction specialists make themselves available to take your call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Because We Care.