The most basic type of therapy that proves to be a necessity in recovery is individual therapy in which a patient speaks one-on-one with an experienced and knowledgeable counselor. The reason one-on-one counseling is so important for people with addictions is that it enables them to understand the underlying causes of their issues with substance abuse. While a variety of factors can contribute to a person’s need to use drugs often their inner emotional life, possible symptoms of mental illness and struggles to cope with stress can all be major influences on their addiction. Individual therapy can help address the psychological issues that cause the cycle of addiction and make it so difficult to eliminate. Counselors are better able to assess a patient’s individual needs in a one-on-one setting and educate them about how to change their thoughts and behavior.
Opening Up in Therapy
While in individual therapy a person in recovery can discuss personal problems in a safe and private setting where they will feel more comfortable being vulnerable. These therapy sessions might be the first time in several years that an addict has opened up about their thoughts and feelings. People with addictions tend to withdraw from others, become closed off and hide what they are going through. It can be a cathartic experience to discuss emotional issues and past problems with a therapist who can provide useful advice and insight into resolving these issues. One-on-one therapy is necessary for people in recovery especially in the first phases of withdrawal because they need someone who can focus on their individual needs. While going through withdrawal people usually experience a rollercoaster of emotions as they no longer have the option of altering their moods through substances. Discussing what they are experiencing in a private setting can help each patient feel more stable as they get past the hardest phases of recovery.
Learning to Cope with Stress
A counselor that works individually with patients is there not only to listen to their problems but also teach them the skills that will help them deal with stress more effectively. One of the biggest factors contributing to substance abuse is self-medication or using drugs to alleviate stress. When someone becomes sober they have to find new and more effective coping mechanisms that help them eliminate or reduce their stress levels. In individual counseling, a therapist can get to know their patient’s unique triggers, what causes their stress and can help them come up with solutions that will keep them from returning to their addictive habits. In many cases, people with addictions are also dealing with symptoms of a mental illness that make them more inclined to self-medicate. Individual therapy offers them the chance to understand more about their psychological state and how to reduce the symptoms of their illness. Many people in recovery were never diagnosed for issues like depression, anxiety or other disorders that could have been a major cause of their addiction. Individual therapy can be a way to uncover mental health problems that are at the root of a person’s substance abuse.
At Dr. Paul’s By The Sea, our one-on-one therapy sessions can assist patients in addressing the emotional issues that are central to their addiction. Our therapists understand how a person’s psychological well-being and their ability to handle stress can impact their relationship to substances. With individual therapy, each of our clients can benefit from talking about their problems and gaining insight into their own actions. Eventually, therapy sessions will give them the ability to handle their emotional life in healthier, more effective ways.