Each person that comes to one of our treatment programs for help is provided with individualized care, based on the specific needs of that client at that time. The treatments we provide can also change over time, as the client grows and changes in recovery. It’s a customized and organic process, and we’ve seen remarkable changes in the people we’ve been honored to treat. These are just some of the treatments we use when we’re developing programs for the people in our care.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration reports that about 8.9 million adults have a mental health issue as well as a substance abuse disorder, but only 7.4 percent of these people get care for both conditions at the same time. That’s a statistic our treatment teams hope to change through comprehensive testing.
Each client that comes to us for care is provided with in-depth psychological and cognitive tests before the treatment program is developed. These tests are designed to help our clinical teams spot common mental illnesses and symptoms of psychological distress that could stand between a person and true healing. Some of our clients had no idea that a mental illness was even present before they came to us for help, and if the illness hadn’t been diagnosed, these clients may not have ever experienced true healing. With these results, however, these clients can get the help they’ll need in order to manage both their addictions and their mental illnesses. Other clients may come to an understanding about the damage their addictions have caused, as a result of these tests, and they may be eager to enter therapy so they can learn how to get back on track once more.
Our treatment teams also provide comprehensive personality tests. These results can help therapists to understand how their clients think, and allow these therapists to draw up treatment programs that can play to their strengths and their preferences. These tests can also help clients to understand their own minds, and the patterns of thought that may have kept them locked in a cycle of destructive behavior and regret.
The tests are provided by trained professionals who have decades of experience in both administering and evaluating psychological and cognitive tests. All of the results are kept confidential.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
This form of therapy is commonly used in addiction treatment programs, and according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, about 68.5 percent of addiction treatment facilities use this therapy in order to help clients. We believe that this is an effective therapy for both mental illnesses and addictions, and as a result, we often ask our clients to use therapies like this as they heal.
Cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT, is a time-limited therapy that’s designed to bring about big results. The therapist and the client work as a team in sessions like this, and they view the disordered behavior as a problem that can be solved. During the detective phase of therapy, the two come up with all of the triggers that might be contributing to the behavior. These triggers could include:
- Thought patterns
- Drug-using friends
- Emotional states
- Locations associated with drugs
The team then comes up with a series of steps that could help the person to either avoid the situation or deal with the trigger without sliding back into disorder. Some solutions are quite creative, involving visualization or self-talk, but others are much more straightforward. Some of our treatment professionals even hold sessions in group settings, so clients can practice their skills with one another. Most of our therapists ask their clients to complete homework assignments of one sort or another, so clients can continue to learn more about addictions and their inner thoughts, even when they’re not inside the treatment room.
Dialectical Behavior Therapy
CBT can be useful for some clients with addictions or mental illnesses, but there are some clients who find the therapy to be a little disruptive. Since CBT relies on making big changes in a short period of time, it’s not uncommon for therapists to push their clients and really ask them to dig deep and find the errors in their old behaviors. For some clients, this kind of emphasis on errors and change can feel a lot like criticism, and they can shut down inside their therapy sessions and make no progress at all. This isn’t something our treatment professionals like to see, and they tweak their treatment approach as needed. For some, this means using dialectical behavior therapy (DBT).
This form of therapy is also used to help clients change their ways and develop a new method of behaving, but the therapy moves at a slower pace and there’s a significant amount of praise and validation used. Clients may feel soothed and supported by this approach, but they may still feel the need to make deep changes in their lives. They may feel, however, that they came to this conclusion on their own, instead of feeling forced to do something they don’t quite support.
DBT is particularly useful in people who have borderline personality disorders, as people like this often have fraught relationships with others, and they may constantly feel under attack as a result. In a study of the efficacy of this kind of therapy in people with these mental health concerns, published in JAMA Psychiatry, researchers found that people given DBT were half as likely to make a suicide attempt, when compared to people given another form of therapy. They were able to change, but they didn’t feel pressured and desperate. Studies like this demonstrate the value of DBT, and they highlight why we think it’s such an important part of the care we provide.
Addictions don’t just impact the clients who visit our facilities for care. Often, their families also need support and healing. To use just one example of the damage an addiction can cause a family, Forbes focused on economics. Here, the writer found that a pack-a-day smoking addiction could translate into about 10 percent of a person’s income level, if that person was living at the poverty line. People who are addicted to illicit or prescription drugs might be asked to pay much, much more, as might their families. A family forced to pay for an addiction that’s killing a loved one could retaliate through:
- Physical violence
- Emotional neglect
A family like this is in crisis, and without help, the family members could perpetuate an addiction. Their habits could entice a person back into drug use, and the damage could make everyone feel so awful that drug use just seems reasonable. Our facilities provide family therapies that can help to heal the damage.
In family therapy sessions, the group comes together to discuss the addiction and the impact the disorder has had on each and every part of the family. Some sessions contain just one or two members of the family. Others might include all members of the family. The therapist is always present to provide support and keep the group on track, but the family is encouraged to talk openly and share willingly. With this approach, they can all come together to heal.
Our treatment programs follow the 12 steps to recovery outlined by Alcoholics Anonymous. We encourage our clients to attend regular support group meetings, both while they’re in our care and when they’re living in the community, but we also encourage our clients to take the steps to heart and really incorporate them into their day-to-day lives. Getting engaged with recovery in this manner, or “working the program,” can help people to experience a deep and profound recovery that they might not tap into in any other way. They might be able to make amends for the damage they’ve done, and allow the guilt surrounding those mistakes to float away. They might be able to give back to their communities and make a contribution to society, and feel a sense of pride as a result. And they might be able to meet sober role models, and perhaps become models for people who are new to recovery. By incorporating the steps into all the work we do, we hope to spark a transformation in the people who come to us for care. It’s more than attending a meeting. For us, it’s a new way of life.
It’s easy to think of addiction and mental health treatment programs as time-limited solutions that begin at one point and end just a few months down the line. In reality, people with addictions and mental illnesses often need assistance for years or even for decades. For example, in a study in the journal Addiction, researchers found that people who abused cocaine after their treatment programs ended benefitted greatly from continuing care. When they got this care, people used cocaine on only 8 percent of the days in the two-year follow-up period. That’s a remarkable result.
Our treatment teams draw up comprehensive relapse prevention plans for each and every client, helping them to spot the signs that a relapse is headed in their direction, and therapists check up with their clients regularly to ensure that all is well in sobriety. Sometimes, clients find that they need touch-up therapy in order to keep a lapse to use from becoming a full-blown relapse. Other times, clients need to be linked to community resources that can help, such as support group meetings or alumni meetings. These can all be included as part of the continuing care plan.
We also encourage our clients to visit us again if their use begins to spin out of control. Life can change and circumstances can differ, and sometimes, this can lead to a tiny slip or a big relapse. It’s sad, but it happens. We tell our clients that we’re always available to help, should something go wrong with their recovery, and that they’re always welcome to visit our programs again for help. Sometimes, we provide that help on an outpatient basis, building on the work done in the original program, but sometimes our clients need another round of inpatient care. Whatever they need, our treatment teams are happy to provide.
Find Out More
This is just a taste of the therapies provided through our treatment centers. If you’d like more explicit information about the therapies we use, or you’d like to know more about why we utilize one form of treatment and not another, please call. We’re happy to answer your questions.