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What Happens in Therapy in Rehab?

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Nicholas Conn

Nicholas Conn is a leading industry addiction expert who runs the UK’s largest addiction advisory service and is regularly featured in the national press, radio and TV.

What Happens in Therapy in Rehab

If you do decide to go to rehab for addiction treatment, then you will need to go through therapy sessions. Here's what happens in therapy rehab.

Deciding to go to a rehab clinic for an addiction is a difficult decision to make. First, you must admit that you have a problem quickly enough to merit going to rehab. As we have discussed in previous blogs, no addiction problem is too small. However, there is still a stigma attached. Next, you then must sign up for the rehab clinic and start the detox process. Once you've through detox, you will be introduced to a range of therapies. Here is what you should expect.

What Types of Therapy Do You Get in Rehab?

Your therapist will use whichever style of talking therapy they are trained in to get to the bottom of your addiction problem. We will explore some of these styles in a moment. First, let's review what types of therapy you might get.

One-on-one therapy sessions

When you go to rehab, you should expect to see your personal, one on one psychologist or psychiatrist at least once per week. This means an hour or longer spent in the company of a trained professional who is familiar with your type of addiction. They will be able to advise you and tweak your treatment plan to be tailored to you. They will listen to how you think your treatment is progressing and adjust your plan if necessary.

Group therapy sessions

You should expect to attend group therapy at least three times per week while you are in your rehab clinic. Group therapy sessions are led by a trained psychologist. They take the form of support groups or self-help groups. They are combined of people with similar addiction problems to you, and their focus is to provide empathy and discuss common problems. Group therapy sessions simultaneously provide peer support and allow you to learn from the group’s experience.

Different Styles of Therapy Used in Addiction Treatment

Well, group therapy sessions usually take the same form, one on one therapy sessions can differ depending on the style used by the psychologist. Here are some of the different styles of talking therapy available in rehab clinics in the UK.

CBT - cognitive behavioural therapy

Cognitive behavioural therapy involves engaging your cognitive process to look back at your behaviour and see what you can learn from those experiences. During a therapy session of CBT, you will talk through past actions with your psychologist, and they will provide an alternative viewpoint from which you can gain perspective. They can then arm you with tools to tackle similar problems in future.

DBT - dialectical behavioural therapy

Randomised clinical trials have shown DBT is effective in lowering substance abuse in addicted patients. DBT is a branch of CBT, and it tries to identify and change negative thought patterns that can result in negative behaviours. DBT is more focused towards a positive mindset than CBT is.

The matrix model

The matrix model is less of a therapy type and more of a framework that will help your patient to prevent relapse. It includes education, support group sessions and even family-orientated therapies. It involves drug testing to make sure you stay drug-free. The Matrix Model is usually used in patients who are addicted to cocaine.

What Happens During a Therapy Session?

When you go into a one-on-one therapy session, you will be invited to take a seat. The therapist will ask you how you are, and you are then free to talk. You will find that the session goes much faster than you expect. The therapist will only interrupt you once you finish answering their questions. They will only do this to point out certain key areas. Perhaps to highlight a thought that you have mentioned before. They do this to identify problematic behavioural patterns and to help set you back on the right path.

Therapy is a key part of rehab. It is only by examining what it was that made us turn to substance abuse, to begin with, that we can figure out what your triggers are and how to avoid them. The therapy portion of your rehab stay is responsible for relapse prevention. It builds the foundation for the rest of your recovery. Do the work and you will get all the rewards? 

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