The following research-based treatment modalities are practiced in individual and group therapy sessions and daily psychoeducational/didactic groups. Please note that this is not an exhaustive list, but an overview of the treatment modalities most commonly used.
Historically, many addiction professionals used a confrontational approach to try to “talk sense” into individuals with substance problems. Unfortunately, some still use this approach today. Research demonstrates this approach is highly unsuccessful because it is likely to cause resentment and distress, harming self-worth as well as willingness to change.
Conversely, Motivational Interviewing is a major aspect of our programming because it ties into our philosophies of caring staff, collaborative processes, and individualized treatment.
MI is a collaborative, therapeutic conversation between licensed clinicians and clients that addresses the common problem of ambivalence for change. As defined by William Miller, the creator of MI, its purpose is to strengthen the client’s own motivation for and commitment to change in a manner that is consistent with said client’s values. Therefore, rather than imposing or forcing particular changes, we “meet the client where the client is” and help her/him move toward his/her goals by drawing out and building his/her readiness to change.
Those who suffer from addiction are often driven by destructive thought patterns. CBT encourages clients to question and examine recurring thoughts in order to phase out those that are negative and unhealthy.
Scientific studies have shown that CBT is an effective form of treatment for addiction, mental health conditions, and eating disorders.
Similar to CBT, Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) helps clients identify, challenge, and replace their destructive thoughts and convictions with healthier, adaptive thoughts. Empirical studies demonstrate that this process incites emotional well-being and goal achievement.
Primarily a skill-building approach, DBT focuses on the development of four key skill sets:
- Distress tolerance
- Emotion regulation
- Mindfulness (to live in the moment and fully experience emotions)
- Interpersonal effectiveness
Offered at select facilities, EMDR helps clients recover from traumatic experiences that result in symptoms and distress. Utilizing “dual stimulation” exercises to discuss past trauma while simultaneously engaging other parts of the brain through bilateral eye movements, tones, or taps, EMDR helps heal the brain’s information processing system and promotes emotional stability and symptom reduction.
EMDR’s benefits are so empirically effective that it has been officially approved by the American Psychological Association as a treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other trauma conditions. In fact, several studies have shown that 77 percent of combat veterans and those struggling with other forms of trauma no longer exhibited and reported PTSD symptoms after 6 to 12, 50-minute EMDR therapy sessions. California’s Mental Research Institute has also found EMDR to be “an important addition to the treatment of substance abuse.”
Developed under a grant from the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) by Lisa M. Najavits, Ph.D., Seeking Safety is a present-focused therapy that helps clients attain safety from trauma (including PTSD) and substance abuse by emphasizing coping skills, grounding techniques and education. This highly effective, research-based therapy has several key principles which, to name a few, include:
- Helping clients attain safety in their thinking, emotions, behaviors and relationships
- Integrated treatment of substance conditions and trauma and
- Focusing on ideals to counteract the loss of ideals that is experienced in both trauma and substance abuse.