Though medication is helpful in overcoming drug addiction, it probably won’t solve the problem by itself. The Manage Addiction Program curriculum incorporates the best of several different types of psychotherapy to help patients to understand their past, function well in the present, and set themselves up for a healthier and happier life going forward.
Behavioral therapy helps to identify and change unhealthy attitudes and behaviors that are potentially destructive, to oneself and/or to others. The foundation of behavioral therapy is that unhealthy behaviors can be overcome and healthy behaviors can be learned.
Our curriculum is designed to help every patient understand how genes and family environment may have created the vulnerability to addiction, while also tuning in to the many different factors that shape how we respond to situations in our lives. Throughout the course of the year-long Lifeline program, different sections examine the family environment, what a healthy lifestyle looks like, how to have good relationships and how to forgive yourself and others for regrettable incidents and actions. We also explore what it takes to become mentally and emotionally well.
The goal is for every person in the Lifeline program to not only overcome drug addiction, but also to understand themselves well enough to plan a future life that will make them productive, healthy, and happy.
What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)?
One pillar of the Manage Addiction Program behavioral therapy is what’s called Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or CBT. This is an approach to psychotherapy that emphasizes identifying negative, unproductive, and destructive patterns of thought about yourself and others, examining whether they are actually true or not, and then, figuring out what changes need to be made to live a healthier and more rewarding life.
CBT can be helpful for a wide range of challenges, from relationship issues to weight loss to career coaching to, of course, addiction recovery. The underlying premise of CBT is that everyone can benefit from learning about their personal style of experiencing life and examining which approaches are helpful and which are not. For instance, a person who has a tendency to see himself as a victim feels powerless; challenging that way of thinking can lead to the empowerment necessary to engage in more constructive behaviors.
What is Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)?
Another type of psychotherapy we use in the Manage Addiction Program is known as Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, or DBT. Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is a psychotherapeutic approach designed to help people who tend to have especially intense emotional reactions – people who are both highly sensitive and vulnerable to their emotions, and also haven’t developed the skills yet to regulate their reactions to them.
DBT is like a tool to help modulate and regulate emotions so they don’t create messes in your mind and in your life. Recognizing how overwhelming emotions can be, in the moment and even afterward, DBT is about learning to identify what you are feeling and to learning to choose a better way to react.
What is the Role of Co-Occurring Mental Health Issues in Addiction Treatment?
Research has revealed that many if not most people with drug addiction have other mental health challenges. For people who are struggling with mental illness, drug use can be a way to escape from their problems or a maladaptive coping strategy – a way to soothe frightening symptoms, to calm down, or to just feel normal.
If the underlying mental health problems aren’t addressed, it’s unlikely that the person will succeed in their efforts to overcome the overlying drug addiction to build a more satisfying life.
The Manage Addiction Program incorporates regular one-on-one meetings with a psychiatrist, with the goal of identifying and treating underlying mental health issues.
Common mental health disorders that are associated with drug addiction include:
- Panic Disorders
- Anger Issues
- Bipolar Disorders
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorders