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What Therapies Are Used in Addiction Treatment

Published On: 28 June 2021

Millions of people in the United States struggle with addiction to drugs or alcohol. Addiction can cause long-lasting consequences to people’s physical and mental health and can make it almost impossible to live a fulfilling life. Each person has their own journey with addiction. A variety of personal, environmental, and biological factors can contribute to a person’s addiction. 

Treatment for this condition must meet your unique needs. For many people, treatment for addiction involves support and treatment for the physical aspects of drug abuse. To be successful in the long term, a treatment program must also take into account the social and emotional factors that can make addiction harder to overcome. Without treating the whole person, a treatment program is not as likely to be successful.

To treat the social and emotional aspects of a person’s addiction, therapy must be included in any addiction treatment plan. Because everyone is different, different forms of therapy are offered during addiction treatment programs. Understanding what therapies are used in addiction treatment can prepare you for what to expect. 

What Are the Stages of Addiction Treatment?

Addiction treatment usually happens in three stages. Everyone has their own unique situation, so the time spent in each stage varies from person to person.


During detox, people receive medical supervision as their body eliminates drugs and alcohol from its systems. They get the help and care they need to go through withdrawal safely, completely, and comfortably. Few addiction treatment therapies are offered during this time as the patient is simply focused on getting well.


Treatment usually consists of individual therapy, group support, education, holistic therapies, and medical care. It can occur in an inpatient or outpatient setting. The length of time someone spends in treatment depends on the severity and length of their addiction, the substance they used, and other personal factors. This is the stage of treatment where different therapies are introduced into the addiction recovery process.


After completing an addiction treatment program, people must develop an aftercare plan that will ensure they have ongoing support as they re-enter their lives. Leaving the highly structured environment of the treatment program can be a shock to people. Finding support is crucial to their lifelong success. For many people, outpatient therapy and support groups are important parts of their aftercare plan. This could also include participating in 12-step meetings, sober living communities, or alumni groups.

People are never truly cured of their addiction. Instead, they must learn how to manage this condition for the rest of their life. Support and continuing treatment, especially therapy, are important aspects of recovery from addiction.

Using Therapy in Addiction Treatment

Participating in therapy helps people overcome their addiction in several ways. First, it gives people the skills they need to cope with uncomfortable emotions, such as sadness, anxiety, depression, or boredom. For many people, learning how to manage their emotions in healthy ways is crucial to avoiding relapse in the future.

The therapies used in addiction treatment also help people identify and heal trauma. It can help people recognize patterns, beliefs, and family systems that may contribute to their addiction. Participating in therapy also gives people the chance to practice the skills they have learned in treatment in a nonjudgmental, supportive setting. People learn how to rebuild relationships, cope with setbacks, and manage disappointments without relying on drugs and alcohol to dull painful feelings.

Without addressing the emotional aspects of addiction, people are more likely to return to drug and alcohol abuse. Incorporating therapy into a treatment program and aftercare plan is essential to long-term success and sobriety.

What Addiction Treatment Therapies Are Commonly Used?

A variety of therapeutic approaches are used in addiction treatment programs. Each has its own focus, which allows the person to receive the tailored, specific therapy they need. While there are many that are used, there are four addiction treatment therapies that are extremely common.

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

In CBT, people learn how to identify and change destructive thought patterns that contribute to harmful behaviors. It is rooted in mindfulness and helps people set and achieve specific goals. When used in addiction treatment, people learn how to change their thoughts and behaviors around drinking or using drugs.

Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT)

Similar to CBT, REBT helps people change their beliefs and actions. It focuses on the source of a person’s belief systems and works to replace them with healthy ones. It also emphasizes personal responsibility.

Contingency Management

This form of therapy focuses on rewarding positive behavior. The rewards could be physical–such as receiving movie tickets after a negative drug test–or non-physical, such as improved relationships or better health.

Motivational Interviewing

Therapists work to develop a relationship with their clients and discover what truly motivates them. This intrinsic motivation is then incorporated into the treatment program. The belief of this approach is that when people are motivated from within, they can make better, bigger, and more long-lasting changes.

Finding the right therapeutic approach may take some trial and error, but incorporating different therapies into addiction treatment and recovery is one of the best ways to ensure lifelong success. 

Learn More About The Therapies Offered During Addiction Treatment in West Palm Beach

If you or someone you love need support at any stage of addiction or recovery, you are not alone. Reach out to the staff at Daylight Recovery Center We offer a range of residential treatment programs designed to empower people as they overcome addiction. 

Call today to get started.

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