Individual therapy for addiction is a critical component of addiction treatment for alcohol and drug addiction. At Discovery Institute of New Jersey, we start treatment with cognitive behavioral therapy sessions immediately so that we can get to know the client and figure out what their specific needs are. In addition to a medical evaluation, this is one of the cornerstones of starting successful addiction treatment programs.

Individual Therapy for Drug and Alcohol Addiction

Individual therapy for addiction gives the client the chance to delve into their emotions and factors that may contribute to their addictive behaviors during their addiction recovery process. It is a supplement to group therapy for substance abuse addiction treatment because it allows the client to speak about things they may not be comfortable speaking about in front of a group, or that they want to speak about at greater length, with a trained and licensed mental health professional.

Alcohol addiction and drug addiction are multifaceted diseases with contributing factors that may be difficult to speak about openly, such as trauma, abuse, failed relationships, and legal matters. Individual therapy sessions allow the individual to comfortably talk about these sensitive and personal issues. It allows people to freely discuss these topics in a safe, discreet, and private setting as a part of the overall rehab program.

Individual therapy sessions might be scheduled weekly or several times a week, depending upon the patient’s specific needs. Upon intake, patients are assigned a primary therapist who will conduct their sessions. This allows the therapist and the patient to build a trusting therapeutic relationship as a part of treatment.

Types of Individual Therapy

There are many different styles of therapy and many different effective treatment modalities professionals can employ in treating patients who suffer from alcohol or drug addiction during their substance abuse treatment process. At Discovery Institute of New Jersey, our team of therapists uses each of these different therapeutic techniques to treat our clients and every aspect of their drug and alcohol addictions. Different behavioral therapies and treatment options include:

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)

This method of therapy helps individuals to develop coping skills and healthy behaviors to assist them in handling difficult, intense, or uncomfortable emotions. Therapists focus on reducing harmful coping mechanisms and replacing them with positive skills, such as mindfulness exercises as a part of effective treatment. This form of therapy teaches clients how to deal with emotional disturbances constructively. 

Also, DBT is useful for those who suffer from drug or alcohol addiction because people who are in recovery often do not possess healthy coping mechanisms. Learning these skills will help recovering individuals avoid using drugs and alcohol to numb themselves when difficult or emotional situations arise in their lives. The entire process can be extremely beneficial in a patient’s life.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

CBT focuses on how a client’s belief systems or thoughts influence their emotions and actions. Those who struggle with drug and alcohol addiction often develop unhealthy core beliefs about themselves based on negative thinking patterns. But the goal of cognitive behavioral therapy is to identify these negative patterns of thinking, challenge them, and build new, healthy thinking patterns and core beliefs. The result is healthier behaviors and less emotional distress.

Also, those in substance use disorder recovery can learn more about how to become more mindfulness-based. It encourages people to think more about the here and now rather than focusing on the past. Cognitive-behavioral therapy is an approach that often gives people the tools and skills they need to face the challenges and triggers that may occur, both during and after substance use disorder treatment.

Trauma Processing

In some individual therapy sessions, clients may need to address traumatic experiences that have contributed to their addictive use of substance use disorders like drugs and alcohol. In these circumstances, our therapists are trained and experienced in their clinical practice by guiding patients through recalling difficult emotions and memories to process them in a safe environment.

Identifying traumatic experiences and triggers is an important part of drug or alcohol recovery, and therapists at the Discovery Institute may focus on this during individual therapy sessions, depending upon the client’s needs. Addiction treatment is extremely important in an individual who is struggling with substance use disorder or drug abuse.

Talk Therapy

Sometimes, it’s important to feel listened to. Many people have difficulty expressing their emotions and feelings before entering addiction treatment because they can’t identify their feelings or because they don’t feel safe. Our therapists utilize classic talk therapy to allow patients opportunities to express their thoughts and feelings in a supportive and healthy atmosphere. This builds patient confidence and helps clients to work through many of the factors that may contribute to their substance dependence disorder.

Why Is Individual Therapy Necessary in Addiction Recovery?

Recovery from substance abuse expands past the detox process, which technically only takes care of the physical recovery from drugs or alcohol. Behavioral therapies can address the emotional and mental needs of a person in recovery. Drugs or alcohol are often utilized as self-medicate routes or as a helpmate to deal with difficult emotions and situations.

Generally, there are several unique thoughts and emotions to unpack after the substance is completely out of the individual’s body. Therapy can assist the individual in putting the pieces back together again. All in all, it helps the person address their challenges which allows them to successfully function in their life again.

Continous therapy is also vital to help an individual avoid relapses. There are several psychological issues and social situations that can play a major role in triggering a relapse. Individual therapy can address various triggers, including the following:

  • Environmental cues: Going back to situations where an individual used to engage in drinking or drug use can trigger old and unwanted behaviors and patterns. Generally, this can include going to the same restaurant, bar, neighborhood, or another location that is tied to habit-forming behaviors. Therapy assists an individual in discovering coping mechanisms to deal with these types of situations.
  • Social cues: It can be extremely challenging to continue seeing friends who also want to engage in drug and alcohol use, especially if they are continuing to do so. There might be pressure to join again. Therapy assists the patient in understanding this overall concept and learning how to have healthier relationships, as well as methods to approach difficult situations.
  • Situational stressors: This could manifest as stress from relationships, family, work, and various other life situations that can lead to an overall desire to self-medicate. Therapy helps individuals locate more constructive methods of dealing with difficult stress.

In any type of addiction recovery process, there are a variety of therapies that can be utilized together for the most full-figured treatment programs. Group therapies promote positive peer support and relationship building, which are very important in recovery. Every recovery story and addiction is unique and therefore requires various approaches.

The Benefits of Individual Therapy

Individual therapy is a vital part of recovery. At the Discovery Institute of New Jersey, we believe in giving our clients the best possible foundation on which to build a lifetime of health and well-being enhanced with positive relationships.

Providing individuals with access to individual sessions in which they can confront their issues with interpersonal relations, work, school, society, family, trauma, and internal emotions is part of what makes our mental illness program so effective at treating substance misuse.

There are countless benefits to individual therapy. These benefits include:

  • Reduced rates of depression
  • Reduced general and social anxiety
  • Increased self-esteem and self-awareness
  • Introduction of healthy coping skills
  • A safe outlet for thoughts and feelings
  • Reduced levels of stress
  • Increased emotional intelligence and identification of emotional states
  • Reduced feelings of isolation; fostering a sense of connection to other people
  • Reduction of addictive or compulsive behaviors, such as drug use or self-harm
  • Improved relationships with the whole family, friends, and romantic partners
  • Improved social skills and communication skills
  • Reduced symptoms of mental disorders such as bipolar disorder
  • Positive behavioral therapies and changes
  • Increased compassion and empathy
  • Boosted confidence
  • Assertiveness in communication
  • Fosters inner peace and serenity
  • Improved cognitive functioning

Group Therapy vs. Individual Therapy 

When it comes to beginning the addiction treatment process, it’s important to gain a deeper understanding of what to expect. One way to do so is to learn more about the difference between the two main types of addiction therapy. 

Group therapy and individual therapy are the two most well-known categories of counseling in substance use treatment. While both approaches to therapy are helpful and important, they both offer varying benefits and advantages. They also have different goals and strive to produce different results. So, in most cases, people in recovery experience both individual and group counseling.

One of the main differences between individual therapy and group therapy is the setting. In group therapy, multiple people gather together with one or more therapists. But, an individual therapy session involves only one individual and a therapist. This one-on-one time is one of the reasons why individual counseling is so beneficial.

The topics of discussion may also differ when it comes to group and individual therapy. For instance, in a group therapy session, individuals may spend time talking about each other’s stories, listening to one another’s challenges, and sharing in each other’s victories. They may work together to develop healthy interpersonal skills and get a deeper understanding of working with others.

Individual therapy, on the other hand, is more about the individual. So, this type of therapy is more about personal, internal growth. This type of therapy facilitates the improvement of emotional and mental health by focusing on the person in recovery. It encourages individuals to think more critically and deeply about their own lives, experiences, challenges, and victories.

Here at Discovery Institute, we believe that there is value in group therapy meetings. But, we also believe that our members can find much of what they need through individual counseling. So, we offer both of these beneficial types of therapy at our facility, knowing that those who come to us for help can grow and learn with the help of individual and group counseling.

Individual Therapy for Addiction at Discovery Institute

At the Discovery Institute of New Jersey, we employ a staff of experienced therapists and professional help who are passionate about treating addiction and mental health disorders. We understand that when individuals come to Discovery, they may be struggling with a myriad of issues, such as unemployment, strained family relationships, broken romantic relationships, histories of trauma or abuse, and little to no healthy coping mechanisms. 

Our therapists are not only skilled and trained at addressing these issues clinically, but they also approach these matters with compassion. Every person who comes to Discovery Institute is treated with dignity and respect to foster trust and facilitate complete, true, and whole healing in the lives of each individual in recovery.

Privacy and confidentiality are commitments to our patients that we take very seriously. Every client at our facility can expect high-quality individual therapy in a private setting, where their process will be respected and protected.

Our goal at the Discovery Institute is to help our patients work through the many aspects of their lives that fuel addictive behaviors and help them to create new, healthy patterns of living that will support them in lifelong recovery from addiction and alcoholism.

So, if you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, know that hope and help are available. No one should have to fight against substance dependence alone. That’s why we strive to make sure each person has the resources and support they need as they work to overcome addiction. 

We offer understanding and genuine support right here at Discovery Institute. So, don’t wait any longer to begin your journey to recovery. Reach out to our compassionate and professional staff today and allow us to help you start moving forward!

Reviewed for Medical & Clinical Accuracy by Dr. Jeffrey Berman, MD

Dr. Jeffrey Berman is a psychiatrist in Teaneck, New Jersey and is affiliated with Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital. He received his medical degree from State University of New York Upstate Medical University and has been in practice for more than 20 years. He also speaks multiple languages, including French and Hebrew.