Individual therapy is a critical component of treatment for drug and alcohol addiction. At Discovery Institute of New Jersey, we start treatment with therapy 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 treatment.

Individual Therapy for Drug and Alcohol Addiction

Individual therapy gives the client the chance to delve into their emotions and factors that may contribute to their addictive behaviors. It is a supplement to group therapy 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.

Individual sessions allow the individual to talk about the sensitive and personal issues. Addiction is a multifaceted disease with contributing factors that may be difficult to speak openly about, such as trauma, abuse, failed relationships, and legal matters. Individual therapy allows people to freely discuss these topics in a safe, discreet, and private setting.

Individual therapy may be scheduled weekly or several times a week, depending upon the patient’s specific needs. Patients are assigned a primary therapist upon intake who will conduct their individual sessions. This allows the therapist and the patient to build a trusting therapeutic relationship.

Types of Individual Therapy

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

  • Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT):

This method of therapy teaches patients coping skills and behaviors to help them handle difficult or intense emotions. Therapists focus on reducing harmful coping mechanisms and replacing them with positive skills, such as mindfulness exercises. This form of therapy teaches clients how to handle emotional disturbances in a productive way, and is useful for patients who suffer from addiction because these patients often do not possess healthy coping mechanisms. Learning these skills will help recovering individuals to avoid using drugs and alcohol to numb themselves when difficult or emotional situations arise in their lives.

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)

CBT focuses on how a client’s belief systems or thoughts influence their emotions and actions. Those who struggle with addiction often develop unhealthy core beliefs about themselves based on negative thinking patterns. 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.

  • Trauma processing

In some individual therapy sessions, clients may need to address traumatic experiences that have contributed to their addictive use of substances like drugs and alcohol. In these circumstances, our therapists are trained and experienced in guiding patients through recalling difficult emotions and memories in order to process them in a safe environment. Identifying traumatic experiences and triggers is an important part of recovery, and therapists at the Discovery Institute may focus on this during individual therapy sessions, depending upon the client’s needs.

  • Talk therapy

Sometimes, it’s important to feel listened to. Many people have difficulty expressing their emotions and feelings before entering 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.

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. Providing our clients access to individual therapy 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 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
  • Increased emotional intelligence and identification of emotional states
  • Reduced levels of stress
  • Reduced feelings of isolation; fostering a sense of connection to other people
  • Improved social skills and communication skills
  • Improved relationships with family, friends, and romantic partners
  • Reduced symptoms of mental disorders
  • Positive behavioral changes
  • Increased compassion and empathy
  • Boosted confidence
  • Assertiveness in communication
  • Reduction of addictive or compulsive behaviors, such as drug use or self-harm
  • Fosters inner peace and serenity
  • Improved cognitive functioning

Therapy at Discovery Institute

At the Discovery Institute of New Jersey, we employ a staff of experienced therapists who are passionate about treating addiction and mental health disorders. We understand that when patients 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, they approach them with compassion. Each and every client at Discovery Institute is treated with dignity and respect in order to foster trust and true, whole healing of the patient. 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.

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

Dr. Jeffrey Berman, MDDr. 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.