Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) Skills
Scientific studies have shown that CBT is an effective form of treatment for addiction, mental health conditions, and eating disorders.
Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) Skills
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
- Freedom and associated responsibility
A confrontation with any of the aforementioned conditions, or givens, fills an individual with a type of dread commonly referred to as existential anxiety. This anxiety is thought to reduce a person’s physical, psychological, social, and spiritual awareness, which may lead to significant long-term consequences.
Existential psychotherapy encourages people to not only address the emotional issues they face through full engagement but to also take responsibility for the decisions that contributed to the development of those issues. People who participate in this form of therapy are guided to accept their fears and given the skills necessary to overcome these fears through action. By gaining control of the direction of their life, the person in therapy is able to work to design the course of their choosing.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
EMDR’s benefits are so empirically effective that it is commonly used as 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.”
Journaling in general or “expressive writing” has long been shown to be a valuable component of many effective learning strategies and can have beneficial psychological and physical health effects, but writing in a personal journal does not constitute interactive journaling.
There are dozens of specific interactive journals authored by a number of recognized experts in their fields. Some journals deal exclusively with addictions, others focus on additional mental health issues such as trauma, and there are also journals that may be appropriate for clients experiencing problems in both areas (i.e., co-occurring disorders).
The greatest benefit to interactive journaling is the opportunity to have a tangible, easily accessible resource to use for future reference.
Prolonged Exposure Therapy
Education in regards to in treating substance abuse is an important but often a lacking part of patients’ long-term recovery process. Nutrition Education for substance abuse is complex, as the nutritional risks vary depending on the substance of choice and negative conditions for successful treatment are common, including poor support, co-occurring mental health disorders, or poverty.
Proper nutrition and hydration are key to the substance abuse healing process because they help restore physical and mental health and improve the chance of recovery. Nutrient deficiencies can lead to symptoms of depression, anxiety, and low energy, all of which can lead someone to start using drugs or alcohol or trigger a relapse.
Medical Nutrition Therapy (MNT) and nutrition education for this population should target the following goals:
• heal and nourish the body damaged by alcohol or substance abuse;
• stabilize mood and reduce stress;
• reduce cravings for drugs and alcohol;
• address medical conditions that are co-occurring or have resulted from substance abuse; and
• encourage self-care and a healthful lifestyle.
Mindfulness-Based Approaches and Skill Groups
There is more than one way to practice mindfulness, but the goal of any mindfulness technique is to achieve a state of alert, focused relaxation by deliberately paying attention to thoughts and sensations without judgment. This allows the mind to refocus on the present moment. All mindfulness techniques are a form of meditation.
- Basic mindfulness meditation – Sit quietly and focus on your natural breathing or on a word or “mantra” that you repeat silently. Allow thoughts to come and go without judgment and return to your focus on breath or mantra.
- Body sensations – Notice subtle body sensations such as an itch or tingling without judgment and let them pass. Notice each part of your body in succession from head to toe.
- Sensory – Notice sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and touches. Name them “sight,” “sound,” “smell,” “taste,” or “touch” without judgment and let them go.
- Emotions – Allow emotions to be present without judgment. Practice a steady and relaxed naming of emotions: “joy,” “anger,” “frustration.” Accept the presence of the emotions without judgment and let them go.
- Urge surfing – Cope with cravings (for addictive substances or behaviours) and allow them to pass. Notice how your body feels as the craving enters. Replace the wish for the craving to go away with the certain knowledge that it will subside.
This therapy is useful regardless of musical background, and examples of clinical music therapy include lyric analysis, relaxation training, songwriting, musical games, and improvising music based on emotions or other topics relevant to treatment. In these treatments, patients go beyond simply listening to music to engage emotions, motivations, and barriers to recovery through lyrics and melody.
Effective health promotion strikes a balance between personal choice and social responsibility, between people and their environments.
Health promotion pushes us beyond a disease-oriented “individual lifestyle is key” concept of good health. It focuses attention on things outside our individual selves—the social, economic and environmental factors that impact our attitudes, decisions and behaviours. These play out at every level of society, from the individual through family and community to a national and even global scale.
Will I Go Through All of These Therapies?
Contact us today or call into Avante Recovery Center at 801-341-0009.