What is Psychotherapy?

Are you struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol? Have you been thinking about getting help but feel unsure of the type of support you need? Psychotherapy can be an effective option for many people with addictions. It’s especially effective when it’s provided in conjunction with Medication-Assisted Treatment.

woman and man sitting across from each other talking

Read on to learn more about psychotherapy. You’ll learn about the specific benefits it can provide to someone in recovery from drug or alcohol addiction.

What Is Psychotherapy?

Psychotherapy is a form of talk therapy. When you participate in this type of treatment, you talk to a therapist about a variety of issues. The goal of psychotherapy is to help you get to the core of what’s causing your problems. This includes the problems that are contributing to your addiction.

During this type of therapy, you’ll also work on resolving problems and learning coping strategies. It provides a safe space for you to vent your feelings and frustrations, too.

When attending a psychotherapy appointment, you will work with a therapist to learn new ways of thinking. This, in turn, can have a positive influence on your emotions and help you to get better at changing your behaviors.

Types of Psychotherapy

There are many different types of psychotherapy, including the following:

Psychodynamic (or Psychoanalytic) Psychotherapy

During this type of therapy, a therapist encourages you to say what’s on your mind. They help you to become aware of the hidden meanings and patterns behind the things you say and the way you behave.

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (or CBT)

This form of psychotherapy examines the way your beliefs and thoughts are linked to your feelings and behaviors.

Cognitive Analytical Therapy (or CAT)

This type of therapy uses a combination of psychodynamic and CBT practices.

Interpersonal Psychotherapy

This type of therapy looks at the way illnesses (including addiction) can be triggered by certain events and relationships.

Humanistic Therapies

This approach encourages you to think about yourself in a more positive way and improve your sense of self-awareness.

Family and Couples Therapy

During this type of therapy, you and your family members or your partner will meet together with a therapist to find healthy ways to work together and solve problems.

Benefits of Psychotherapy

There are lots of reasons why people who are dealing with addiction can benefit from psychotherapy. The following are some of the greatest benefits it has to offer:

Increase Motivation

People who participate in psychotherapy often feel more invested in their recovery. They have greater levels of motivation, too. This motivation comes from the fact that they’ve had a chance to get at the core of their problems and figure out what’s driving their addiction.

Change Behaviors

Without therapy, it can be hard for someone struggling with addiction to truly change their behaviors. If they don’t receive therapy, they might end up merely swapping one form of substance abuse for another.

Prevent Relapse

People who attend therapy are less likely to relapse, too. The risk decreases because they’re working on digging deeper into their unique challenges and figuring out what they need to do to combat addiction.

Strengthen Relationships

Therapy can help those struggling with addiction to strengthen their family relationships. Strengthened relationships mean their loved ones can provide them with additional support while on their sobriety journey.

Psychotherapy and Medication-Assisted Treatment

Some people are under the impression that they have to choose between psychotherapy or Medication-Assisted Treatment to help them with their addiction. In reality, though, the two treatment approaches can be more effective when used in conjunction.

There’s plenty of evidence backing Medication-Assisted Treatment, or MAT. Medication-Assisted Treatment can make an individual more receptive to therapy. The medication can help to reduce withdrawal symptoms and make it easier to focus during appointments, for example. You can learn more about the types of medications used by practices that offer MAT here.

On the flip side, psychotherapy is also a useful tool in addiction recovery. It can even improve the effects of Medication-Assisted Therapy. The improvement occurs because the therapist works with the individual to get to the bottom of their addiction. They also address the problems in a person’s life that may be driving them toward substance abuse.

Get Help Today

At first, the idea of psychotherapy might seem intimidating or overwhelming. Once you know more about what it entails, though, and the benefits it can provide, you might be more interested in giving it a try.

Psychotherapy can be beneficial for those struggling with addiction. It’s particularly effective when used alongside Medication-Assisted Treatment. The combination allows you to tackle your addiction from multiple angles and get support from a team of professionals.