Sobriety is more than abstinence. To achieve happiness and progress in your recovery, you need to work through what caused you to turn to substance abuse in the first place and work through it. You have to take a hard look at what you need to change about how you act, feel, and think to stay sober long-term and develop healthy coping mechanisms. Talk therapy, also known as psychotherapy, is the method therapists use to communicate with their clients. Talk therapy can help you identify areas in your behavior and thoughts that you need to change.
Unlike other methods such as behavioral therapies, psychotherapy involves talking to uncover underlying issues. Approximately 63% of people who take part in psychotherapy successfully achieve positive change in their lives. You can use this type of therapy to clarify why you started abusing substances in the first place and how to prevent a relapse or overcome specific triggers. A therapist will gently guide you through the process.
The Different Types of Talk Therapy
There are several popular talk therapy techniques. Which one you use will be determined by the type of issues you are experiencing. Most people need to address multiple relationships, personal or emotional problems. A therapist will work with you to figure out which approach is best for you, and it might involve several distinct types of talk therapy over several months or a combination.
Below are the most common forms of psychotherapy used to treat substance use disorder and any accompanying mental health conditions:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
- Dialectic behavior therapy (DBT)
- Group therapy
- Mindfulness-based therapy
- Motivational interviewing
- Family therapy
- Interpersonal therapy
- Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR)
- Alternative and holistic therapies
Some therapies are going to be for more nuanced conditions. For example, therapists use eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) to process trauma. Your therapist will help you figure out what methods to try based on responses in your sessions. Once you start a particular talk therapy, you can do a few things to get better results, including being honest with your therapist and allowing yourself to be vulnerable.
Make Progress Through Honesty
The only way you will progress in your therapy and make fundamental positive changes in your life is by being open and honest during conversations with your therapist. If you hold back or lie, even by omission, you cheat yourself out of emotional growth and might make it more difficult for your therapist to treat you. Your therapist will only be able to make accurate and helpful suggestions if you tell them what you think, even if it might make you feel uncomfortable at the moment. Your therapist will not judge you, and they need to know the truth of what you are thinking and feeling.
Before you can be honest with your therapist or self-help group, you need to be honest with yourself and be willing to examine what caused you to take the actions you did. You will need to think about what motivated you in the past and whether it is healthy to continue relying on that motivation. A therapist can help you learn to identify and understand what you are feeling and find new ways to process situations to make better decisions in the future.
Accept Personal Responsibility
Your therapist is not going to shy away from more challenging topics. Once they feel like you are ready to face certain truths or uncomfortable subjects, you will work through them together and discuss what you think of them. You need to be willing to trust your therapist and yourself by accepting responsibility for past actions and current progress. Not everyone will react to talk therapy in the same way, but it can be a fantastic medium for building self-realization, self-reflection, and self-efficacy.
Get the Most Out of Each Therapy Session
Every therapy session is a new opportunity to change your life for the better. You can do some things to take advantage of the opportunity and keep moving forward in your recovery. Below are a few of the actions you can take to enhance the result of talk therapy:
- Positive Self-Talk: Be mindful of your thinking and if you find yourself trending towards negative thought patterns, reframe them to be neutral or positive.
- Set Goals: If you find yourself struggling in a particular area, set achievable goals with your therapist and make an actionable plan for overcoming them.
- Practice: You need to routinely practice coping skills, self-talk, behavioral changes, and other things you learn in therapy for the changes to stick. The more you practice, the more automatic the process becomes.
Psychotherapy, or talk therapy, is a standard method that therapists use to help clients identify and deal with problematic issues that may impact their daily lives. There are multiple psychotherapy techniques that you may encounter during your residential and aftercare treatments. They make it easier to overcome obstacles you might encounter during your recovery. Self-help, support groups, and one-on-one therapy often utilize various talk therapy so that participants can easily share stories, learn coping skills, and communicate effectively. At Everlast Recovery Centers, we encourage you to use whatever kind of therapy works best for you. If that includes talk therapy, we have multiple trained professionals able to help you identify and work through any complicated motivations, behaviors, and beliefs that might be holding you back. Talk therapy is a great way to stabilize your moods, emotions, and actions. To find out more, call Everlast Recovery Centers today at (866) 338-6925.