How is Addiction Treated
Addiction treatment is conducted using a bio/psycho/social model. That means it is widely accepted by medical and psychological professionals that there are biological, psychological and social components to the illness, each of which needs treating.
Psychological and social aspects of addiction can be effectively treated using recognised and evidence based counselling models:
- Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) – focuses on increasing psychological health by learning to dispute what are known as ‘thinking errors’ or irrational ways we perceive and make meaning out of situations. Thinking errors are a main cause of the dysfunctional emotional states that are symptomatic of addiction (ASAM 2011)
- 12 Step Fellowships – 12 Step fellowships focus on treating the social/psychological aspects of addiction via ‘fellowship’ meetings which are peer run support groups where members use a common lexicon of recovery and learn to ‘identify’ with other people recovering from addiction.
- Meditation/Relaxation Techniques – There are many techniques of meditation that concentrate on building the brain’s ability to focus and concentrate, producing a more balanced brain chemistry which is necessary for recovery from addiction. You can even expand the idea of meditation to include physical activities which increase feelings of wellbeing, such as yoga.
In any intensive addiction treatment setting this work is done using one-to-one therapy between you and a counsellor, and also in group therapy, where peers can gently challenge or ‘dispute’ each other’s thinking patterns and learn off each other in a mutually supportive environment.
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