Sana Lake Therapies

Therapy Session

While there are a number of negative effects substance use disorders (SUDs) can have on a person, help is always available. Luckily, there are several therapy options that promote mental health and change within those who suffer from substance use disorders. With this in mind, it’s important to know that not all these treatment methods may work for you.  

What many people don’t realize is that substance abuse doesn’t just affect the body, it affects the mind as well. Therapy options like group therapy and individual therapy can be very beneficial. Changing one’s behavior and attitude toward substance use disorders can be the key to long-term success. 

Group Therapy

How Group Therapy Can Help You Overcome SUDS

Group therapy usually consists of speaking with professionals and those in the same situation as you. It can be very beneficial opening up about your struggles while listening to other people’s stories. Group therapy usually creates a safe and supportive environment for you and your peers. 

Overall, group therapy is an excellent option for those who feel alone with their substance use disorder or already have strong support from their family. Regardless of the case, help is just around the corner.  

A Closer Look at Group Therapy

Learning and discussing your triggers is a big part of group therapy. Additionally, other members of the group are also going through the same situation as you. Understanding and opening about your story and listening to theirs can help you overcome your SUD. 

There are several types of group therapy options, and we will work with you to help you decide which one fits you best. 

Open vs Closed Groups

There are typically two types of group therapy. Open groups are more open and allow someone to join without really having to wait. However, sometimes it can be hard to form connections with people in the group because of its accessibility to others (people coming and going).  

Closed group therapy requires you to wait on a list before being able to attend. While it may seem like a hassle, it is much more intimate. Since everyone in the group starts together, more meaningful bonds can be created which is essential for healing from substance use disorders. 

When deciding what group is best for you to join, there are several pros and cons to consider. For example, in a smaller group, you may be able to get more one-on-one help. On the other hand, group therapy allows for a little more diversity with others. 

Treating Substance Use Disorders with Group Therapy 

Group therapy typically allows people struggling with any kind of substance use disorder to join. Common substance abuse disorders include:

  • Alcoholism (or alcohol use disorder)
  • Marijuana 
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Opioid
  • Barbiturate

The Pros of Group Therapy 

There are many benefits to using group therapy as a way of treating SUDs. Some of the pros of group therapy include the following:

  • Enables you to witness the recovery of others (in the same situation)
  • Creates a safe and strong environment for everyone involved
  • Peer support and pressure to steer clear of substances
  • Helps with the feeling of isolation (a feeling many individuals feel)

Individual Therapy

Individual therapy is a form of therapy that is spent one-on-one with a psychotherapist, in personalized sessions that focus on you alone for an allotted amount of time on a weekly basis. 

A Closer Look at Individual Therapy

Therapy allows you to discuss your personal and private challenges. In an individual therapy session, you can speak one-on-one with a therapist, discussing your experiences and the effects they’ve had on you. A therapist can work with you to identify the triggers and underlying causes of SUDs, and then address those issues in a healthy way.

In substance use disorder treatment, you begin your journey with a medical detox program. During the process, you’re able to improve your behavior and thoughts, encourage change, and help guide you towards recovery. 

At Sana Lake, we know that there is hope, that you are not alone, and that our professional treatment program can support you to find total freedom from substance use disorders. 

The Elements of Individual Therapy

The number of your weekly sessions will depend on the program you are in, but we know that it’s beneficial to talk about various matters. During the process, you are able to talk about past memories, feelings, thoughts, goals, and triggers along the way. 

Your understanding of these components will change as you learn more about individual therapy. You will be more comfortable throughout your recovery process if you know what to expect in treatment. 

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Individual therapy is one of the best ways to change your thought processes when it comes to substance abuse. You may have negative thoughts about your life, you may feel unworthy of love or help, and not seek assistance or try to change. These thoughts can cause guilt and shame in our lives, which can lead to harming ourselves and others. 

Our thoughts are more powerful than we believe them to be, so cognitive-behavioral therapy, a component of individual therapy, works to identify negative thought processes. 

This approach encourages you to recognize and observe harmful thought processes that are life-changing, affecting various areas of your life, and replace those processes with positive, healthy ones. You will focus on moving ahead and developing a healthier life for yourself!

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)

Another widely used individual therapy option is dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT). DBT enables a person to cope with their emotions, pushes for change, and teaches interpersonal skills.

Oftentimes a person may turn to alcohol or drugs when something really stressful occurs in their life. There are many stressors that can lead to drug abuse, whether it be work issues, relationship problems, or financial struggle. People may use drugs as an escape or a way to self-medicate other health issues. This almost always makes the situation worse. 

Dialectical behavioral therapy helps you to develop healthier approaches to dealing with stress. For example, you may be encouraged to engage in physical activity, or talking about their stress, working through the causes and effects of it. Finally, DBT helps you develop healthy relationships with others, which can be a challenge for many of us.   

What is Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)?

Acceptance is another vital part of substance abuse treatment. You can’t control the disease you’re experiencing, and you may feel an overall loss of control in general. Recovery and treatment restore your sense of control, but there will be things that you simply cannot change or govern. This is where acceptance comes in.

For instance, you cannot change your past, although many of us wish we could. This is often hard to accept, especially when the past is full of regretful events. Mindfulness and ACT Therapy – focusing on the present rather than dwelling on the events of the past – helps us move forward without taking our negative experiences with us. Learning from the past is one of the most important things you can do as you push towards a brighter future. 

The Pros of Individual Therapy

Some benefits of Individual therapy include:

  • Privacy and confidentiality – Large groups can often be intimidating when sharing personal, deep emotions. Individual therapy is much more intimate 
  • Convenience: In many cases, since this is individual therapy, it can be done according to your own schedule.
  • More intimate and personal – Speaking with a professional therapist without having to share space or time with others in recovery can be very beneficial
  • Ability to go your pace – Individual therapy lets you go your desired speed, no matter how slow or fast. 
  • Better chances of growth – Another benefit of having a one-on-one session is the focus on you and your growth. Having this focus can be better for individual release

Overcoming substance use disorders can be tricky but individual therapy helps by offering you personal support and guidance.

Family Therapy

Substance use disorders can affect the quality of life for everyone in the family, which can cause tension between family members. Many family members are unsure how best to help their loved one, and family therapy allows each person involved to voice their concerns and get clarity on how best to support each other.

Many recovery-oriented systems of care, like Sana Lake, offer family therapy. It is meant to be temporary and focuses on learning problem-solving skills. 

Family therapy with a counselor at Sana Lake is different from our Family Program, which offers family healing in a group therapy setting.

Types of Family Therapy

What many people don’t know is that there are actually a number of different family therapy types. Some of these may work better than others (this depends on each family’s dynamics).

  • Psychodynamic Approach – Occasionally some therapists will utilize psychodynamic ideas to approach family struggles. This can help pinpoint subconscious ideas and problems 
  • Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) – As mentioned earlier, CBT helps change a person’s behavior and thought processes. When it comes to family therapy, a professional counselor works with each family member individually to help pinpoint changes.
  • Systemic Approach – This is an organized type of family therapy where the family members each learn about family attitudes, ideas, and dynamics that may be causing issues. 
  • Supportive Approach – Supportive family therapy encourages honest and open communication among a family. The therapist acts as a moderator during the discussion. This can be a great way to open up and come together as a family

Scheduling a Family Therapy Session

In some cases, a therapist may want to work individually with family members as opposed to the entire family. This makes family therapy more convenient. It may also include working with the family as a whole. You will need to follow your therapist’s guidance to determine scheduling for these sessions. 

Debunking Common Myths During Family Therapy

One of the biggest myths about family dynamics is that it is the parent’s fault. While there may be certain negative traits and ideas that are passed along, this is not entirely true. At the end of the day, a son or daughter is in control of their own decisions and choices.

Choosing the Right Therapist for Family Therapy

It’s crucial to choose the right specialist, one who specializes in your family’s case. Certain therapists may have no experience dealing with substance abuse disorder issues. Fortunately, Sana Lake Treatment Center offers a number of trained and specialized therapists with your family in mind.

Family Therapy for Teens with a Substance Use Disorder?

Fortunately, there are family therapy options that specialize in substance use disorder treatments for teens in the family. 

Family Behavioral Approach: This approach seeks to change and modify a person’s behaviors. During these sessions, there will be a minimum of two family members present for support and full treatment. 

Multisystemic Approach: This therapy approach looks at the family as a community and focuses on this perspective instead of an individual approach.

BSFT (Brief Strategic Family Therapy): This approach looks particularly at the negative interactions of the family. These interactions can trigger substance abuse in other members. These kinds of interactions can be traced back to trauma or past abuse. This approach helps the family understand how to act when a person gets triggered and helps improve the overall attitude. 

FFT (Functional family therapy): This uses the family systems approach, but looks at a family’s dysfunction as a possible trigger. Changing a family’s behavior can make a huge difference for a person’s recovery down the line.

MDFT (Multidimensional Family Therapy): Multidimensional family therapy is typically used when the teen is in an intensive outpatient program. This approach helps a family come to terms with the situation and focuses on the teen’s behavior. MDFT is extremely detailed and in-depth.

Having a supportive and open family environment is crucial for long-term recovery. Family therapy is a vital aspect of many treatment processes. After recovery, it’s important to have a stable and supportive home when you return.

Other Therapeutic Treatment Approaches

At Sana Lake Recovery Center, we understand that each of our members is different. Each individual is unique and has specific needs. That’s why we offer various approaches and therapeutic methods to our members.

Some of the other approaches individuals can benefit from as they pursue freedom from substance use disorders include Holistic Substance Use Disorder Treatment and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy.

Get the Help you Deserve at Sana Lake Recovery Center

At Sana Lake Recovery, we understand how hard it can be to live with a substance use disorder can be. When emotions run high, it can be tough to take the next step. With this in mind, it’s important you get the help you need because recovery is not only achievable but necessary. Our team is ready to help you every step of the way towards recovery. We’re just one phone call away. 

Article Reviewed by David Sherman, MD

David Sherman, MDDavid Sherman, MD is a Fellow of the American Society of Addiction Medicine (FASAM) and board certified in Addiction Medicine with the American Board of Preventive Medicine. He is a native Missourian and graduated medical school at the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Medicine. Dr. Sherman completed a two-year fellowship in Addiction Medicine at the University of Florida in Gainesville. He leads a highly trained staff of master level certified addiction professionals. Men and women from all over Missouri and the United States come to Sana Lake Recovery Center to get the care they need and deserve.