woman after participating in psychotherapy People who are recovering from alcohol use disorders need support to overcome their struggles. Psychotherapy — sometimes referred to as “talk therapy” — is one way to access this support. Addiction is a compulsive disorder that can be difficult to overcome. The compulsive nature of addiction makes it hard for victims to take a personal initiative to seek treatment. Psychotherapy sessions, especially when utilized in conjunction with the Sinclair Method, are an effective tool for battling alcohol use disorder because they provide victims with a platform to talk about their struggles and discover the root causes of their addictive behaviors. At Deerhaven Gardens, psychotherapy is a critical component of our program, and with good reason.

What Is Psychotherapy?

Psychotherapy is a process by which patients work with therapists on a one-on-one basis. The types of counseling that fall under the umbrella of psychotherapy can cover a wide range of conditions, but will focus on alcohol use disorder. In the psychotherapy program at Deerhaven Gardens, sessions always take place in a safe and confidential setting.

The three main types of psychotherapy that we practice at Deerhaven Gardens are cognitive-behavioral therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, and psychoanalysis.

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive-behavioral therapy involves addressing how a patient’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors interact and influence each other. Cognitive-behavioral therapy, or “CBT,” is an “inside-out” therapeutic tool in the sense that it focuses on addressing and modifying your thoughts. CBT encourages reflection and aims to find and neutralize the mental issues that lead to behaviors — like addiction — that ends in adverse health outcomes.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy

Dialectical behavior therapy, on the other hand, focuses more on accepting your thoughts and feelings but changing how you react to them. In this sense, dialectical behavior therapy, or “DBT,” is an “outside-in” therapeutic tool in that the goal is to change your behaviors rather than your thoughts. DBT was initially used to curb the extreme behaviors of individuals with borderline personality disorder, but has proven an effective tool in combating a range of mental health issues, including addiction.

Psychoanalysis

Psychoanalysis – sometimes referred to as “psychoanalytic therapy” – is also a type of talk therapy performed in a one-on-one setting with a trained therapist. In psychoanalysis, however, the aim is to bring thoughts and feelings that are unconscious or buried deep in the psyche to the conscious mind. This allows the patient to address these repressed emotions and experiences.

At Deerhaven Gardens, DBT, CBT, and psychoanalysis are used in conjunction with the Sinclair Method to achieve the desired outcome of controlling patients’ addictive behaviors.

Psychotherapy and the Sinclair Method

On the Sinclair Method, patients take the medication naltrexone, an opioid antagonist that blocks the opioid receptors in the brain and so reduces cravings for alcohol. The physical aspect of this process, however, is only part of the story. In addition to being a physical disease that changes the chemistry of the brain, addiction is a psychological disorder. As such, retraining the brain must involve a psychosocial approach. As such, psychotherapy is a critical aspect of addressing and modifying addictive behaviors.

Benefits of Psychotherapy

There are numerous benefits associated with psychotherapy. Among these are:

  • Psychotherapy will allow you to explore your feelings. CBT, DBT, and psychoanalysis encourage you to talk about your problems in a safe, supportive, productive environment.
  • In psychotherapy sessions, you will set personal goals. Your therapist will encourage you to discuss what you would like to achieve and then help you set goals and provide accountability.
  • Psychotherapy helps you identify opportunities for change. As you discuss your struggles and the reasons behind them, your therapist can identify the underlying causes and then help you to identify aspects that you can change.
  • In psychotherapy, you will learn to improve your communication skills. By learning to talk about your problems and not bury them or hide them away, you will be in a better position to modify your behavior.

Learn More at Deerhaven Gardens Today

If you or someone you care about is struggling with alcohol use disorder, our psychotherapy program can help. Reach out to our addiction specialists online today or call 828.655.7525 to learn more.