Types of Therapy

Promises offers additional options for clients who would like to expand their treatment to include holistic therapies to enhance their recovery. Holistic treatments have proven to be extremely effective in increasing addiction recovery rates and preventing relapse. Treatment specialties at Promises include yoga, acupuncture, meditation, massage, equine therapy, and nutritional counseling. By integrating these holistic components and treating the mind, body, and spirit, Promises is able to provide clients with a strong foundation for lasting recovery.

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is a type of psychotherapy that helps people accept the difficulties that come with life. A form of mindfulness-based therapy, ACT theorizes that by overcoming negative thoughts and feelings, you can achieve greater well-being.

In ACT, mindfulness skills are divided into four subsets: acceptance, cognitive defusion, contact with the present moment and the observing self. The aim is transform your relationship with difficult thoughts and feelings so that you no longer see them as symptoms, instead, learning to perceive them as harmless, although perhaps painful, transient psychological events.

The two main processes in ACT include developing acceptance of unwanted private experiences which are out of personal control and commitment and action toward living a valued life.

ACT can be extremely helpful in the treatment of depression, anxiety and other psychological disorders. A pilot study on the use of ACT to assist in opioid detoxification showed that 37 percent of participants were successfully detoxified at the end of treatment, compared to 19 percent of those who received drug counseling. Fear of detoxification was also reduced over time among those receiving ACT relative to those receiving drug counseling.

Acupuncture

This ancient form of Chinese medicine has been found to help detoxify the body of chemicals, reduce cravings, and calm the mind. By placing extremely fine needles into the skin at strategic points in the body known as “acupuncture points,” this treatment can help promote healing, alleviate pain, quiet the mind, improve the immune system, and create a sense of well being. For those in recovery, acupuncture provides the client with an enhanced ability to abstain from addictive substances, and it also increases energy in the body, making it easier for the client to stay active. In addition, acupuncture releases endorphins into the body, which promote feelings of health and general well being. An optimistic attitude will help the client make health-conscious choices and maintain a positive lifestyle.

Aqua Therapy

Aqua therapy, also called aquatic therapy, is a therapeutic process that assists in improving function through the application of aquatic therapeutic exercises. Aqua therapy may also aid in healing emotional and psychological damage resulting from addiction, stress, trauma and other mental health disorders.

Longstanding benefits of aquatic therapy for restoration of physical health also help clients healing from drug addiction. Such benefits include improved circulation and respiratory, heart and metabolic rate, and decreased blood pressure. Positive outcomes include relaxation, reduction in pain and muscle spasms, increased strength, power, endurance and range of motion, cardiovascular conditioning, and better coordination and balance.

Art Therapy

Creative expression through art therapy is not only relaxing but helps clients connect with their inner selves through the inspiration of images and their physical manifestation in artistic expression. Art therapy helps restore physical, mental and emotional well-being.

Some clients in rehab who have difficulty communicating verbally may be able to use art therapy to express themselves. This type of therapy can help in resolving issues, identifying and managing feelings and behaviors, and improving awareness and self-esteem. Research has found that art therapy can be a beneficial treatment for psychiatric disorders.

Art therapy uses traditional forms of art, such as painting in oils or acrylics, watercolors, drawing, photography, sculpture, as well as a variety of other types of visual art expression.

Balancing Life Project

Created by Dr. Ann Nesbit, the Balancing Life Project is a “reflective, dynamic, interactive methodology of self-discovery, emotional awareness, insight and decision making that helps participants better define and create the life they want to live.”

A multidisciplinary holistic wellness program that begins with a short-term intensive followed by long-term intermittent use, Balancing Life Project, or BLP, helps participants reflect on, weigh and balance their needs, wishes and desires regarding their personal, interpersonal and spiritual lives. BLP is a step-by-step process that deepens awareness of thoughts, feelings, values and beliefs, what a person’s gifts and talents are, and what they want out of life, on a day-to-day, weekly, monthly and lifelong basis.

Counseling

Overcoming addiction involves more than just detoxification from harmful substances. For many people seeking to overcome their drug addictions or other destructive behaviors, counseling is an essential part of treatment. Several different counseling therapies are available and the right treatment plan is the one that is tailored to the person’s individual needs.

Some counseling types include individual and group therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and family therapy.

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) teaches people to recognize moods, thoughts and situations that cause drug cravings and other addictive behavior. A therapist trained in cognitive-behavioral therapy techniques helps a person avoid these triggers and replace negative thoughts and feelings with healthier ones.

Since the skills learned using cognitive-behavioral therapy can last a lifetime, CBT is a powerful, evidence-based treatment for drug abuse. A 2011 study found that CBT, either alone or as an adjunct to medication, is an effective technique in the prevention of relapse. Another study found that CBT is helpful in treating bulimia. Other research shows that group and individual CBT are associated with significant and clinically meaningful reductions in adolescent substance use.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy

Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), originally developed by Marsha M. Linehan, PhD, teaches people the skills to cope with stress, control emotions and improve relationships with others. DBT has proven effective in adults and adolescents with a range of psychiatric conditions and behavioral problems.

Initially developed for individuals with borderline personality disorder (BPD), DBT has been adapted to several other populations with promising results. One study showed participants improve in seven of nine variables analyzed, including anxiety, depression, global psychopathology, interpersonal functioning, self-mutilation and social adjustment. Research on psychological therapies for people with BPD showed that dialectical behavioral therapy has been studied most intensively and demonstrates “statistically significant superiority” over client-centered therapy.

Equine Therapy

Equine therapy gives clients direct, regular contact with horses, which provides physical, emotional, and mental rewards. Equine therapy can decrease hostility and feelings of anger, lower stress levels, increase trust, improve self-esteem, and provide a greater sense of patience. When a horse is paired with a troubled person, a bond gradually develops between them. Horses are extremely sensitive to the feelings and emotions of humans—they will take whatever emotions or feelings that they are receiving from a human and reflect them back to the person. Once a connection has been established between animal and human, positive change is quickly promoted within the individual.

Family Therapy

Family therapy is a type of psychotherapy that is designed to help family members improve communication and resolve their conflicts. Typically this therapy is performed by a licensed therapist, clinical social worker or a psychologist.

Since addiction is a family disease, it is important for other members of the family to receive treatment so that they can deal with specific issues relating to the family member’s substance abuse, mental illness or other problems. At Promises, we have found that about 90 percent of family members want to be involved in the treatment of their loved one.

Our family therapy program is designed to help family members gain awareness and understanding, so that they can learn how to best support their loved one and themselves. Family therapy may include all or only some family members. The specific treatment plan depends on family needs. We employ two full-time family therapists who meet individually with their client to work on individual family issues and also provide education and support for the client’s significant others.

Group Therapy

Alcohol and drug addiction leads to isolation. Reconnecting addicted individuals to a group or community can help address several important recovery-related issues. In fact, clinical studies show that group therapy sessions can be equally as effective as individual therapy in promoting long-term addiction recovery.

Group therapy modalities include support groups, psychoeducational groups, skills development groups, and cognitive behavioral groups, among others. According to the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT), the advantages of group therapy include:

  • Providing positive peer support and pressure to abstain from substances of abuse
  • Reducing the sense of isolation that most people who have substance use disorders experience
  • Enabling those who abuse substances to witness the recovery of others
  • Helping members learn to cope with their substance abuse and other problems by allowing them to see how others deal with similar problems
  • Providing useful information to those who are new to recovery
  • Providing feedback regarding values and abilities of other group members
  • Offering family-like experiences
  • Providing encouragement, coaching, support and reinforcement as members tackle difficult or anxiety-provoking tasks
  • Offering members the opportunity to learn or relearn the social skills they need to cope with everyday life instead of resorting to substance abuse.

Other benefits of group therapy are that groups can effectively confront individual members about substance abuse and other harmful behaviors. Groups allow a single treatment professional to help a number of clients at the same time. Groups can add discipline and structure to the lives of people with substance abuse disorders, who often enter treatment when their lives are in chaos. Groups also instill hope, and often provide support and encouragement to one another outside the group setting.

Ultimately, the benefit of positively directed community support is nearly inseparable from effective drug rehab treatment, regardless of the method employed. One study looking at short- and long-term psychodynamic group psychotherapy found that conflict and avoidance decreased at the end of short-term groups and a delayed, but strengthened, process in long-term groups.

Individual Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy is a general term referring to treating addiction and mental health problems by talking with a psychiatrist, psychologist or other mental health provider. Psychotherapy helps people learn about their condition, moods, feelings, thoughts and behaviors. Psychotherapy also helps people learn how to take control of their lives and respond to challenging situations with healthy coping skills.

Psychotherapy is also called talk therapy, counseling, psychosocial therapy or therapy. It can be useful in treating addiction, anxiety disorders, mood disorders, personality disorders and schizophrenia or various other conditions. Individual psychotherapy involves talking with a therapist on a one-on-one basis.

Massage

People in the early stages of recovery often experience an uncomfortable gap between their body and mind. Therapeutic massage can help bridge that gap, providing a sense of deep relaxation, alleviating pain, and increasing alertness. Massage also reduces the stress hormone cortisol, which allows the practice to decrease anxiety, depression, agitation, and cravings. A regular massage regimen has been found to increase dopamine, a chemical that is associated with feelings of pleasure and well being. In addition, endorphins are released during massage, which allows the client to feel good without the aid of substances.

Medically Monitored Detox

Our medically monitored detox program includes close supervision by an independent team of detox specialists. With more than 20 years of experience managing clients’ withdrawal symptoms using the latest evidence-based approaches, our consulting physicians provide a safe and comfortable detox. This includes the use of safe and effective medications as required, acupuncture, neurofeedback and massage therapy. Our goal with detox is long-term success, not how quickly detox is over. We tailor detox to each client’s specific needs to start their recovery off right.

Meditation/Mindfulness

Meditation can help improve mental concentration and clarity, reduce anxiety and depression, and promote a deep sense of inner peace. Through meditation, those in recovery can connect with their spirituality and rediscover new passions. Meditation also offers a healthy way to relieve anger and stress, often experienced by people in recovery. Clients struggling with insomnia may find that meditation relaxes the body and clears the mind of worries and anxious thoughts. For clients with chronic pain, meditation can help with pain management, teaching them to divert attention and regain control over their body’s responses.

Mindfulness meditation is the practice of focusing attention on one’s breathing and internal bodily sensations. Researchers have found that the “present-moment focus” that mindfulness meditation enables can improve well-being by allowing awareness of emotions, thoughts and sensations that arise in the mind without judgment or reactivity.

Neurofeedback

Neurofeedback, also called EEG biofeedback, has been used to treat substance abuse for more than 30 years. It helps improve brain function through intensive brain training exercises. Research suggests that the use of neurofeedback may enhance a number of therapy outcomes, particularly among clients with stimulant abuse and attention deficit disorders and in adults with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Those who have participated in neurofeedback therapy have reported fewer drug cravings as well as improvements in overall mental health. In a study of males dependent on crack cocaine receiving EEG biofeedback as part of inpatient treatment, neurofeedback increased treatment retention. Other studies have found that neurofeedback boosts abstinence rates one year following treatment.

Nutritional Counseling

A balanced diet is essential to lasting recovery. Most clients are malnourished at the time of their admittance to Promises, so it is important to restore them to physical health through nutrition. Nutritional counseling helps clients learn how to make healthy food choices, which is important in achieving a healthy lifestyle. Foods that are high in nutrients can help rebuild damaged tissues and organs and improve functioning of the nervous and gastrointestinal systems. Research has also shown that a diet that is rich in protein and the right kind of carbohydrates can reduce cravings for alcohol and drugs. Food also affects our moods, so getting enough folic acid and B vitamins is essential to improving mood. Sugar and caffeine can contribute to mood swings, so it is important for those in recovery to avoid both as much as possible. Clients will learn beneficial information like this through nutritional counseling at Promises.

Psychiatry

Psychiatric care is a critical component of treatment for addictions and mental health disorders at Promises. Our affiliated double board certified psychiatrists approach each client’s treatment and care from a holistic standpoint. Vastly knowledgeable and easy to relate with, these psychiatrists coordinate client care with the entire Promises team as well as outside treatment providers. We help clients experiencing anxiety, insomnia and other issues frequently associated with early addiction recovery to address these concerns with medication, if appropriate, coupled with emotional support and guidance.

Psychodrama

An active and creative therapeutic approach, psychodrama makes use of guided drama and role playing to help people work through their problems. During a psychodrama session, participants act out or reenact specific scenes and experiences with a therapist’s guidance. Included in these scenes may be dreams, past situations or role-playing future events. Other participants act the roles of significant others or the audience. This serves to bring underlying issues and beliefs to the surface as well as offer support to the actors in the psychodrama.

Psychodrama is used to treat a variety of conditions, including addiction, eating disorders and trauma. It can help people improve relationships and communication skills, overcome grief and loss, restore confidence and well-being, enhance life skills and learning, express feelings in a supportive and safe environment, and experiment with new ways of thinking and behavior. Various studies have found that psychodrama constitutes a valid alternative to other therapeutic approaches, especially in promoting behavior change in adjustment, antisocial and related disorders.

Psychoeducation

Individuals with any chronic disorder, such as heart disease, drug addiction or a mental health disorder should be given accurate information about their diagnosis, treatment and prognosis and about how they can help themselves to stay well. This is broadly called psychoeducation. In psychoeducational groups, clients learn about addiction and related mental health concerns in a non-threatening format. Psychoeducation has been shown to reduce relapse rates in several psychiatric disorders.

Relapse Prevention

Relapse is common among those trying to overcome alcohol and drug addictions. It is often triggered by stress and exposure to people, places or events associated with past substance abuse.  Chronic drinking and drug use damages regions of the brain that are involved in self-control, affecting the ability to regulate cravings and resist relapse.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), one of the effective drug abuse treatment approaches is relapse prevention therapy (RPT), which is based on cognitive-behavioral principles. It seeks to address the significant problem of relapse in substance use disorders through the development of self-control strategies.

During relapse prevention planning, clients learn to identify specific high-risk situations and skills for coping with them, how to increase their self-care, eliminate myths regarding the effects of alcohol and drugs, manage lapses, and restructure their perceptions of the relapse process. Other goals of relapse prevention therapy are learning how to adopt a balanced lifestyle, positive behaviors and stimulus control techniques, and developing a plan for what to do to avoid relapse.

Somatic Experiencing

Somatic Experiencing, or somatic therapy or body-oriented psychotherapy, is a body-oriented approach to trauma. Developed by Dr. Peter Levine, Somatic Experiencing is based on the realization that human beings have an innate ability to overcome the effects of trauma. Somatic Experiencing restores self-regulation and returns a sense of aliveness, wholeness and relaxation to trauma survivors. As a complement to traditional therapeutic approaches, it may be useful in helping overcome stress, abuse and trauma, anger, anxiety and panic, depression, eating disorders, loss and grief, and relationship issues. Somatic Experiencing has been shown in research to reduce post-disaster symptoms in trauma survivors.

Spiritual Development

Learning to overcome addiction and embarking on the recovery journey is a life-changing and ongoing process. Somewhere in the mix, spirituality tends to get a back seat to more pressing concerns, such as learning about addiction and developing coping skills.

But answering the question “Who am I?” and exploring the understanding of a Higher Power is an important component of the healing process. At Promises, we offer many opportunities for spiritual development, including a Spirituality and Recovery workshop, a hands-on, highly-interactive experience for young adults in addiction recovery.

Stress Management Techniques

While stress is a part of life, not everyone knows how to cope with it effectively. When in recovery from drug or alcohol abuse, stress that goes unattended can be overwhelming and is often among the factors that precipitate relapse.

Learning effective techniques for the management of stress is an integral part of the treatment process. We teach clients how to effectively manage their stress without using drugs, alcohol or compulsive behaviors, using exercise, nutrition, social support therapy, relaxation techniques, and more.

Task-Oriented Groups

Healing from addiction, trauma and various types of mental health disorders requires a personalized treatment program and the use of a number of evidence-based treatment modalities. It also necessitates time and practice in order to develop the skills and confidence to be able to successfully navigate functioning on a daily basis. In task-oriented groups, the focus is the interaction of group members on the accomplishment of a common goal. This type of treatment help clients accomplish increasingly difficult tasks, culminating in improved interpersonal interaction. Research has found that the use task-oriented groups can prove beneficial for individuals with acute mental illness.

Yoga

It is important for those in recovery to find healthy and safe ways to cope with stress. Yoga is an effective way for many clients to release stress and find inner peace.

Yoga is the ancient discipline of joining the physical self with the spiritual self. By engaging in postures, or “asanas,” yoga helps clients strengthen, align and tone their bodies. In addition, increased blood flow during yoga helps flush toxins from the body. Yoga’s meditative element helps bring an emotional balance to the body, while the deep breathing involved brings a calmness that many recovering addicts haven’t experienced in years.

A study of women with major depressive disorder found that yoga served as a self-care technique for stress and helped them connect and share experiences in a safe environment. In a world of ups and downs, yoga emphasizes a balanced approach to life that can benefit anyone.

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