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What is Psychotherapy?

Although addiction, alcoholism, and substance abuse disorders are chronic, recovery is possible thanks to treatments like cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy, and psychotherapy. But what is psychotherapy, and how is it used during treatment? If you’re struggling with a substance abuse disorder, alcoholism, or addiction, you’re not alone. Each year, more than 14 million Americans battle an alcohol abuse disorder, while another 22 million struggle with a substance abuse disorder. Both substance abuse disorders and alcoholism are progressive and chronic conditions, meaning that there’s no known cause or cure. Since anyone can develop a substance abuse disorder or alcoholism, suffering from an addiction isn’t an indication of weak willpower.

Addiction and Recovery

Addiction is a mental health disorder causing you to abuse your substance of choice compulsively. Even if you want to stop or experience harmful consequences as a result of your use, addiction prevents you from ceasing use. Also, addiction causes significant alterations to your brain chemistry, especially to your pleasure and reward center. Since drugs and alcohol force your brain to release more neurotransmitters than it should, your brain associates your substance of choice with pleasure. Once this happens, everything that reminds you of your substance of choice is also connected with pleasure, which causes you to encounter intense cravings when exposed to triggers. All drugs, as well as alcohol, can cause both psychological and physical dependencies. The most commonly abused substances that lead to psychological addictions include:

  • Cocaine
  • Marijuana
  • LSD
  • Heroin

Substances that can lead to physical dependency include:

As addiction progresses, you begin to place a higher priority on your substance of choice. When you develop a physical dependency, you deal with withdrawal symptoms when you stop using. Withdrawal symptoms can cause symptoms that are serious enough to prevent you from leaving your home, going to work, or functioning.

What is Psychotherapy?

So, what is psychotherapy, and why is it beneficial during substance abuse treatment? Psychotherapy is an evidence-based treatment, meaning that it is proven to work in treating addiction after extensive research and studies. A psychotherapist usually has a graduate-level degree and is able to diagnose mental health disorders. Psychotherapy focuses on helping you address internal conflicts, such as how to manage symptoms of your addiction and improve your problem-solving skills. When you explore your treatment options, you’ll notice that many inpatient and outpatient rehabs offer psychotherapy. So, if you’re wondering what is psychotherapy, you can always contact treatment centers directly to understand better how your program of choice will utilize psychotherapy in your treatment. A major benefit of psychotherapy is that it is a longer-term treatment, meaning that you’ll work with your psychotherapist for several weeks or several months. This helps build trust and establish a strong relationship, which improves treatment outcomes.

Finding Help Today

If you’re struggling with an addiction, reaching out for help is the best way to begin your recovery. Treatment provides you with a safe and supportive environment to heal from the damage addiction has caused to your physical, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing. Contact us today at 844.875.5609 to learn more about what is psychotherapy and find out more about your treatment options.