Modalities of Treatment/Service Specifics

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Those who suffer from addiction are often driven by destructive thought patterns. CBT encourages clients to question and examine recurring thoughts in order to phase out those that are negative and unhealthy.

Scientific studies have shown that CBT is an effective form of treatment for addiction, mental health conditions, and eating disorders.

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)

DBT teaches clients how to regulate their emotions to reduce the self-destructive behaviors that derive from extreme, intense emotions. An effective treatment for substance conditions, eating disorders, anger-related issues, self-injury, and Borderline Personality Disorder, DBT is easily customizable to address a variety of needs.

Primarily a skill-building approach, DBT focuses on the development of four key skill sets:

  • Distress tolerance
  • Emotion regulation
  • Mindfulness (to live in the moment and fully experience emotions)
  • Interpersonal effectiveness
Existential Psychotherapy

Existential psychotherapy is based upon the fundamental belief that all people experience intrapsychic conflict due to their interaction with certain conditions inherent in human existence, which are known as givens. The theories recognize at least four primary existential givens:

  • Freedom and associated responsibility
  • Death
  • Isolation
  • Meaninglessness

A confrontation with any of the aforementioned conditions, or givens, fills an individual with a type of dread commonly referred to as existential anxiety. This anxiety is thought to reduce a person’s physical, psychological, social, and spiritual awareness, which may lead to significant long-term consequences.

Existential psychotherapy encourages people to not only address the emotional issues they face through full engagement but to also take responsibility for the decisions that contributed to the development of those issues. People who participate in this form of therapy are guided to accept their fears and given the skills necessary to overcome these fears through action. By gaining control of the direction of their life, the person in therapy is able to work to design the course of their choosing.

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)

EMDR helps clients recover from traumatic experiences that result in symptoms and distress. Utilizing “dual stimulation” exercises to discuss past trauma while simultaneously engaging other parts of the brain through bilateral eye movements, tones, or taps, EMDR helps heal the brain’s information processing system and promotes emotional stability and symptom reduction.

EMDR’s benefits are so empirically effective that it is commonly used as treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other trauma conditions. In fact, several studies have shown that 77 percent of combat veterans and those struggling with other forms of trauma no longer exhibited and reported PTSD symptoms after 6 to 12, 50-minute EMDR therapy sessions. California’s Mental Research Institute has also found EMDR to be “an important addition to the treatment of substance abuse.”

Interactive Journaling

Interactive Journaling is a trademarked process that differs from traditional journaling in that it is structured and guides clients through the difficult process of making a positive life change.

Journaling in general or “expressive writing” has long been shown to be a valuable component of many effective learning strategies and can have beneficial psychological and physical health effects, but writing in a personal journal does not constitute interactive journaling.

There are dozens of specific interactive journals authored by a number of recognized experts in their fields. Some journals deal exclusively with addictions, others focus on additional mental health issues such as trauma, and there are also journals that may be appropriate for clients experiencing problems in both areas (i.e., co-occurring disorders).

The greatest benefit to interactive journaling is the opportunity to have a tangible, easily accessible resource to use for future reference.

Prolonged Exposure Therapy

Prolonged Exposure (PE) is a psychotherapy for PTSD. It is one specific type of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. After a traumatic event, some people experience unwanted thoughts, disturbing nightmares, feelings of hopelessness, depression, and hypervigilance. If you have these symptoms, you understandably want to avoid thoughts, feelings, and things that remind you of the trauma. The goal of PET is to gradually help you reengage with life, especially with things you have been avoiding. By doing so, you will strengthen your ability to distinguish safety from danger and lessen your PTSD symptoms.

Nutrition Education

Recovery from substance use also affects the body in different ways, including metabolism (processing energy), organ function, and mental well-being.

Education in regards to in treating substance abuse is an important but often a lacking part of patients’ long-term recovery process. Nutrition Education for substance abuse is complex, as the nutritional risks vary depending on the substance of choice and negative conditions for successful treatment are common, including poor support, co-occurring mental health disorders, or poverty.

Proper nutrition and hydration are key to the substance abuse healing process because they help restore physical and mental health and improve the chance of recovery. Nutrient deficiencies can lead to symptoms of depression, anxiety, and low energy, all of which can lead someone to start using drugs or alcohol or trigger a relapse.

Medical Nutrition Therapy (MNT) and nutrition education for this population should target the following goals:
• heal and nourish the body damaged by alcohol or substance abuse;

• stabilize mood and reduce stress;

• reduce cravings for drugs and alcohol;

• address medical conditions that are co-occurring or have resulted from substance abuse; and

• encourage self-care and a healthful lifestyle.

Mindfulness-Based Approaches and Skill Groups

Mindfulness-based programs are designed to train individuals to cultivate mindfulness and incorporate its practice into daily life.

There is more than one way to practice mindfulness, but the goal of any mindfulness technique is to achieve a state of alert, focused relaxation by deliberately paying attention to thoughts and sensations without judgment. This allows the mind to refocus on the present moment. All mindfulness techniques are a form of meditation.

  • Basic mindfulness meditation – Sit quietly and focus on your natural breathing or on a word or “mantra” that you repeat silently. Allow thoughts to come and go without judgment and return to your focus on breath or mantra.
  • Body sensations – Notice subtle body sensations such as an itch or tingling without judgment and let them pass. Notice each part of your body in succession from head to toe.
  • Sensory – Notice sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and touches. Name them “sight,” “sound,” “smell,” “taste,” or “touch” without judgment and let them go.
  • Emotions – Allow emotions to be present without judgment. Practice a steady and relaxed naming of emotions: “joy,” “anger,” “frustration.” Accept the presence of the emotions without judgment and let them go.
  • Urge surfing – Cope with cravings (for addictive substances or behaviours) and allow them to pass. Notice how your body feels as the craving enters. Replace the wish for the craving to go away with the certain knowledge that it will subside.
Music Therapy

Music therapy is a safe way for people in recovery to express, address and deal with their emotions, especially those emotions that are tied to their addiction.

This therapy is useful regardless of musical background, and examples of clinical music therapy include lyric analysis, relaxation training, songwriting, musical games, and improvising music based on emotions or other topics relevant to treatment. In these treatments, patients go beyond simply listening to music to engage emotions, motivations, and barriers to recovery through lyrics and melody.

Health Promotion

Health promotion encourages the idea of well-being and in the process increase control over how we experience everyday life. It is therefore less about preventing disease than about helping us manage our life situation, whatever it may be, and reach our full potential.

Effective health promotion strikes a balance between personal choice and social responsibility, between people and their environments.

Health promotion pushes us beyond a disease-oriented “individual lifestyle is key” concept of good health. It focuses attention on things outside our individual selves—the social, economic and environmental factors that impact our attitudes, decisions and behaviours. These play out at every level of society, from the individual through family and community to a national and even global scale.

Family Counseling

“Family therapy in substance abuse treatment can help by using the family’s strengths and resources to find ways for the person who abuses alcohol or drugs to live without substances of abuse and to ameliorate the impact of chemical dependency on both the patient and the family, according to SAMSHA. “Family therapy can help families become aware of their own needs and aid in the goal of keeping substance abuse from moving from one generation to another.”

Will I Go Through All of These Therapies?

No. Services are dependent on your needs, preferences, and level of care.

Contact us today or call into Avante Recovery Center at 801-341-0009.