Psychotherapy Improves Mental Health

What is Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy, also called talk therapy, is a therapeutic method used to help people through a variety of different mental health concerns, including substance use. This can help to control or reduce troubling symptoms so that individuals are able to improve their day-to-day lives. Issues often addressed by psychotherapy include difficulties coping with daily life, traumatic events, medical illness, death of a loved one, and behavioral disorders.

Psychotherapy can come in a variety of forms, including individual, family, group, or couple’s settings. There is no age limit for these sessions, and often services can be tailored for younger participants. By establishing a rapport of trust and openness, each client can reap the rewards of therapy.

Group therapy and individual therapy both benefit participants, although the experiences are different. In group sessions, you’re more likely to be supported and challenged by peers who are also learning to live without substance use. 12-step groups like Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous provide peer support, but keep in mind that they are not led by a trained psychotherapist. For this reason, you may want to seek out separate group therapy meetings in addition to your 12-step program.


What to Expect

Depending on your situation, your experience with therapy may be short- or long-term. Many addiction treatment approaches involve daily group therapy meetings, as well as frequent individual counseling sessions. After treatment has concluded, patients will visit their therapists once per week for about 50 minutes. The first visit will be longer than others and will involve more “get to know you” conversation and discussion of your goals for therapy.

Before selecting a counselor, consider which qualities are important to you. Would you prefer to see a man or a woman? Someone older or younger? Someone from your cultural background, or someone different? All of these factors can be taken into account.

Therapy should address your goals, needs, and concerns, so if something doesn’t feel right, don’t be afraid to speak up or meet with a different professional. Your therapist has your best interests in mind and can tailor treatment to your requests.


Types of Therapy

There are several therapeutic models used in the treatment of addiction. These include:

  • Individual therapy
  • Group therapy
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • Relationship counseling
  • Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT)
  • Family counseling
  • Case management
  • Rational emotive therapy (RET)


How to Get the Most Out of Therapy

As in all aspects of recovery, the benefits of therapy are maximized when you and your counselor work as a team. There are several ways that you can take an active role in your mental health care. Begin by telling the therapist about your goals for treatment – are there certain behaviors or issues you care about most? Doubtless, drugs, alcohol, and the temptations surrounding them will present challenges in the days ahead. It helps to be open about your history of substance use and the feelings surrounding it. Keep an open mind to their suggestions and try not to resist change. In this same vein, consider keeping a journal or notes from your sessions in order to apply your takeaways at home.

If you feel like you’re stagnating and not making further progress, voice this to your therapist. They can adjust their approach, or you can seek different treatment. Above all else, be open and honest with your counselor. They can’t help you work through cravings and compulsions if you don’t tell them what’s going on. Don’t lie and say that everything is fine if it isn’t! By seeing your therapist as your partner in healing, you’ll see great benefits from your time in therapy.


Is Therapy Worth It?

Absolutely! Because substance use affects every component of one’s life, therapy is considered essential to treating addiction. Simply put, drug and alcohol use is more than a physical dependence – it also includes a network of psychological and social factors that can trigger a relapse long after those substances have left your system.

Therapy can help you to navigate sudden life stresses, day-to-day events, general anxiety, environmental cues, and social networking – especially with respect to friends who still drink or use. Counseling provides defense mechanisms and coping strategies to manage cravings and avoid relapse.


Psychotherapy by Highly Trained Professionals

Mental health services at Lakeside-Milam are provided by therapists who hold master’s degrees. All are licensed as chemical dependency professionals, ensuring that clients receive the highest caliber care from true experts in the field.

For those seeking more information, our compassionate staff members are available 24/7 at 1-800-231-4303 or They will be standing by to discuss treatment plans and mental health services – call today.