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Why is Therapy Essential For Treating Addiction?

Addiction is More Than A Physical Problem

When most people think of addiction, they often associate it with a physical dependence on a substance. There is a brief familiarity with physical withdrawal symptoms that may lead someone to this belief; however, addiction is far more complex.

There is a psychological component to addiction that can involve anxiety, depression, PTSD, aggression, compulsions, impulsivity, and hallucinations. It is also extremely common for people who struggle with addiction to also have a mental illness. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 9.5 million Americans experienced both mental illness and a substance abuse disorder in 2019.

Because addiction is more than physical, it requires more intricate and in-depth treatments.

Treating Addiction with Therapy

While physically detoxing from drugs and alcohol is an important part of treatment, different therapy options are vital to the recovery process. Therapy helps individuals develop self-awareness, regulate their emotions, improve their communication skills, and set healthy boundaries. It also teaches people how to modify their attitudes, thought patterns, and behaviors.

Addiction affects everyone differently, which is why it is important to find a treatment option that meets an individual’s specific needs. There are various therapy options that are effective in treating addiction, such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), and 12-step programs.

Finding the right treatment option for someone that struggles with addiction can be challenging, but taking the first step to recovery and discovering what works for you is the most crucial part of the process.


Psychotherapy is one of the most essential elements of recovery and treatment for addiction and is widely used amongst treatment centers. Psychotherapy treatments help people identify negative thought patterns and bring awareness to how these thoughts and feelings can influence their behaviors and substance use disorder. Here are some of the most common psychotherapy treatments used for addiction:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): Aims to change harmful thinking patterns into healthy ones with goal-setting techniques and to focus on the present instead of the past.
  • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT): A form of CBT that focuses on mindfulness and emotion regulation by developing healthy coping skills.
  • Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR): This therapy process is designed in eight phases to reprocess traumatic events and associate the memory with new beliefs.

Group Therapy

Group therapy is another beneficial technique used in treating addiction. Group therapy provides the opportunity for individuals to have additional support from people who have similar experiences to them. Receiving support from others also allows people to form strong bonds and therapeutic alliances with each other.

Group therapy offers several other advantages, such as development in communication and socialization skills. By listening to others share their experiences, individuals can develop a greater sense of self-awareness and reflect on their behaviors.

Support Groups

Support groups are another beneficial therapeutic option that is beneficial for treating addiction. Frequently, addiction can feel lonely and isolating. However, support groups provide people a safe place to discuss their challenges and accomplishments. Some recognizable support groups include:

  • Alcoholics Anonymous (AA): A 12-step program for people recovering from alcohol dependency.
  • Narcotics Anonymous (NA): A 12-step program for people recovering from substance abuse.
  • SMART Recovery: Also recognized as Self-Management and Recovery Training, SMART Recovery is a support group built on a scientific foundation and uses a Four-Point program.

How Cedar Oaks Wellness Center Can Help

Cedar Oaks Wellness Center offers a variety of therapy programs to meet your individual needs. From group therapy to family therapy, our team recognizes the importance of therapy for people recovering from addiction.

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, call (513) 780-5201 to learn more about how our treatment programs are designed around you.

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