What is the Role of Individual Therapy at a Rehab?
A recovering addict who attends rehab will be assigned an individual therapist. This is something many people don’t expect. Group therapy is more commonly associated with drug and alcohol rehab. However, individual therapy plays an important part of your recovery journey.
Here is why every person requires individual therapy at rehab.
Modern rehabs view addiction in the broader context of a person’s life. Technically, they could treat the addiction itself, helping residents detox from substances and learn techniques to deal with cravings. However, this approach rarely works, as addiction does not occur in isolation. Rather, it is usually accompanied by a co-occurring disorder.
A co-occurring disorder is another mental illness that a recovering addict is diagnosed with. Common co-occurring disorders include depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorders, and personality disorders. It is often these illnesses that trigger addiction in the first place, as the individual learns to use substances in place of healthy coping mechanisms.
A psychiatrist will diagnose individuals in therapy with co-occurring disorders, and this is something each person requires individual therapy to work with. While support groups are great for shared issues, each individual experiences co-occurring disorders differently and needs a personalized healing process.
Another reason individual therapy is imperative is because each person has their own context to return to. One of the things that rehab shows many residents is that no one addict is more worthy of recovery than any other. Who they are outside of rehab does not dictate how much of an impact substances have had on them. However, context is important when preparing for normal life after rehab.
Someone with a full-time job to return to will have very different challenges from someone returning to studying, or from a person looking for work. A corporate executive will have specific challenges that a director at a non-profit will not recognize.
Individual therapy is the perfect space to prepare for life after rehab, putting in place a plan that will set you in good stead.
A Journey of Self-Growth:
Individual therapy in rehab should not just be seen as a means of recovery. Yes, it is there to help you achieve that end, but it also begins (or continues) a journey of self-growth that does not end after rehab. You begin to learn more about yourself, including the factors that led you to this place. You learn why you feel certain things so deeply and why you act in certain ways. This helps you to understand who you are and to empathize with yourself.
Addiction recovery in isolation will not sustain you indefinitely. By working on yourself during and after rehab, you make progress towards living the life you have always dreamed of.