Whenever addiction is mentioned, the therapies that are mentioned are medical detox, inpatient and outpatient treatments. All of these therapies help break the physical bonds of addiction in your body. 

While these medical treatments are necessary and hold a lot of importance, it is also critical to use behavioural therapies and detoxification during the process of recovery. These therapies and detox helps bring about long term changes and lessen the chances of a relapse.

Here is a list of 5 therapies, you can consider for yourself and your loved ones while in recovery:

1. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy or CBT is founded on the core principle that addiction or other psychological problems are in part caused by negative thinking patterns, behaviours learnt to survive as children and unhealthy coping mechanisms.

CBT works on the recognition and reevaluation of an individual’s behaviour and has many advantages such as developing strategies and coping mechanisms to control your urges, break out of negative thinking patterns by working with the clients and they can be incorporated in daily life. Moreover CBT is goal oriented and is easily applicable in group as well as individual therapy.

2. Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy

Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy is similar to CBT but the fundamental difference is that CBT works on negative thought patterns and habits but REBT works on the belief system where the behaviour is coming from.

REBT helps you identify and throw out irrational beliefs also known as brules ( bullshit rules ). Clients are taken on a journey of blaming to self accountability. They learn to draw realistic expectations for themselves, acknowledge and replace negative thoughts and beliefs with rational positive ones. The replacement of these beliefs leads to self acceptance and reduction in drug intake.

3. Contingency Management

Contingency management works on rewarding individuals for behaviour that will benefit them in their daily lives. The principle behind contingency management is that positive behaviour when reinforced diminishes negative behaviours. Things such as vouchers, lunches, other things that might motivate the drug user to use less or none at all are used. Contingency management helps in increasing retention rates, likelihood of becoming and staying sober, it is applicable for people of all ages. Last but not the least, this treatment is covered by most insurances as it is low risk and has been proved to be beneficial in treating recovering patients. 

4. Family Therapy

Family therapy or couples therapy is used to address issues of drug abuse that could be springing out of toxic relationships at home. If the practitioner assesses that the drug problem is somehow related or escalated after being incontact with close family members, this therapy is recommended.

The idea is to identify and rearrange the influence the recovering person has on the family and vice versa. This therapy involves affected family members (close or extended). It helps the family understand and help the recovering addict better and be more engaged in the process. The family becomes better at communicating and they have a safe space to voice their concerns and ask questions. 

4. Group Therapy

Individuals who don’t have the privilege of an understanding or involved family often feel lonely while in recovery and are more likely to relapse as well. To feel connected, group therapy in the form of support groups are recommended and utilized widely. Group therapy features 6-10 people. These groups create a safe space where you can relate to others as well as offer the same support to others. Group therapy is centered around communication and building relationships after the recovery process is completed.


While medication plays a vital role in recovery, for a truly successful drug treatment plan an essential foundation also contains behavioural therapy. Medicines can help reduce the cravings and control moods but remember, when looking for a recovery plan make sure to ask about the behavioral support plans for during and after the recovery. 


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