From the very beginning, individual therapy helps women in our program explore their feelings, uncover deep-seated issues, build self-esteem, and develop a greater sense understanding about their disease and how it has affected their life.
Didactic Group Therapy
This type of group therapy provides an educational component that helps build knowledge and awareness and is very effective in combination with other types of therapy for substance abuse. Didactic group therapy sessions are generally conducted more like a class, centered around a specific topic and geared toward informing and educating the group. General topics addressed in our didactic groups are Brain Chemistry and Addiction, Medicated Assisted Treatment, Smoking Cessation, Dealing with Domestic Violence, HIV Prevention and Women’s Health Issues.
Addiction has been called a family disease, and family therapy helps not only heal relationships, but also addresses issues such as codependency, enabling and resentment. While it may seem that the addict is the one with “the problem” and requires treatment, family members are themselves deeply affected by the disease of addiction. Addiction is a family disease, and it’s easy for the lives of family members to become absorbed in damage control and crisis management. Unwittingly, they may also be contributing to unhealthy dynamics that maintain patterns of dysfunction. As such, including family members in therapy and providing them with opportunity for support is of critical importance. Engaging in a program of recovery from the family disease of addiction can help. Wayside House welcomes families to participate in family therapy, family group sessions and Al Anon meetings. We see them as essential members of the recovery team needed to restore wellness to the whole family system.
There are so many documented benefits to a yoga practice that it would not make sense not to offer it as part of a well-rounded substance abuse therapies plan. Yoga helps center the body and the mind, promotes self-acceptance and develops discipline and strength. Studies show that yoga has an effect on brain chemistry, increasing levels of the neurotransmitter GABA by twenty percent. This is significant because people with addictions are shown to have low levels of GABA in their brain.
Yoga practice at Wayside House has been well-received by clients and helps to heal the mind, body and spirit.
Wayside House has staff that are trained in eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR). This is an important therapy for drug and alcohol abuse because many women addicts have suffered trauma throughout their lives and are affected by PTSD. Many women turn to substance abuse to help cope with childhood sexual abuse, adult sexual assault, child abuse and domestic violence. These are issues that must be addressed in order for full healing and recovery to take place.
EMDR helps to process distressing memories, reduce their lingering effects and develop more effective coping mechanisms.
Meditation has been proven to reduce stress and anxiety, increase levels of dopamine in the brain and strengthen the immune system. While meditation can benefit anyone, it is especially helpful to addicts. Depression, stress, and anxiety are strong triggers for addicts, and often a big motivation for using. The positive effects of meditation make it a powerful addition to our substance abuse therapies.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
This therapy for drug and alcohol abuse has been found very effective in helping clients learn how to anticipate problems, cope with cravings, make better decisions and develop strategies and problem-solving skills that help them deal with stressors, cravings and avoiding high-risk situations. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a learning treatment that teaches new habits and ways of doing things. Research has found that these new patterns remain after treatment ends. CBT is an important part of drug and alcohol addiction therapy.
ACT: Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) is utilized in conjunction with other therapy modalities if the client is struggling with their emotions, and issues with psychological rigidity. It is a compilation of new wave therapies geared at increasing the client’s ability to deal with daily struggles, and accepting various painful situations such as chronic pain, addiction, depression, and life circumstances. This therapy technique is usually use in conjunction with motivational interviewing.
DBT Skills: Dialectical behavioral skills are utilized in conjunction with other therapies when the client is struggling with issues with emotional dysregulation, and self-sabotaging behaviors. These techniques are not just incorporated in the curriculum of the toolbox, but brought into session when the client is dealing with self-harming behaviors such as acting out in ED, medication noncompliance, suicidal ideation/ self-harm, and issues with interpersonal effectiveness.
Narrative therapy: while narrative therapy is not explicitly used in our treatment planning it is applied specifically for an assignment that is presented halfway through treatment, the life story. The life story assignment utilizes narrative therapy ideals to have the client write down their story of substance use, and recovery. Its goal is to help the client examine patterns, and schemas within their life so that they can empower themselves and begin to see their life from an empowered state, examining that they are not characters in their story, rather authors of their lives. This assignment is done prior to the option of phasing up.
Experiential therapy: Experiential therapy techniques are utilized throughout groups and individual sessions, to help the client understand psychoeducational material. Wayside house believes that if “we can explain a topic; we can also show it”. This provides another technique to help the client comprehend helpful coping skills for their recovery. Experiential therapy is useful for a client struggling with issues concentrating due to PAWS, or clients who need a more interactive learning style.