There is no one-size-fits-all solution for addiction. If there was, addiction treatment wouldn’t be nearly as nuanced as it is now. One of the most powerful advancements made in addiction treatment since Bill W.’s creation of Alcoholics Anonymous in the 1930s has been the onslaught of new techniques, programs, and plans that cater to different types of addictions all over the planet. No matter what you may be suffering from– or how long you’ve been suffering from it– there’s a treatment plan for you. As The Big Book states, “upon therapy for the alcoholic himself, [there] surely is no monopoly.”
No matter how new or complex the treatment plan is one thing will no doubt remain the same: the concept of personal therapy. Addiction is a mental illness, and personal therapy is an absolute necessity for getting us to the root of our issues which may have led us to addiction in the first place.
You’re going to deal with therapy a lot in addiction treatment, through many different forms. Even at Thrive Treatment, an outpatient facility that places a premium on using modern techniques and thinking outside of the box, our clients go through therapy sessions almost every day of the week. We believe that you can’t have a successful addiction treatment program without therapy, so we incorporate it into just about everything we do.
So, what if you aren’t particularly fond of your therapist? Therapists are human too, and they can sometimes make us feel uncomfortable, annoyed, or, quite frankly, angry. It’s natural to experience unpleasant emotions when we’re in situations that require us to peel off scabs and reopen old wounds, and therapy does just that. We know the importance of therapy in recovery, but there has to be some way we can get past our personal feelings in order to make the best of it, right?
Learning to appreciate your therapist
Addiction is a complex illness, and it requires complex strategies in order to defeat it. Therapy is one such strategy, and as long as addiction stays around, so, too, will therapy be here. One of the best ways to learn to appreciate your therapist is to take a closer look at just how important their job is in the recovery process. Even as far back as the 1930s, when the first addiction treatment group was founded, early adopters of the 12-step treatment process and Alcoholics Anonymous held therapists in high esteem, and regarded their skillset as one that was invaluable in addiction treatment: “Psychiatrists and psychologists point out the deep need every human being has for practical insight and knowledge of his own personality flaws and for a discussion of them with an understanding and trustworthy person.”
Therapists provide us with the strategies we need in order to look inside of ourselves and make the changes, address the hurt, and identify the spiritual maladies that caused us to start and continue using substances, even against our better judgment, in the first place. Without therapists, treatment wouldn’t be effective. Sure, nurses could assist us in the detoxification process and facility staff could ensure we didn’t use any substances while in their care, but the mental portion of our illness would be largely untouched without the care that therapists provide, and we’d likely fall into the same traps soon after leaving treatment.
It isn’t personal
It’s also important to remember that addiction treatment therapists, like the rest of the treatment staff, have a very specific role to play in treatment, and it’s one that requires impartiality, strategy, and empathy above all else. Many therapists have gone through treatment themselves, or have been in similar situations as us, and it’s these experiences that they rely on to guide discussions and activities. Our therapists don’t have a personal vendetta against us. They’re simply there to help us get better. As The Big Book states, “God has abundantly supplied this world with fine doctors, psychologists, and practitioners of various kinds.” They are trained to equip us with the tools we need to recover from our illness, but it is up to us to heed their suggestions if we want to see any results. Sometimes, the only way to grow and develop in addiction treatment is to let our guard down and open ourselves up to receiving help from others.
Not liking your therapist is no excuse to stop yourself from getting the help you deserve. Therapists are only interested in doing one thing: helping you process and discard the self-defeating thoughts and behaviors that kept you stuck in addiction. The processes they take you through in order to do this are not all easy, and many may touch a raw nerve (or ten), but going through the fire is the only way you’ll be able to identify your flaws and impurities and come out even better on the other side. If addiction treatment was easy, we’d all be able to do it ourselves, right?
At Thrive Treatment (and many other addiction treatment facilities) there are often a number of different types of therapy offered. From art therapy and daily group sessions to multi-family therapy and individual therapy options, there are plenty of options for even the most skeptical of clients. All therapy options may not appeal to you, but you are bound to find some therapists, strategies, and therapeutic activities that you’ll gravitate towards, and it’s important that you do your absolute best to make the most out of all you’re presented with.
If you are suffering from addiction, it is never too late for help. At Thrive Treatment of Santa Monica, our specialists know just what you need in order to make a complete 180 and get back on the right track. Call us at (888)975-8474 today!