How Can A Psychotherapist Treat Addiction?

If you or a loved have been struggling with drug or alcohol addiction for a while, you’ve probably been thinking of treatment options that can help with long-term recovery. Although detox is very important to remove the physical dependency of drugs and alcohol, the most important aspect of addiction treatment that can decrease the chance of relapse is seeing a psychotherapist for dual-diagnosis treatment.

What is Psychotherapy

But what does a psychotherapist do exactly to help treat addiction and mental illness? And how do they differ from other therapists, such as psychologists and psychiatrists? 

We’ll answer all of these questions for you or a loved one to be more informed below.

Differences Between Psychotherapists, Psychologists and Psychiatrists

Although all three can provide therapy to those struggling with their mental health and substance use, there are a few differences among them. It’s important to note that psychotherapy is the umbrella term for any professional who is trained to treat people for their emotional problems. 

The biggest differences to note are that psychologists and psychiatrists provide additional services, such as administering psychological or diagnostic tests and determining the best medication options for their patients. However, only psychiatrists are able to diagnose and prescribe medication to their patients. 

A psychiatrist can also evaluate you or your loved one’s mental state, while taking into account environment and many other factors. Here are just a few things a psychiatrist will consider while creating the best treatment plan for you or a loved one:

  • How one’s mind works, and how they process stressful or traumatic situations
  • One’s physical health and the effect of drugs or alcohol on their body
  • What’s happening in one’s life – stress from a job, a failing relationship, recovering from a traumatic event,  and how much support one is receiving from family and friends.

With all of that being said, it’s likely that you or a loved one might work regularly with a psychologist to address behavioral patterns. That psychologist may refer the patient to a psychiatrist who can prescribe and monitor medication.

Treatment Plans Psychotherapists Offer

Here are a few examples of treatment options that a psychotherapist will offer to you or a loved one, and other options that are available: 

Cognitive and Dialectical Behavioral Therapies: This is where you or a loved one will learn healthy ways of coping with stress and their depression and/or anxiety. You can also understand their mental health diagnosis more clearly and be able to identify harmful thoughts that can cause addiction.

Medication: Depending on the mental health diagnosis, they may prescribe a medication for depression, anxiety, etc. Taking medication has allowed others who suffer from these mental illnesses an easier time navigating their daily lives. 

Family Therapy: When a loved one goes through something as serious as substance use, it can disrupt family relations. Family therapy is a great option to help family and loved ones understand ta diagnosis, and they can learn how to communicate and help their loved one after treatment is finished. 

Group Therapy: Having a loved one talk to others who are in a similar situation can help them feel less isolated and alone. Although the thought of sharing your personal story of addiction and mental illness may seem intimidating at, it could also provide you with more support.

Where Can You Seek Addiction Treatment From Experienced Psychotherapists?

Pinnacle Peak Recovery is here for you or a loved one struggling with mental illness and addiction. We provide high quality mental health services to those across the country, and have a strong group of alumni who can serve as a support system. Our alumni can attest to the fact that we are dedicated to investing in quality care. We also offer a full continuum of care, from detox to outpatient. We’ll be there for you, every step of the way during your recovery journey. 

If you or a loved one are currently struggling with addiction, call Pinnacle Peak Recovery at: 866-954-0524 to get help today.

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