What is Psychotherapy?


Psychotherapy, also known as ‘talk therapy’, is one of the most widely utilized forms of mental health treatment, and has proven to be an absolutely essential component of effective addiction recovery. Essentially, psychotherapy is designed to treat those suffering from mental disorders through helping them to better understand the implications of their illness, which allows them to both manage their symptoms better and function more successfully in day-to-day life.

While psychotherapy may work by itself in some cases, it is always best to treat those suffering from substance dependency disorders and related issues with a combination of effective treatments – treatments that comprehensively cover the mind, body, and spirit. At Next Chapter, we incorporate intensive group and individual psychotherapy sessions with proven holistic treatment methods, rigorous trauma therapy and inner child work, and a thorough 12-step immersion. When necessary, we treat co-occurring disorders pharmaceutically, offering clients weekly sessions with a licensed psychiatrist. Therapists will work closely alongside patients and their families to devise a treatment plan that will cover all personal requirements and preferences.

Types of Psychotherapy

There are many types of psychotherapy, and we utilize many differing methods over the course of our inpatient program. It is important to keep in mind that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to adequate treatment. What works for one individual may not work for another, and the length and intensity of therapeutic treatment will vary based on the severity and span of use. Several of the most common and scientifically investigated methods of psychotherapy include Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Interpersonal Therapy, and Family-Focused Therapy. Let us take a closer look at each individually, and explore how we at Next Chapter utilize differing methods in attempts to provide the most comprehensive and personalized treatment available.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is actually a blend of two separate forms of therapy – cognitive therapy, which was first developed by psychologist Aaron Beck in the 1960s and focuses on thoughts and beliefs, and behavioral therapy, which focuses on changing behaviors through identifying actions. CT revolves around how personal thoughts and belief systems influence actions and overall mood, and works towards altering thinking to be healthier and more adaptive. Combining the two helps patients to focus on solving all current problems in a way that best suits them emotionally and mentally. The therapist will help the patient identify distorted beliefs and thinking patterns, change detrimental behaviors, and relate to others in a deeper and more beneficial way.

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy is a form of CBT, and was first developed by Marsha Linehan, Ph.D. in the 1980s. The term ‘dialectical’ refers to a predominantly philosophic exercise during which a therapist works to help the patient combine two opposing views, coming to a safe and logical middle ground. In keeping with this philosophy, the therapist will consistently reassure his or her patient that all thoughts and beliefs are valid and acceptable, though it is his or her personal responsibility to alter damaging or disruptive behavioral patterns. DBT incorporates both group and individual therapy sessions. During individual sessions, the therapist works to instill new coping skills, and during group sessions, patients will be given the opportunity to apply these skills. The main goal will be to successfully instill the skills necessary to overcome disruptive thought and behavioral patterns in the long-term.

Interpersonal Therapy

Interpersonal Therapy (IPT) was first developed in the 1980s by Gerald Klerman, M.D. and Myrna Weissman, M.D., and is frequently utilized on a one-on-one basis in order to treat mental conditions such as depression or dysthymia. IPT is based on the idea that improving the way individuals relate to and interact with their peers may help alleviate the symptoms of depression. IPT also focuses on changing disruptive behavioral patterns and exploring underlying causes of existing mental disorders. Essentially, this specific form of therapeutic care helps patients to identify troubling feelings and work towards successfully reversing them. In many instances, ITP is used in conjunction with medications.

Family-Focused Therapy

Family-Focused Therapy (FFT) was first developed by David Miklowitz, Ph.D. and Michael Goldstein, Ph.D. in the mid-1990s. Originally designed to treat individuals suffering from bipolar disorder, this method of therapy was based on the idea that the family plays a crucial role in successfully managing the illness – that the relationship of the family to the afflicted individual must be improved in order for treatment to be successful long-term. FFT includes family members in regularly conducted therapy sessions, geared towards improving familial functioning and helping to eliminate potential conflict. The therapist will educate the family on their loved one’s illness and teach them how to handle potential symptoms more effectively, set and maintain boundaries, and take care of their own mental and emotional health.

Psychotherapy at Next Chapter

It has been found that those suffering from substance dependency disorders and co-occurring issues such as unresolved trauma, depression, or anxiety respond best to a combination of psychotherapeutic methods. We at Next Chapter utilize all of the above-mentioned methods, as well as several additional types of psychotherapy, offering our clients the most comprehensive and individualized care available. For more information on our specific program of recovery, please feel free to contact us today.