Counseling, also called “talk therapy,” is among the most important ingredients in addiction treatment. A number of behavioral therapy approaches offer the best assistance for successfully treating individuals with drug, alcohol, psychiatric disorders. Behavioral therapies are an important part of treatment in residential and outpatient programs and are frequently used together with medications. Moksha techniques focus on helping drug and alcohol users change the way they live their lives (their behavior) so they can successfully stop alcohol and drug use and develop healthy, productive lives.
What is good addiction counseling? Moksha counselors and therapists teach their addicted patients about addiction, encourage them to make changes in their lives, praise them when they make progress and support them when they run into problems.
Specific behavioral counseling approaches improve treatment success. These Moksha counseling techniques:
- Improve motivation for recovery: Many, if not most, addicted individuals resist entering addiction treatment. They are ambivalent about stopping their alcohol and/or drug use. It is as if part of them wants to stop their substance use and part of them wants to continue using. Motivational Interviewing and Motivational Enhancement Therapy are techniques that help addicted individuals recognize the damage that substance use is doing to their lives, encourages them to stop use and supports positive steps toward recovery.
- Moksha Teaches skills for stopping drug and alcohol use and avoiding relapse: Once a person becomes dependent upon alcohol or other drugs, they truly don’t know how to stop their use and avoid relapse. Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, CBT teaches patients why they crave drugs and how to cope with craving; how to avoid the people, places and things connected to drugs; how to cope with difficult feelings that can trigger relapse; how to prevent a minor slip or “lapse” from becoming a major relapse.
- Moksha Uses positive incentives to encourage treatment participation and reward progress: Addiction recovery takes time. Longer stays in treatment produce greater success. Changing friends, habits and lifestyle is difficult. Incentives, such as small prizes (movie tickets, gift certificates, restaurant coupons) can promote behavior changes and provide positive reinforcement for treatment progress. When patients make progress in treatment (for example, 30 sober days or perfect attendance at treatment sessions) these small bonuses can help encourage and reward these accomplishments.
- Moksha Involves family members in treatment activities: Family members who are well informed about addiction and who participate in treatment activities can greatly improve the success of treatment for the addicted individual. Family and couples therapy provide appropriate help and support for involving family members in the recovery process.
- Moksha Encourages participation in recovery support groups: Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and other 12-step groups (Narcotics Anonymous, Cocaine Anonymous, etc) are extremely valuable support systems for recovering individuals. In addition there are counseling approaches which help teach patients about the value of 12-step programs and encourage meeting attendance called 12-step facilitation therapy.