“Addiction develops over time, as a person continues to use a substance and grows more dependent on it.” says Hailey Shafir, LPCS, LCAS, CCS-I. Getting over an addiction is quite difficult, especially when there is a high possibility that you could experience relapse after trying to quit. It is as if you have no way out once you start to become addicted to drinking alcoholic beverages, smoking cigarettes, or using illegal substances. However, this does not imply that there is nothing you could do to fight the occurrence of relapse in your sober life. Fortunately, there is still a chance that you could continue to live a happy and healthy life through relapse prevention therapy.
What Is Relapse?
Relapse refers to the urge to go back to something that you have been addicted to after saying “no” to it. It occurs when you encounter experiences or recall memories that will make you want to resort to becoming an addict again. Individuals who have gone through rehabilitation programs usually experience this urge. Even if they have already enjoyed sobriety, it is possible that they will go back to their old ways such as substance abuse or alcohol addiction. However, it is significant to point out that the longer a person has remained sober, the lower he experiences a relapse. “Admitting you have a problem is the first step in treating your addiction.” That is according to Dr. Howard Samuels, PsyD.
What Is Relapse Prevention Therapy?
There are several forms of cognitive behavior therapy, one of which is relapse prevention therapy. “Cognitive behavioral therapy, often shortened to CBT, focuses on recognizing negative thought patterns and changing thoughts and behaviors and feelings through concrete skills.” explains Hannah Goodman, LMHC. This kind of treatment has been designed to help people work on maintaining a sober and healthy lifestyle after overcoming addiction. Therapists use this to encourage their clients to completely let go of the bad habits that they are addicted to. At the same time, these professionals also help the clients get a full understanding of the adverse effects of addiction and how they could fight possible relapses in the future.
What Are The Techniques Used?
Take note that the approach used by a therapist varies from one case to another. No exact two clients go through the same programs designed by their chosen therapist. Addiction comes in different forms or types. For this reason, each case contains unique circumstances, symptoms or effects. As such, an excellent therapist works hard in creating personalized approach or technique for each client. Here are some of the common approaches:
- Determine the possible causes for the condition of the client
- Look into the available factors that could lead to relapse
- Identify the pattern of relapse and the interval of the occurrences
- Encouraging the client to think of the positive effects of successfully quitting from addiction
- Reminding the client of the adverse effects of addiction
- Helping a client understand the situation and why relapse takes place
- Checking into the reasons why previous cases of relapse occurred
- Creating a treatment plan that will continually motivate the client to fight relapse.
Trying to prevent relapse is challenging, especially when there are temptations everywhere. Do not feel bad in case you experience one because it is only typical once you quit on the item that resulted in your addiction. Luckily, you can try relapse prevention therapy. Be sure to find a therapist whom you can be comfortable with. Let him help you complete overcome addiction.