Psychological treatments for addictions

Addiction treatment

Treatments for addiction vary depending on the type of addiction and severity of the addiction, many addicts however whatever their addiction will almost certainly benefit from psychological treatment as part of their rehabilitation programme.


Counselling is a very effective form of psychological therapy which usually involves spending at least 12 sessions with a therapist. Counselling helps a person to look at their addiction as a whole and see how it is affecting different aspects of their lives and helps a person to develop strategies for dealing with their addiction, overcoming it and preventing relapse.

It is important however that the patient and therapist are able to form a bond for treatment to be successful. Counselling will usually be provided by community advice and treatment centres and will be a part of any residential treatment centres.

Residential treatments

When looking at long term rehabilitation for addict’s, therapeutic community programmes based on the 12 step programme which is widely used in the treatment of alcohol addiction is thought to be the most successful. Residential programmes differ in the way they operate for different addictions but all have some similar qualities.

  • A ban on drugs or alcohol in the controlled therapeutic environment.
  • Living communally with other recovering addicts.
  • Place emphasis on shared responsibility.
  • Give counselling and support aimed at preventing relapse.
  • Give individual support.
  • Promote further education and training.
  • Improve on skills for daily living.
  • Give aftercare and support.

Some programmes will also offer a supervised withdrawal programme during the first stage of the rehabilitation programme, treatment within the programme is available on a 24 hour basis and there is medical care always available. Residential rehabilitation programmes will normally last for between six and twelve weeks, this will depend on the addiction and the severity of it.

Assessment for treatment

When someone asks for help in quitting their addiction they will be given a through examination to determine the course of action which will be best suited to them and their problem. Things taken into account are the amount of personal and medical problems the addiction has caused the person, the extent to which the person is addicted and the person’s preferences for treatment.

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