Talk Therapy


Talk therapy is the process of discussing one’s problems and possible solutions with a licensed therapist. This method is usually employed, and is usually effective, with victims of addiction due to the fact that many addicts do not come to terms with their addiction until they have a chance to talk about it. Often, addicts go through a stage of denial wherein they cannot accept that their drug or substance abuse affects their lives in a negative, and destructive, way. Once addicts accept and face the problem, addiction becomes much more manageable and easier to treat. It is the goal of talk therapy to help addicts before, during, and after treatment in the elimination of addiction.

Talking about a problem often helps in its resolution; this is what many hope to achieve by discussing problems with a friend or loved one. Talk therapy shares this goal by attempting to address problems related to addiction through its objective and educational discussion. Below are the three types of talk therapy that can help addicts face the problem and cope with addiction treatment.

Cognitive Therapy

Cognitive therapy is largely responsible for changing methods of thinking and in the modification of thought processes that led to substance abuse and addiction. It helps addicts correct their reactions to certain stimuli, for example, their response to drug cravings. It also helps to provide addicts with a more positive outlook on life that will help them cope with the challenges of addiction and recovery.

Behavioral Therapy

As the name implies, behavioral therapy is concerned with behavior modification and correction. As opposed to cognitive therapy, it modifies behavior by helping an individual develop new habits to replace the old. As is common knowledge, addiction is a dangerous, life-threatening habit; cognitive and behavioral therapy go hand in hand in helping addicts instigate a change from within that will help them change for the better. A strict behaviorist would likely see addiction as a negative behavior pattern that can be broken by re-acclimating the patient to new behavioral patterns. Conversely, a pure cognitive therapist might look at addiction as a problem stemming from underlying unresolved emotional issues and deficits in emotional coping skills. Both of these views have something valid to teach us about the nature of addiction as a disease, and that is why the most cutting edge treatment centers tend to prefer a merging of these two paradigms known as ‘cognitive-behavioral therapy’.

Interpersonal Therapy

Interpersonal therapy is the quintessential form of talk therapy because it involves actual discussion and interaction with other people. It teaches one how to relate better with others and how to express one’s thoughts and emotions in an effort to uncover underlying conflicts and problems. Talking to other people will also help an addict gain a new perspective regarding his or her current situation and can provide insights on how to resolve the challenges along the way.