Therapeutic Modalities Include:
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a type of mental health treatment that helps identify and transform underlying thought patterns that often influence behavior. CBT allows people to move past outdated or limiting beliefs that may be hindering them and forms an optimal part of a robust treatment plan.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy is a well-regarded form of psychotherapy that helps patients recognize how their thinking influences their emotions. Clients are encouraged to establish more effective coping mechanisms and responses to thoughts, emotions, and behaviors in practical, real-world situations. CBT can be useful to individuals suffering from depression, anxiety, substance abuse, eating disorders, and mental illness.
CBT relies on the principle that the way we think and interpret events influences how we behave and feel. CBT is a problem-specific, goal-oriented approach that focuses on a client's current challenges, thoughts, and behaviors. This involves identifying negative or unhelpful thinking, becoming mindful of the emotions and beliefs associated with it, reframing the situation, and developing healthy coping mechanisms for future situations. Studies have concluded that cognitive-behavioral therapy changes the brain's prefrontal cortex, which is responsible for higher-level thinking, implying that CBT can actually alter the part of our brain that handles emotions and logic.
Motivational Interviewing is a client-centered therapeutic modality that encourages patients to actively participate in their own recovery. It is often used in treating substance abuse as it relies on a patient’s motivation for change within an atmosphere of acceptance and compassion.
More About Motivational Interviewing
How Does Motivational Interviewing Work?
Also known as MI, Motivational Interviewing is a goal-oriented, collaborative modality often used in treatment settings. A trained therapist will work alongside a client to explore the factors influencing their resistance to or fear of change. This patient-centered approach helps people commit to their identified goals by increasing motivation and spurring commitment to change.
Is Motivational Interviewing Effective?
Studies have shown that MI can be effective in treating substance abuse, eating disorders, and other behavioral health issues. It is often used in conjunction with other therapeutic modalities and interventions and works well with those struggling unprepared or unwilling to change. Motivational Interviewing examines emotional resistance to spark one’s intrinsic desire for transformation.
Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)
Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) is an evidence-based psychotherapy that emphasizes the development of healthier coping skills and emotional responses. Its aims to teach people how to live in the moment, develop healthy ways to cope with stress, regulate their emotions, and improve their relationships with others.
Developed as an adjunct to CBT, DBT has demonstrated effectiveness in treating a number of conditions, including substance use, depression, anxiety, bipolar, PTSD, and eating disorders. A study published in Psychiatric Times found that DBT significantly decreases suicide attempts, depression, and substance abuse. DBT has also been shown to work in a wide range of people and helps to successfully improve their coping skills, as they develop new and effective ways to manage and express strong emotions.
DBT promotes acceptance and change though helping people develop new skills to manage painful emotions and decrease conflict in relationships. It focuses on mindfulness, interpersonal effectiveness, distress tolerance, and emotional regulation to help people achieve balance and serenity. DBT supports clients as they find a broader perspective on challenging issues by helping them to avoid black and white, all-or-nothing thinking.
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy is part of the third generation of cognitive behavioral therapy. From a client’s perspective, ACT therapeutic process is two-fold: accepting one’s experience and situation, while committing to value-informed living. ACT does not focus on changing one’s thoughts processes, but rather looks to encourage the client to accept that which is present, including thoughts and feelings, while committing to value-informed living.
ACT works by helping the client to fully experience the moment and not having to avoid reality or challenge or change their irrational thought process. The client is able through cognitive fusion to be able to watch their thoughts with an attitude of curiosity. The client repeats the thought out loud until it becomes just a sound devoid of meaning. A word is viewed as just a word, not a meaning. The six steps employed in ACT include, acceptance, defusion, being present, perspective-taking sense of self, value-based living, and committed actions. We work to help the client to be present in the moment and working towards value-based living. ACT helps the client to engaging in behaviors which will help support their personal growth and healing. Helping the clients to perceive willingness as a choice, not a desire. Willingness is looked at as an alternative to experiential control.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, or EMDR therapy is a comprehensive approach that addresses the physiological storage of memory in the brain. When a disturbing event occurs, it can get locked in the brain with the original picture, sounds, thoughts, feelings, body sensations. We store the images and pictures in the amygdala, which is the oldest part of our brain. The picture gets stuck, and often-times triggers the flight, flight, or freeze response. Disruptions in the information processing system as the result of high arousal states result in memories which are inadequately processed and stored in state specific form.
Stimuli form the present situation link to negative experiences in the past and can trigger a reaction to the present as if it were the same situation as the past. The Adaptive Information Processing Model states that memory networks are the basis of health. When an experience is successfully processed, it is adaptively stored and integrated with other experiences about self. Bilateral stimulation, BLS, eye movements (tones or tactile) help reprocess the memory and other associated experiences. Your own brain does the healing and is in control. Through BLS, the stored memories are able to move out of the amygdala and the reprocessed memories are integrated into adaptive memory networks. The AIP helps to foster the new memories to be linked with positive memory networks. Skills and Resourcing are a central component of EMDR and teaching the client to learn how to self-regulate and state shift.
EMDR Activating Components:
- Access “frozen memories.
- Stimulate the information processing system to activate appropriate connections within the memory network.
- Move information to adaptive resolution
- Reprocessing = new learning
Over 44 randomized controlled trials (RCTs) support the use of EMDR therapy with a wide range of trauma presentations. In a study by (Wilson et al., 1995, 1997) it was demonstrated that three 90-minute sessions of EMDR resulted in an 84% reduction in PTSD diagnosis and a 68 % reduction in PTSD symptoms with single trauma. EMDR is evidence-based practice for PTSD, anxiety, and depression symptoms (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) (2010). (Brown et al. 2015) suggest that EMDR therapy can play an important role in the treatment of addictive and compulsive disorders. From an AIP standpoint, addiction is understood as a genetically influenced neurodevelopmental disorder of memory, learning, and chronic affect dysregulation.
The Recovery Syndicate addresses the mental, physical, and spiritual aspects of recovery from addiction through the use of yoga and meditation to promote clarity and serenity by balancing the mind and body, building new muscle, strengthening breathing, and improving flexibility. Also shown to promote self-awareness, productive thoughts, and a sense of relaxation, yoga, and meditation complement the person-centered, holistic approach taken by our clinical and medical staff.
Akin to the benefits of incorporating yoga and meditation into addiction recovery, physical fitness offers many benefits that are consistent with person-centered, holistic addiction treatment. Physical fitness has been shown to promote the ability to sleep, an aspect of many people’s lives that is often disrupted during their addiction. It can also contribute to the improvement of one’s mood, combating feelings of depression, anxiety, frustration, and fear, and contribute to one’s overall sense of self-worth.
Recovery Syndicate’s Spirituality Group is a spiritual, not religious, program that draws from world religion, as well as many spiritual philosophies, to create a guided, supportive, open forum within which clients can explore their Higher Power as they understand it. Addiction is a three-fold disease of the mind, body, and spirit. At Recovery Syndicate we are committed to providing holistic care for our patients and we are one of the few treatment programs in the Valley that employs a Spiritual Director that is educated and trained in spiritual development. Syndicate Spirituality Group is designed to assist clients in defining and growing their understanding of a Higher Power. Ancient and contemporary spiritual disciplines are learned and practiced to enhance the connection to a Higher Power, culminating in a strong spiritual foundation for recovery and a personal relationship with a Higher Power for enhanced well-being. In addition to weekly group meetings, Syndicate Spirituality periodically offers spiritual workshops on Build Your Own Theology and Writing Your Spiritual Autobiography for a more in-depth spiritual experience.
The Recovery Syndicate offers art therapy as part of our comprehensive treatment approach. Art therapy is an evidence-based intervention for those with addiction and co-occurring disorders and can offer relief for symptoms associated with PTSD and trauma. Art therapy helps the substance user to learn how to focus, build discipline, and live a healthy life. It is believed to alleviate symptoms of depression, and is proven to combat chemical imbalances in the brain which lead to depression. It can also improve communication skills through fostering self-expression and connection with others. Art therapy offers a mode to address past trauma, reduce stress, improve problem-solving skills, build self-esteem, and provides positive distraction by reducing pain and irritability.
Music therapy is a powerful tool for healing. For years, music therapy has been utilized to help children, adults with autism, dementia, psychiatric diseases, and people with substance use disorders. It employs evidence-based musical therapies to reduce stress, enhance communication, improve well-being, and divert clients’ attention away from distressing symptoms, among other things.
Music triggers activity in the same part of the brain that releases dopamine (the “pleasure chemical”), so often involved in the addictive process. It also improves self-expression, while triggering networks of neurons into organized movement. Clients can engage with music therapy to identify and communicate feelings, relax, connect, and build a sense of success.
EAP, or Equine Assisted Psychotherapy, is an experiential treatment in which a client works closely with a horse to build emotional self-awareness and heal emotional wounds. The majority of EAP work is done on the ground, and no prior horse experience is required. Clients work on trust, boundaries, problem-solving skills, consistent communication, and mending relationships while teaming with horses. Individuals, couples, and family groups can benefit from EAP, which is an effective treatment for depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, grief/loss, PTSD, addictions, and trauma. Horses, as herd-centered creatures, provide an ideal setting for learning about and developing healthy interpersonal relationships. Herd behavior exemplifies the importance of working together as a group. A client learns what is required for change through metaphors derived from interactions with horses. Horses become mirrors for us, reflecting and reacting to our goals and emotional states, both known and unknown. One is guided to be emotionally honest and congruent in the presence of these beautiful creatures.