Psychodynamic psychotherapy examines the unconscious processes that can have a significant impact on a person’s behavior, and is often referred to as “insight-oriented psychotherapy.” The primary goal of psychodynamic psychotherapy is to assist the patient in developing greater self-understanding and a deeper awareness of the influence of the past on present behavior. The therapist and patient explore unresolved conflicts and symptoms that arise from the patient’s past relationships. These conflicts often manifest themselves in the need to abuse substances and engage in other self-destructive behavior, and can be marked by symptoms of depression or anxiety.
Cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy is based on the theory that feelings are strongly affected by thoughts. Some disorders, such as depression and anxiety, may result from negative – but erroneous – thoughts and beliefs. By correcting them, a person’s perception of events and emotional state often improve; by identifying alternative ways of viewing a situation, the person’s perspective on life, and ultimately his or mood, become significantly more positive. Research has shown that cognitive-behavioral therapy can be as effective as medication in the long-term treatment of depression and anxiety.
Motivational interviewing features several key components that are conducive to helping patients change negative or destructive behaviors. This approach involves asking thoughtful, purposeful questions, the answers to which aid the person in moving toward a sense of personal motivation, thus giving him or her the confidence needed to pursue the path to change. Motivational interviewing is particularly effective for patients who are ambivalent about their need to change, especially those who are struggling with behavioral and substance addictions.
Supportive therapy is used primarily to reinforce patients’ ability to cope with stressors through a number of key activities, and helps them by supporting their self-esteem and resilience. It assists individuals to develop a greater understanding of their situation and options, and provides the emotional support and guidance needed to manage stress. Supportive therapy is designed to help mobilize strengths, giving additional skills to support the patient’s weaknesses and instilling a sense of competence and hope.
Network therapy utilizes family and peer support – the network – in conjunction with individual treatment. The therapist works collaboratively with patients and their network members to create strong therapeutic bonds, remove the stigma of addiction, eliminate barriers to truthfulness, and break the cycle of denial and relapse.
CRAFT is used to work with families who are concerned about a loved one’s substance abuse or destructive behavior. CRAFT techniques help the family in their goal of getting the substance-abuser to shift toward moderation or abstinence. It uses behavioral principles to reduce the family member or friend’s substance abuse, and encourages the person to enter treatment. It also reduces the family’s stress by giving them different, non-confrontational methods of communication that help result in a positive outcome for the patient.