Therapy is a wonderful tool that gives the brain access to finding healing. For a while, therapy had a negative stereotype, as if it was meant only for the “weak” or those “who just couldn’t face life head-on.” However, the more that we discover about the brain, the more we recognize that certain traumatic life events can physically impact the brain in some, particularly harsh ways.
With this information in mind, clinical therapists are better able to discover new treatments and even new medication that can allow the brain time and space to properly heal.
While you are in recovery, it is likely that you will have the opportunity to work with a therapist. Your therapist is a professional counselor who is trained, experienced, and knowledgeable about several different strategies designed to help your brain not only physically heal, but spiritually and emotionally heal, as well.
It is time to ignore the lies about how therapy is the last resort for those who just couldn’t make it in life. In fact, it’s time to embrace the truth that working through therapy takes a great deal of vulnerability, bravery, and strength.
Check out these brain therapies that can aid in healing from addiction, ultimately enhancing your growth and journey:
#1 Outpatient behavioral therapy
At first glance, you might take a look at “behavioral” and feel like this is a kindergarten class like someone is trying to convince you how to behave properly in public. It comes off as an insult to your intelligence, but you can’t be quick to judge here. Just as you know the rules, the therapist knows that you know the rules. Fortunately, the truth is that behavioral therapy digs deeper than surface-level jabs at your IQ. It does so by tracing back certain behavioral patterns you have, helping you to understand where they come from and how to cope with them.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse breaks down outpatient behavioral therapy into four categories: cognitive-behavioral therapy, multidimensional family therapy, motivational interviewing, and motivational incentives. The pressure is not on you to understand the science behind any of these. Instead, each of these options allows therapists to discover which behavioral treatment fits you best, thus mapping out a more strategic plan for your specific counseling goals.
From there, outpatient behavioral therapy requires you to be consistent with your counseling sessions and practicing the techniques and takeaways from your session, meaning you should find ways to apply them to your daily routine. It is a lot of work, but behavioral therapy provides so much clarity for your past while providing tools to better activate your present and shape a brighter, more healthy future.
#2 Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR)
No need to stress over such a long, intimidating-sounding name. A shorter, easier-to-remember name is “brain spotting”. EMDR therapy is relatively new on the counseling scene, but it has centuries of scientific study to back its methods, particularly for patients who struggle with anxiety, anger issues, phobias, impulse control, and substance abuse.
It might sound silly, but research concludes that a certain way people gaze, as well as how they set their eyes, can affect their mood and ability to process. EMDR helps patients “spot” their “sweet spot” — the exact point where the brain can clearly, healthily analyze memories. Once this is discovered, it helps therapists to pinpoint certain traumas and their triggers.
Brain spotting may even feel silly in person since it requires you to talk to your therapist while looking at a different focal point in the room. Regardless, this unique method helps to create a safe space for vulnerability. Furthermore, this vulnerability makes room for both the therapist and you to cover lots of ground in your mental healing — especially since this form of therapy can be particularly beneficial for those who struggle with substance abuse and addiction recovery.
Again, therapy has gotten a pretty bad rap over the years, but the more we understand the science behind the brain, the more it becomes clear that it is time to not only accept, but advertise the benefits of therapy — for mind, body, and spirit. Sure, therapy comes with hard work and loads of vulnerability, but vulnerability plays a big, big part in the recovery process.
When you tap into vulnerability and accept that growth is necessary, therapy becomes a vital tool as you fight substance abuse and learn where some of the trauma and triggers of it all began. This information also provides not only growth but grace, as you begin to better understand where you came from and where you can go.
It is important to understand that complete, head-to-toe healing is a mind, body, and spirit combination. Without all three aspects of receiving treatment and healing, your recovery remains unbalanced. Since the “mind” is a crucial part of the process, therapy becomes one of the most important tools to begin the healing journey, even though some of the terminologies can sometimes seem a bit intimidating. This is why it is important to respect clinical doctors and professional counselors who understand the science of the brain and how it works after facing trauma, experiencing countless triggers, and trying to fight back against the abuse. This respect for the process enhances your healing, allowing you to make peace with the past and make healthy, strategic plans for the present and future. With programs ranging from alumni retreats to family recovery treatment, you are sure to find the support that suits your individual needs at Renaissance Ranch. For more information on our resources, please call us today at (801) 308-8898.