Concurrent Treatment of Chemical and Behavioral Addictive Disorders since 1994
Part 3 0f 3 by Michael Yeager B.A., LCDC, C.ht, CAS
77 approved homestucy courses for counselor recertification
In Auricular acupuncture, the “Shen Men, Kidney, Liver, Lung, Autonomic Nervous System” meridians are used to restore balance. Energy Psychology approaches like EFT/TFT/EMDR/TAT/Psy-K are used to uncover and release the unconscious resistances to healing, being about resolution to past traumas, fears etc. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, NLP, Voice Dialogue, Hypnosis and Solution Focused Therapy are incorporated to help get the person's cognitive thinking grounded as they reframe their internalization of life events and decide now how they want to relate to the events and the people involved in the events. Grief Work is incorporated from the beginning to facilitate an emotional release from the ties that once bound them to co-dependency, addiction and all dysfunctional relationships.
Therapeutic aftercare and support groups like SMART Recovery, 12 steps, Women for Sobriety, Secular Order of Sobriety, Rational Recovery, Church, and Recovery Coaches are utilized to aid the client in the ongoing continuing effort to establish a new “recovered” internal and external view of self. Individual care is taken to align the client with the most effective approach depending on spiritual orientation/understanding, level, comfort or need for group support, ability to respond to self-correction, internal motivation to change, individual acceptance of the traditional disease concept, level of internal surrender to idea they have an addiction and return to safe drinking/drugging is not possible or that their addictive behavior is a learned response and can be unlearned.
In my book "12+2 Steps Young People in Recovery" 4 (great workbook for people of all ages) many of these components are covered. You can download an e-book version or order the hard copy at www.contemporaryteaching.com. Go to www.amazon.com look up title or Michael Yeager
Behavioral addiction treatment and rehabilitation presents a challenge in many cases because, unlike treatment for drugs or alcohol, abstinence can be impossible. For example, a person who is addicted to overeating cannot cut food out of their life. For this reason, some types of behavioral addiction treatment programs focus primarily on rehabilitation and recovery rather than detoxification or abstinence.
Behavioral addiction residential treatment programs address the underlying psychological issues that led you to develop the process addiction. These programs often follow the same structure as substance abuse treatment programs, including 12-step programs, motivational enhancement, and cognitive behavioral therapies that have proven successful at treating behavioral addictions.1 These treatment programs focus on helping you develop healthier ways of dealing with life and daily stressors.
In addition to residential programs, outpatient behavioral addiction treatment is another option for those struggling with these conditions. Outpatient therapy involves visiting a treatment facility or medical professional on a daily or weekly basis during the beginning stages of treatment. As you begin to feel more control over your behavioral addiction, treatment may become less frequent. Outpatient treatment usually involves a maintenance period in which you visit twice monthly or once per month to receive supportive ongoing care.
During individual or one-on-one counseling, you meet privately with a behavioral health counselor who is trained in behavioral addiction therapy. Sessions focus on identifying the emotional issues and underlying causes of the behavioral addiction, which can include trauma therapy, if applicable. One-on-one counseling offers you a chance to privately voice concerns that may otherwise be uncomfortable to talk about with others in a group setting.
In many behavioral addiction treatment programs, therapy is based on the cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) model. CBT focuses on eliminating unhealthy or negative behaviors by replacing them with positive, healthier options. This form of treatment teaches new behavioral patterns as well, but the focus is usually on the motivations behind the behavior rather than the physical actions themselves. One of the main goals of CBT is to change or modify the thought processes that led to the behavioral addiction.
Another treatment option is group therapy in which you attend a session that at least two other patients and one behavioral health counselor are present. Group therapy allows you to share common experiences and understand that you are not alone in the addiction and recovery process. During group therapy sessions, the therapist may lead your group in a focused topic or leave the topic of discussion up to the group members. Common topics in group sessions include denial, legal problems, relationship problems, work problems, health issues, financial struggles, identity crises, and stress.
Similar to group therapy, non-12 step and 12 step support groups,
12-step recovery programs provide a structured framework for working through behavioral addiction problems while having the support of others who have gone through similar experiences. 12-step programs have a spiritual basis to them and suggest participants to admit that they do not have control over their addictions. Non-12-step programs follow a similar structured framework, but exclude any spiritual affiliation and emphasize taking personal accountability for one’s addiction. Non-12-step, 12-step, and group therapy programs are excellent options for long-term recovery because they offer built-in support from people who understand how hard overcoming addiction can be. It has been found that 100% of the people who remain in recovery are those who follow the program they choose most all of the time.
The type of behavioral addiction treatment program you need will depend on your specific addiction. For example, a gambling addiction requires abstinence as part of the treatment program, while overeating requires relearning behaviors so that you can modify negative patterns and engage in healthy eating. The staff at the facility you choose will assess your situation and your addiction, and then determine the most effective behavioral addiction treatment for your unique circumstances.
A majority of addiction treatment facilities focus on treating chemical addictions and leave the other addictive disorders to be discovered or resolved at a later date. Several different types of these addiction treatment facilities are available, including state-funded, nonprofit, and privately owned rehabilitation facilities. All facilities, no matter how they are funded, must comply with patient privacy rights under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA).3
There are only a handful of facilities that advertise and provide treatment for the behavioral addictions. One reason for this is purely financial; insurance will not pay for treatment of the behavioral addictive disorders. I find that another reason is that some staff has not been educated in treating these addictions and the “number 1 problem concept” philosophy is still adhered to by staff and administration. “Get them clean and sober first then some of these other addictive behaviors may drop away on their own”. The CEU courses found on www.contemporaryteaching.com address these other addictive disorders and how to treat them.
The decision about which type of treatment facility to choose depends on whether you plan to use health insurance or private pay, where you want to complete your treatment, and what sort of addiction you are working to overcome. Some treatment facilities specialize in one particular kind of addiction (such as gambling addiction), while others offer various programs or an all-inclusive program to treat people with a variety of different addiction struggles. You can also choose from inpatient and outpatient programs, or a sequential combination of both.
Ideally, people suffering from behavioral addiction will receive multiple forms of treatment. For example, in an inpatient, outpatient or individual therapy setting, clients may participate in one-on-one therapy sessions, group therapy, skills building activities, and coping skills development. This diverse therapeutic approach offers the greatest chance of success in beating a behavioral addiction.
Go to www.contemporaryteaching.com for information about all 77 approved and SKYPE CEU courses.
Grant, J. E., Potenza, M. N., Weinstein, A. & Gorelick, D. A. (2010). Introduction to Behavioral Addictions. American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, 36(5), 233–241.
American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th ed.). Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association.
United States Department of Health and Human Services. (2016). Summary of the HIPAA Privacy Rule.
Michael Yeager’s 44 years of clinical experience and personal recovery observations. 12+2 Steps Young People in Recovery workbook