When some people think of psychoanalysis, they think of Sigmund Freud and the couch. They imagine a therapist asking intrusive questions about their childhood and probing into their unconscious mind. However, psychodynamic therapy is not intimidating or intrusive, it is simply a process of exploring how our past experiences shape our present-day thoughts, feelings, and behaviours. Psychodynamic therapy can be extremely helpful in addiction detox and rehab treatment as it can help you understand the root causes of your addiction and develop coping strategies for dealing with triggers and cravings. This will give you a better chance of avoiding relapse so that you can start a new life free of addiction.
The theory behind psychodynamic therapy is that people are often not aware of why they act in specific ways. For example, it is common for people with addictions to have difficulty explaining their choices, particularly as addiction is a repeated pattern of self-harming behaviour despite the person being aware of the consequences.
The techniques used in psychodynamic therapy are based on the work of Sigmund Freud and are based on the theory that there is a relationship between the different parts of your mind, specifically the conscious and unconscious parts. Psychodynamic therapy is also sometimes known as insight-orientated therapy because it enables you to gain insight into your thoughts and behaviours that were previously hidden from you.
Many people fall into substance abuse because of unresolved issues such as trauma which they are either unaware of or have subconsciously repressed. Even though this trauma may go unidentified, psychodynamic theory holds that it still has a huge impact on a person’s behaviour. Psychodynamic therapy is designed to help people explore their innermost thoughts and feelings in order to identify and resolve the conflicts that are at the root of their addiction so that they are no longer influenced by them.
When you are undergoing psychodynamic therapy for addiction recovery, you will first spend time getting to know your therapist and building trust. This is important because opening up about personal issues like trauma and addiction can be difficult and you need to feel safe in order to do so. At Liberty House, our therapists are experienced in creating a warm and supportive environment where you can feel comfortable sharing your story.
Once a rapport has been established, you will start exploring your thoughts and feelings about your addiction. This may involve talking about your childhood, your family, and your relationships. The therapist will help you to understand how these experiences have shaped your thoughts and behaviours around drinking or using drugs.
As you start to see the connection between your past and your addiction, you will begin to develop coping strategies for dealing with triggers and cravings. It is important to understand that your therapist is not there to tell you to stop drinking or taking drugs, but to help you understand why you are doing it and to develop the skills you need to change your behaviour.
The great thing about psychodynamic therapy is that it gets to the heart of the problem. This matters because substance abuse or addictive behaviours are often used as plasters for a much larger issue. If this underlying issue goes unaddressed, you may be able to overcome your addiction initially but are likely to relapse or turn to other harmful coping mechanisms when the issue flares up again. However, by addressing the central conflict through psychodynamic therapy, you can greatly lower the risk for relapse by learning to deal with the issue in a healthy way.
Psychodynamic therapy also fosters personal growth and a reassertion of your values and aspirations. This can be very important in addiction recovery because addiction can drain you of all ambition or hope for the future. With this newfound clarity, it becomes easier for you to make meaningful decisions about your future and empowers you to take control of your life again.
Liberty House uses psychodynamic therapy as part of our comprehensive addiction recovery programmes and it can be extremely effective in enhancing the benefits of many other addiction therapies.
For example, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is often used to help people with addiction because it teaches them how to change the negative thoughts and behaviours that contribute to their addiction. However, CBT does not always address the root cause of the problem. This is where psychodynamic therapy can step in and help to complete the puzzle by exploring the past experiences and traumas that may be fuelling the addiction.
In a similar way, group therapy is often used in addiction recovery because it provides support and encouragement from peers who are going through the same thing. However, some people may feel uncomfortable sharing personal issues in a group setting. In this case, psychodynamic therapy can provide a more intimate setting in which to explore these issues.
If you are struggling with addiction and would like to learn more about our psychodynamic therapy programmes, please get in touch. Liberty House has helped many people to overcome addiction and we can help you to acquire all the tools and skills you need for a successful recovery.