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Treatment Approaches to Addictions Counseling

Treatment Approaches to Addictions Counseling

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Treatment Approaches to Addictions Counseling


Commonly used substance use disorder treatment approaches.

Victims of substance abuse require proper strategies to help handle their conditions. Treatment Approaches to Addictions Counseling. Medically proven treatment techniques must be applied depending on the patient. The most common treatment approaches are Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Solution Focused Brief Therapy, and Motivational Interviewing.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy can be defined as a psychotherapeutic treatment to therapy where the patient is encouraged to focus on the negative thought patterns that tend to be destructive to them or their way of thinking. Through this, individuals can track their thoughts and avoid or significantly reduce any destructive thinking that might reduce adverse effects (Creswell et al., 2017).  Motivational Interviewing is an approach to patient counseling that allows for a patient-centered approach to help strengthen the motivation for change. The third approach to treating substance use disorders is  Solution-focused Brief Therapy. This is a goal-oriented short-term approach to psychotherapy that encourages an individual to focus on the positive aspects of their life and use this to overcome any psychological challenges when dealing with substance abuse.

Treatment Differences

The most effective approaches are cognitive behavioral therapy and solution-focused brief therapy. Although cultivated to produce exemplary results,  their strategies are different and produce results based on the severity of the substance abuse disorder that an individual is faced with. Cognitive behavioral therapy allows for a professional-based process where the therapist intensively engages an individual in explaining and combing through their negative thoughts to the point that they understand their position and work to eliminate these negative thought processes from their minds (Creswell et al., 2017).


Treatment Approaches to Addictions Counseling


Solution-focused brief therapy is short, precise, and less professional when compared to cognitive behavioral therapy. It is vital to note that this approach allows the therapist to enter the treatment session with an open mindset. He or she encourages the patient to identify the problem, the positive thoughts in their minds,  the positive opportunities presented to them, and alternative activities they can engage in to evade the temptation of substance abuse (Sanco et al., 2018).

Preferred Method and Rationale

The most preferred method depends on the problem,  its severity, and an individual’s personality. The best approach to offer treatment for substance abuse would be Solution-Focused Brief Therapy. This approach focuses on the reflection of yourself and, more, your life and on strategies that would be best fitted for adoption by you. This is opposed to cognitive behavioral therapy, which dives into focusing on your shortcomings and working to avoid them, a strenuous exercise. Referring to the idea of ‘you always get more of what you focus on,’ it would be good to use solution-focused brief therapy as it focuses on the positive and would probably reward one with more positivity (Sanco et al., 2018).

Treatment Professionals

These would be standard psychological therapists,  behavioral therapists, and rehabilitation therapists. Technically, any nurse, doctor, or mental health personnel would be a great person to deal with these approaches as it is within their profession.



Creswell, C., Violato, M., Fairbanks, H., White, E., Parkinson, M., Abitabile, G., … & Cooper, P. J. (2017). Clinical outcomes and cost-effectiveness of brief guided parent-delivered cognitive behavioural therapy and solution-focused brief therapy for treatment of childhood anxiety disorders: a randomised controlled trial. The Lancet Psychiatry, 4(7), 529-539. DOI: 10.1016/S2215-0366(17)30149-9

Sancho, M., De Gracia, M., Rodriguez, R. C., Mallorquí-Bagué, N., Sánchez-González, J., Trujols, J., … & Menchón, J. M. (2018). Mindfulness-based interventions for the treatment of substance and behavioral addictions: a systematic review. Frontiers in psychiatry, 9, 95. DOI: 10.3389/fpsyt.2018.00095

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