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The Climb

Addiction Treatment Modalities to Use in Treatment Programs

Sep 4, 2019 9:00:00 AM / by Ascension Recovery Services

Often, families with loved ones who are struggling from addiction feel they have tried all of their options to help their loved one. Families attempt to control their loved one’s substance abuse through efforts such as talking with their loved one about their use, managing their environment, participation in previous detox or treatment attempts, etc. An individual experiencing a substance use disorder may undergo a variety of treatment options. 

As a healthcare provider, it is your duty to help family members and those affected by addiction to find the right care option that best fits their unique treatment needs. There are different forms of therapy that can be explored with an individual.


The treatment services that are available to someone affected by addiction should be personalized to their needs, recovery preferences, and the level of care that is needed. 

Most substance use disorder treatment programs use a combination of group, individual, or family/couples counseling. 

Group Therapy 

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, group therapy is the most widely used treatment modality in addiction treatment programs. It is recognized that participating in group therapy provides benefits to the members emotionally through the support of shared experiences. 

Group sizes can vary depending on the type of group therapy. Researchers who study the effectiveness of group therapy recommend the ideal maximum number of clients in a group is somewhere between five to eight members. 


  • Assures individuals that they are not alone and that others share similar problems and struggles.
  • Offers the opportunity to receive support from others and to give support to others; both are important during treatment.
  • Allows members to gain the perspective of a variety of viewpoints.
  • Helps individuals develop communication and socialization skills.
  • Allows patients to learn how to express issues and accept criticism from others.
  • Provides for the development of self-awareness by listening to others with similar problems.
  • Provides a safe environment for individuals who are hesitant to discuss feelings or past behaviors/experiences.
  • It can be less expensive than other treatment options, such as individual therapy.


  • The level of intervention is not as focused and intense for any single person in the group in comparison to individual therapy.
  • The level of confidentiality in groups is not as secure as individual therapy. There is a higher chance personal information can be spoken outside of therapy sessions. 
  • Some individuals in groups do not actively try to make changes. Groups may provide an easy “out” for unmotivated individuals to hide their issues and avoid accountability.
  • Group therapy may not be a good fit for everyone. For example, there may be better options available for those who are introverted, impulsive, or passive-aggressive.

Individual Therapy 

Individual therapy consists of an individual participating in a one-on-one therapeutic process with a trained medical professional.  


  • The confidentiality of the client’s issues are well-maintained.
  • The client receives one-on-one attention from the therapist.
  • The level of analysis and treatment can be much more intense and comprehensive.
  • The pace of the therapy caters to the specific client. 
  • Therapy sessions can be arranged rather quickly if needed.
  • Beneficial for client’s with complex and precise treatment needs.


  • Can be more expensive than other therapy options, like group therapy.
  • It is not the best treatment option for everyone, as some patients may need to identify with other individuals who share similar problems/issues.

Some clients may feel uncomfortable being the center of the therapist’s attention.

Addiction Treatment Modalities

Ascension assists hospitals and other facilities in developing the treatment model that will best serve the trade area. We understand that addiction recovery is not a one size fits all approach, and we have helped organizations develop addiction treatment programs that may include multiple different treatment options such as: 

  • 12-step Facilitation Therapy: a twelve-step engagement strategy designed to encourage an individual with substance use disorder to become actively involved in self-help groups that promote abstinence and recovery, such as Narcotics Anonymous.
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): an effective form of psychological treatment that helps link the individual’s behavior to specific preceding thoughts. It is useful for mental health, substance abuse, and eating disorders. Numerous research studies suggest that CBT leads to significant improvement in functioning and quality of life. 
  • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT): provides individuals with new skills to manage painful emotions and decrease conflict in relationships. DBT focuses on providing these skills in four areas: mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotion regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness. 
  • Systemic Family Counseling: A form of psychotherapy that helps individuals resolve problems within their family. Family members work together to understand their group dynamic and how their actions affect each other. 
  • Mindfulness Therapy: Also known as a modified form of cognitive therapy, it encompasses mindfulness practices like meditation and breathing exercises. Mindfulness therapy teaches individuals how to minimize negative thought patterns. 
  • Social Reintegration: A process through which an individual who has been undergoing treatment learns how to live a healthy, substance-free life. It provides a set of conclusions to help them develop comprehensive social integration strategies. It addresses the issues of housing, education, vocational training, and employment as part of their recovery. 
  • Contingency Management (CM): Also called motivational incentives, is a type of behavioral therapy based on operant conditioning. This type of treatment provides rewards for a desired behavior, such as a clean drug test. Alternatively, disciplinary measures may be taken when the patient engages in a behavior that does not benefit treatment. CM is useful for a range of issues, including impulsive behaviors, defiance, and substance use. 
  • Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT): Combines behavioral therapy and medications to treat substance use disorders. It is the use of FDA-approved medications, in combination with counseling and behavioral therapies, to provide a "whole-patient" approach to the treatment of substance use disorders.


With a prominent drug epidemic sweeping the nation, addiction recovery services are now more needed than ever before. Our team is dedicated to helping you develop an addiction treatment program that will best fit your community treatment needs and address the growing needs in our country. 

Our team specializes in determining the best type of treatment program for your community such as residential treatment, intensive outpatient treatment, partial hospitalization, sober living homes, as well as full-spectrum treatment centers for hospitals. Through our program development process, our team will help you determine which treatment program is best for your community and which therapy modalities would best fit the needs of your clients. 

Addiction is a chronic, progressive disease. If you are ready to help the community you live in, give us a call at 304-503-3448

Topics: Addiction Treatment Center, Addiction Recovery

Ascension Recovery Services

Written by Ascension Recovery Services

Ascension Recovery Services is a team of experts and specialists with years of experience working with individuals and organizations aiming to open behavioral health organizations.

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