Addiction Treatment at Practical Recovery:

What Individual Sessions Can Include

For nearly 20 years Practical Recovery has offered both individual sessions, typically once per week, and “team psychotherapy.” Team psychotherapy is a fundamental innovation in the field, and provides a cost-effective alternative to the standard IOP and to residential (inpatient) treatment for selected individuals.

Begin by considering the bios of each staff member.

Beyond these descriptions, consider that each of these human beings, like you, has a rich history, a range of interests and skills, and a few quirks. All have a deep interest in helping you move beyond the problems you have had and into a life with more meaning, purpose and happiness.

Most of our clients work with just one therapist. All of us are trained to connect with a wide range of individuals. Because most treatment is relatively short term, the therapeutic relationship tends to be in the background if it is going well. If you are not making the connection you want with one therapist, there are others to choose from.

Some of our clients have an entire team of therapists. As you get to know them you will naturally connect more with some than others. More precisely, you will find yourself selecting, even if not deliberately, what you talk about with each one. These conversations will conclude at different speeds. After an intensive week  (i.e., 3-4 sessions per day) you may find you want to converse even more intensively with some, while diminishing or even ending the conversations with others. In our approach you are entirely in charge of this scheduling. In most facilities you have an assigned therapist, regardless of how meaningful that relationship is, and you typically cannot have multiple therapists.

In addition to seeing our clinical and consulting staff, you also have the option of including additional outside providers, in our offices or elsewhere as needed. We aim to create the therapeutic experience that will be maximally beneficial to you, given your goals and  your situation.

In addition to “talk therapy” we offer a wide range of holistic healing services. Unlike our talk therapy sessions, which are grounded in evidence-based practices, holistic healing has relatively little scientific foundation. These sessions are optional, and we make no claims for their effectiveness. However, our experience is that if you are having 3-4 sessions per day having one as a holistic healing session has the highly beneficial effect of creating a mental and emotional experience in which to absorb what is happening in the talk therapy. You can also benefit directly from the holistic healing itself.

Our talk therapy sessions are typically not conducted as if we are following a manual. We use a set of operating principles that we adapt to the individual sitting in front of us. We focus on:

  1. treating you with respect
  2. asking good questions
  3. listening attentively and reflecting what we hear
  4. pointing out strengths, abilities and successes (even if you are overlooking them, because we want to help you build on them)
  5. identifying and helping you develop your goals, the progress you have made, and the situational factors you need to address
  6. providing crucial (typically psychological) information at selected moments (e.g., do you know the three fundamental facts needed to cope effectively with craving?).

We include, as needed, elements of cognitive behavior therapy (CBT), motivational interviewing (MI), and contingency management (CM), all of which are evidence-based practices for addiction treatment. Additionally we incorporate aspects of evidence-based psychotherapies, including dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), and mindfulness based approaches. At times a session is almost entirely organized by the technique being used, such as eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), community reinforcement and family training (CRAFT), hypnotherapy, exposure therapy, relapse prevention, systemic family therapy, and behavioral couples therapy (BCT).

In addition to individual sessions, we involve partners and families regularly. We do not have a “family program.” The family sessions we provide serve much better to address the specific issues your family has. We also offer groups, because they can be highly beneficial, but we do not insist that any client attend them.

Our psychiatrists are familiar with the full range of psychiatric and addiction medications, including off-label uses.

We are a full service psychology and mental health clinic, because in dealing with problematic addictive behavior the full range of other psychological, emotional and behavioral problems can be involved. You can be confident that we are prepared to address all the concerns you have in your life.