Addiction is a disease that’s notable for its very diverse effects. When a person develops an addiction to alcohol, drugs, or even a number of self-destructive behaviors, he or she suffers physically, mentally, emotionally, and even spiritually. The intensity of these effects depends on a number of factors, including the substance of addiction, the length of time a person has been addicted, whether there is a history of substance abuse in one’s family and similar considerations. Moreover, each addict tends to experience different effects from addiction and at varying levels of intensity, which makes the disease somewhat complicated to treat.
Fortunately, there are many different types of therapy and treatment that can be implemented in a person’s rehabilitation program. Since there’s no singular treatment that can cure or address addiction’s effect for every addict, there’s a need for many different treatments that addicts can pick and choose to ensure that their individual needs are met while in their recovery programs. Some components of addiction treatment programs tend to be useful for everyone, such as individual counseling and group treatments. However, there are different methods and modalities when it comes to counseling and therapy, each of which has been proven beneficial in a number of instances. In particular, didactic therapy is a form of counseling that’s become quite popular in its application in addiction treatment programs, which is why the following will define didactic therapy, reviewing its most important features and explaining how it can be used to great effect in a person’s recovery.
For most people, psychotherapy and counseling evoke the cognitive-behavioral technique, which is one of the most well-known and commonly used modalities. However, there are many other types of counseling with each type having certain attributes that make it more effective in some scenarios than others. In particular, some psychotherapeutic modalities are best suited for individual therapy — between a single patient and a single counselor or therapist — while others are designed to be used in group therapy situations.
Didactic therapy is a psychotherapeutic modality intended for use in group situations. One of the key differences between didactic therapy and many other forms of therapy is that it’s more instructive while the more conventional forms of therapy — often referred to as “talk therapies” involve a dialogue between patient(s) and the counselor or therapist, which can result in a more emotionally intense experience. In contrast, didactic group therapy is much lower-key. During a session, the counselor or therapist will present some type of problem or challenge that members of the group are likely to face, and then he or she teaches them the most effective, healthy, and rational ways to react to overcome or resolve the problem or challenge. The primary goals of the didactic technique are to fortify patients’ positive problem-solving skills so that they’ll be able to overcome especially difficult and potentially harmful situations.
Being a goal-oriented, short-term therapeutic approach, didactic group therapy is ideal for use in substance abuse treatment and has been put to use in programs at rehabs all across the country. Perhaps the greatest benefit of didactic group therapy for substance abuse and addiction is the fact that it’s incredibly useful when it comes to helping people in recovery learn relapse prevention techniques and strategies. In such instances, patients gather in a group setting so that the counselor or therapist can teach them a variety of different skills; this is very unique compared to most other types of group therapy that often involve patients talking about their past experiences and, therefore, are much more emotional and intense.
In addition to learning specific skills, didactic group therapy for substance abuse is often used with a psychoeducational focus. Specifically, there’s often an emphasis on cause and effect, learning the consequences of one’s actions regarding alcohol and drug abuse. Examples of such psychoeducational topics include the effects of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome on an unborn child, the personal and legal consequences of drinking and driving, how methamphetamine is made and the substances used to produce it, and some of the specific short-term and long-term effects of substance abuse on one’s neurochemical levels. Although some of the topics explored in the psychoeducational didactic group sessions may seem a little technical, the underlying philosophy is that a more thorough understanding of the problem will result in a more comprehensive knowledge of how treatment and relapse prevention strategies will help them to implement these solutions into their day-to-day life so they can stay sober.
There are several benefits to incorporating didactic group therapy into one’s substance abuse treatment. First, there’s the idea that knowledge is empowering. This implies that attaining a better understanding of one’s disease and what’s necessary to overcome it will help a person with his or her recovery, instilling in the individual additional motivation to get and stay sober. An added benefit of knowledge is that it will likely change how a person feels about his or her previous behaviors and experiences since he or she is able to consider them from a more informed perspective.
Didactic group substance abuse therapy will also give each patient a much better chance of lasting success in recovery by being a means for them to learn valuable skills and strategies that will help them to resist temptation and remain sober. In many cases, the skills patients learn in these didactic groups are ones that they wouldn’t have known or been able to implement beforehand, which potentially makes didactic group therapy for substance abuse instrumental in a patient’s recovery and long-term sobriety.
Unfortunately, there’s no known way to cure the disease of addiction. However, those who become addicted to alcohol, drugs, or certain behaviors could still get their lives back by enrolling in the best addiction treatment programs to their needs. If you or someone you love would benefit from a free consultation with one of our intake coordinators, call Sound Recovery Solutions at 561-666-7427. Our team is available anytime, day or night, to help anyone who is suffering from addiction begin the journey toward lasting sobriety and health.