Although addiction has no cure, treatment affords you the opportunity to achieve recovery. Learning how to manage your symptoms is a major part of recovery. Treatments like psychotherapy vs counseling are extremely helpful. But what exactly is the difference between psychotherapy vs counseling?
Each year, 22 million Americans struggle with a substance abuse disorder, while more than 14 million Americans battle alcoholism. That means that if you are dealing with substance abuse or drinking problem, you’re hardly alone in your struggles. What makes addiction such a powerful, dangerous, and cunning disease is that it doesn’t discriminate. Anyone, regardless of gender, age, background, or race can develop substance abuse, addiction, or alcoholism. In fact, roughly 1 out of every 7 Americans will struggle with one of those three conditions during their lifetime.
Why Addiction is a Disease
Substance abuse disorders and addiction are classified as mental health diseases because they alter your brain chemistry, judgment, and behavior. When you develop a substance abuse disorder or addiction, you compulsively abuse your drug of choice even though you can experience negative consequences as a result of your use and have a strong and genuine desire to quit. Addiction creates significant changes to your brain chemistry and major neurotransmitter imbalances.
Once you start using, your brain associates the substance with pleasure because it forces your brain to release more neurotransmitters than it should. When this happens, your brain also connects people, places, and things that remind you of your substance of choice with pleasure. Your pleasure and reward center then begins to positively reinforce your substance use by releasing a rush of neurotransmitters whenever you use and restricting their release when you don’t.
While intoxication causes positive effects, once intoxication ends you experience a neurotransmitter imbalance. During this phase, you can deal with cravings, mood changes, and anxiety. When you’re exposed to triggers, these cravings intensify, making it difficult to stop using without treatment.
Some of the most common signs and symptoms of addiction include:
- Inability to reduce or limit your substance use
- Family members or friends confronting you about your substance use
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when you stop using
- Needing to increase your use in order to feel the same pleasurable effects
- Hiding or concealing your substance use
- Spending the majority of your time using, acquiring, or thinking about your substance of choice
The Differences Between Psychotherapy vs Counseling
When you decide to get help for your addiction, you may wonder what the difference is between psychotherapy vs counseling. Psychotherapy is typically focused on addressing internal issues and is administered by a psychotherapist. Psychotherapists typically have graduate-level degrees, while counselors typically don’t.
Another difference between psychotherapy vs counseling is that psychotherapy typically is a more long-term treatment than counseling. During substance abuse treatment, both psychotherapy vs counseling helps you address issues related to your addiction.
Whether you engage in psychotherapy vs counseling, it’s important to remember that both forms of therapy are evidence-based, meaning that they are proven to be effective in treating addiction following extensive research and studies.
Inpatient and outpatient programs utilize both forms of therapy in order to provide you with the support and guidance necessary to recovery from addiction.
Finding Treatment Today
When you struggle with a substance abuse disorder, addiction, or alcoholism, treatment is essential to your recovery. Since substance abuse disorders are progressive in nature, your symptoms will continue to degrade until you begin treatment. No matter what stage of addiction you’re experiencing, it’s never too late, or too early, to find help.
Completing an inpatient or outpatient program ensures that you’re prepared to manage your symptoms and navigate your recovery. If you have any questions about the differences between psychotherapy vs counseling or would like to discuss and explore your treatment options, call us today at 855.232.8211.