If you’re suffering from substance addiction, then you have probably heard about 12-step programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous. While they are effective for some, it may not be the ‘program’ for you. In that case, you may benefit from non-12 step rehab programs.
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What is a Non-12 Step Rehab Program?
To understand this method, you must know more about the 12-step rehab program first. In essence, it promotes these 4 pillars:
- Addiction is the root of all your problems.
- You are powerless over your situation because addiction has already taken hold of your life.
- You need to submit to a higher power because it’s the only one that can save you.
- ‘Once an addict, always an addict’.
Simply put, a non-12 step rehab program espouses the opposite of all of these.
Yes, addiction might be a big problem, but it’s not the sole root behind all your issues in life. It will help you look for other driving factors behind your addiction, such as unresolved anger, trauma, mental illness, job problems, environmental issues, among many others.
A non-12 step rehab program doesn’t consider you, the person, to be powerless. It teaches the values of self-worth and self-control so that you can take responsibility for your own life.
While some non-12 step rehab programs may be religious, it will not leave you at the hands of a higher power. Instead, it aims to put the power back into your own hands.
The Best Non-12 Step Rehab Programs
Here are the most common non-12 step rehab programs available:
1. SMART Recovery
This program views addiction as a dysfunctional habit – while acknowledging the fact that some are more predisposed to be addicts. This method uses CBT and non-confrontational motivational methods. It recognizes the participant to be undergoing the stages of change, which are pre-contemplation, contemplation, determination, action, maintenance, and exit.
2. Liftering Secular Recovery
This group offers peer-run recovery groups that help support addicts – as well as their loved ones. This abstinence-based program follows the three principles of secularity, sobriety, and self-empowerment.
3. Women for Sobriety
This non-secular program was founded by sociologist Jean Kirkpatrick. Specifically made for women, it revolves around the 13 affirmations that can help the members change the views of themselves – and the world.
What Will You Find in Non-12 Step Rehab Programs?
Non-12 step programs usually include the following interventions to address addiction issues:
1. Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy
CBT is a form of treatment that helps address substance addiction, as well as anxiety, depression, mental illness, and eating disorders. It is based on the following principles:
- Problems are in part, attributable to unhealthy ways of thinking
- Issues can arise due to learned patterns of unhelpful behavior
- People with addiction issues (or other problems) can learn to cope better, thus improving the quality of their lives
Following these, CBT usually involves these interventions:
- Recognizing thinking distortions that lead to problems – and re-evaluating them
- Understanding one’s behavior and motivation
- Improving problem-solving skills that need to be used in difficult scenarios
- Developing confidence over one’s abilities
To help you change behavioral patterns, CBT can teach you to:
- Face your fears instead of avoiding them
- Calm your mind and body
- Role-play in preparation for your interactions with other people
2. Group Therapy
Group therapy helps promote emotional attachment between the members. With this, the participants can help the other members ‘change’ their lives.
Group therapy comes in various forms. They include:
- Support groups, where members uncover each other’s excuses – and help them undergo the needed change
- Cognitive-behavioral groups, which help you modify the thinking patterns that lead to addiction
- Psychoeducational groups, where you learn more about substance abuse
- Skills development groups, where you acquire skills that can help you stay away from addictive substances
- Interpersonal process group psychotherapy
Whatever form of group therapy you join, you stand to enjoy these benefits:
- Positive peer support that will help you abstain from substance use.
- Structure that you need to live a fruitful life.
- The confrontation that will help you change your ways.
- A reduced sense of isolation that often occurs with addiction.
- A mirror of the coping methods used by the other members.
- Family-like experience.
- Helpful information, especially if you are a new member of the group.
- Beneficial skills that can help you cope with everyday life.
3. Family Therapy
This treatment aims to enhance communication and resolve conflicts that affect the entire family. With this, you can improve your relationship with your parents, siblings, spouse, or children, as they too are affected by your substance abuse.
In terms of addiction, family therapy can be done on an outpatient basis – or while you are undergoing residential treatment. It may even be done even if the addict himself is not actively seeking rehab.
Family therapy sessions, which usually last about 50 minutes, often include the following:
- Examining the family’s ability to express emotions – and solve problems
- Exploring family roles and behaviors that lead to conflict – and what could be done to avoid them
- Identifying the family’s strengths and weaknesses
By learning these elements, the therapist can create a treatment plan that can eliminate the conflicts within the family.
4. Emotion-Focused Therapy
EFT is a humanistic treatment program that focuses on adult attachment. Here, therapists explore the individual’s addiction issues – as well as the nature of his family and relationship bonds. It also focuses on emotion and how it affects experience and interactions.
EFT is available for individuals, families, and couples.
In individual therapy, EFT aims to offer positive, transformative experiences that can help the person achieve lasting change. At the same time, it aims to help you be open, responsive and engaged with other people. With this, EFT can help you become a person that can deal with addiction – as well as other life issues.
Similar to family therapy, EFT for families helps deal with the unacknowledged feelings of the members. It helps uncover the unmet attachment needs so that each member can help achieve effective responses.