NIDA released the following statement in 2008: “No single treatment is appropriate for everyone.” In other words, group therapy isn’t the answer for everything. Yet, it’s still the standard in most rehab facilities. That’s not the case here and our name (Living Sober LA) reflects our clinical philosophy. If addiction is your only problem, a group-based program may be sufficient. But over 45% of those with a substance use disorder (SUD) also have a co-occurring mental illness. Therefore, individual therapies and services are critical if emotional, psychological, or mental health problems are present. These issues tend to be deep-seated and difficult to heal with group therapy alone. In fact, some conditions require a targeted 1-on-1 focus, e.g.: anxiety, depression, bipolar, PTSD, trauma, and many others.
In a good rehab, there will always be a clinical prescription for both group and individual therapy. There isn’t a conflict between the two. However, Living Sober LA does tilt the scale of your experience with us towards 1-on-1 treatment. We find that individual therapy yields faster results, makes better use of your time, and offers greater long-term benefits.
Learn more about why people choose LSLA.
In traditional rehabs, many people discover their “individual treatment plan” is anything but individualized. That’s because in so many of those centers the majority of treatment takes place in groups, and often those groups are large. Group therapy is an important clinical tool, but when it’s used as the primary option, it’s been proven to be ineffective for treating addiction, dual diagnosis and mental health disorders. In fact, upward of 60% of people relapse after completing treatment at a traditional group-based program. This high failure rate is attributed to the impersonal and indirect nature of group-centric care. In other words, when a traditional rehab fills your day with low-cost groups, hours of your time may be occupied, but there is very little (if any) focused 1-on-1 treatment taking place. Group therapy does offer benefits, especially when it is comprised of fewer people, but it’s not the primary clinical resource at Living Sober LA. We treat you as an individual and not a number and that means more 1-on-1 time to get to your issues. In turn, this helps you heal faster and makes your time with us count.
Individual therapy is an important part of recovery, particularly if there are other issues present like dual diagnosis. It allows you to speak candidly 1-on-1 with your therapist in a private setting where you can discuss things that might otherwise go undisclosed in a larger group setting. It also gives the therapist the opportunity to look deeper and determine if there are undetected, unresolved or underlying issues that require further understanding in order to properly address and treat them.
Individual treatment is personalized and effective because there are few distractions. It contributes to a higher success rate in the quest for recovery. As often is the case with addiction, there may be additional issues that require attention and treatment. It is critical to identify and treat both dual diagnosis and mental illness. If a 60% relapse rate after addiction treatment is good enough for you, a group-based program is fine. Otherwise, those with substance use disorders will benefit greatly from individual attention.
One-on-one therapeutic techniques allow you to address your unique issues in a truly individualized way to yield productive change and positive outcomes. Each individual modality is carefully monitored with ongoing evaluations in order to determine the efficacy of that particular treatment. To ensure this is taking place and that the individual treatment methods are working to maximum potential, the entire process must be guided by a customized treatment plan. Individual therapy is a key ingredient.
The main goal of treatment is to provide the support you need – which Living Sober LA offers through an integrated model of care– so you can achieve freedom from addiction, dual diagnosis, and mental health issues. One of the most important tools in that endeavor is 1-on-1 therapy. Here’s what you can expect from the therapy process:
At the start, you’re going to be assigned a personal therapist. After introductions, you will be invited to share what’s been going on in your life, what’s on your mind, what’s bothering you, and asked to identify goals you’d like to achieve during your time with us. You will be asked to speak frankly and openly. Your therapist will carefully listen and sometimes may take notes as you speak; some therapists complete their notes after session. Don’t expect to be criticized, interrupted or judged – because you won’t be. This is a unique type of conversation where you can express exactly what you feel—with total honesty—without worrying that you’re going to hurt someone’s feelings, damage a relationship, or be penalized in any way. Anything you want—or need—to say is OK. Though these conversations are confidential, aspects of them may be discussed with members of the treatment team for your benefit.
Sometimes your therapist may give you some homework to complete after a session. That homework may include spending some time each day meditating, reading, exercising to release pent-up emotions, making a nightly journal entry, or participating in any number of activities relevant to your goals. During your next and subsequent sessions, you might share your progress and address any areas where you got frustrated, stuck, or went off-track. No judgments are made – ever. Your therapist wants to help you move forward as much as you would like to advance.
Every therapist at Living Sober LA is as different and unique as you are and this makes the therapist-client relationship distinct as well – which means that there is no universal description of a single therapy session. Some of our therapists employ dream interpretation in their work. Others bring music or art therapy into their process. Others incorporate hypnotherapy, EMDR, life coaching, meditation, visualization, or role-playing exercises to “rehearse” challenging conversations that may be in your future. There are numerous avenues and myriad of tools for achieving successful results. Regardless of approach, your therapist will listen without judgment and help you try to find solutions to the challenges you face. And they will be with you every step of the way.
There are many different therapy approaches and this can make it confusing to know which style is best for your situation. Don’t be overwhelmed. We will conduct a series of assessments to design a tailor-made program with an approach that works for you. Research shows that the therapeutic relationship is a more important factor leading to a positive outcome than the particular theories your therapist favors. When your therapist treats you respectfully, helps you feel safe and accepted, but also challenges you in a constructive manner, you’re heading in the right direction.
Having a basic understanding of the different therapy approaches and their related styles is useful. You may find one approach more appealing than another and this is good information for us to have. It helps us to help you better.
Approaches to therapy center on different ideas about and theories of psychology, human development, and the origins of mental and behavioral health issues. Here is a partial list of some of the kinds of therapies we offer with a brief description – please click a type below to learn more information. This isn’t an exhaustive list of the therapeutic approaches available at Living Sober LA. If you have questions about different modalities, call 1-800-270-1389 or send us a message.