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Addiction is a biopsychosocial condition. Among other things that means its treatment should include effective, evidence-based psychotherapy. Experienced Futures’ clinicians use one or more evidence-based methods of psychotherapy to individualize a treatment plan that works best for each patient and her or his needs.

One of the treatment methods employed by Futures is cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). Addiction often involves unhelpful thought patterns known as cognitive distortions to psychologists. CBT is based on the idea that much of how we feel is determined by what we think. Futures’ therapists work with patients to challenge negative thought patterns by pointing out alternative ways of viewing a situation.

Another type of cognitive behavioral therapy used at Futures is called dialectical behavioral therapy. DBT seeks to help patients find a middle-ground perspective that allows them to adapt to change and interact more positively with others. Interpersonal therapy focuses on helping patients improve their communication skills and thus improve their ability to work and coexist with other people.

One method to support the treatment of trauma used at Futures is eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR). In 1987, California psychologist Francine Shapiro made the chance discovery that moving her eyes from side to side appeared to reduce the disturbance of negative thoughts and memories. After studying this phenomenon more systematically, Shapiro developed a standardized format for EMDR to maximize therapeutic outcomes.

EMDR has been gaining popularity in the mental health community in recent years. The US Department of Veterans Affairs has endorsed EMDR as an effective treatment tool for veterans diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and the American Psychiatric Association has also approved of EMDR as an effective, empirically supported form of psychotherapy, particularly in the treatment of PTSD.

Psychotherapy is an important aspect of addiction treatment at Futures because the vast majority of people with addiction also suffer from co-occurring behavioral health issues such as anxiety, depression, or trauma. If addiction treatment does not address these underlying conditions, the likelihood of relapse remains very high.

The dual diagnosis approach acknowledges that there is a strong relationship between substance misuse and psychiatric illness and that when the two coexist, treatment must address both conditions to be effective.

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