What Is Relapse Prevention?
Relapse Prevention Therapy is a type of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy that is primarily used to treat substance abuse disorders but can also be used to treat mental health disorders such as anxiety or depression. In Relapse Prevention Therapy, individuals work with a therapist or mental health professional to identify high risk situations that may put them at a greater risk of relapse. These high-risk situations can be internal such as being in a negative emotional state, or external such as being around friends who are still drinking or using. Then, they work together to develop cognitive and behavioral coping strategies to prevent relapse in these high-risk situations. Strategies may include avoiding people that encourage former habits or going for a walk after a stressful interaction.
Having a plan of how to handle situations that may have formerly been triggering or lead to relapse helps to increase confidence in one’s ability to stay on track. While relapse does not occur with everyone, it can be relatively common. Relapse Prevention Therapy gives those in recovery a better chance of long-term success and sobriety.
Benefits of Relapse Prevention
Relapse prevention is an important element in any recovery program for those who suffer from substance abuse disorder(s). Those suffering from drug or alcohol addiction often face triggers that can lead to relapse, especially early in recovery. Relapse prevention helps individuals identify their triggers for relapse, teaches specific coping skills necessary to walk through those triggers, allowing clients to successfully recover from addiction.
Each person suffering from an addiction or mental health disorder will have different triggers ranging from specific people or places to facing financial hardship. The first step in developing a strategy to walk through these triggers is identifying what they are.
Relapse prevention also teaches the coping skills that are necessary to walk through these triggers successfully. Having an action plan and steps to take if faced with a trigger or difficult situation can be the deciding factor in how well an individual may cope. By identifying triggers and developing strategies to walk through them, individuals with mental health disorders and addictions gain confidence in their ability to abstain from substance use and negative behaviors. With that increased confidence in recovery, individuals gain the ability and strength to move forward and make positive changes in other areas of their lives as well.
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At Twelve South Recovery, we use proven therapies, and an evidence-based approach to addiction and mental health treatment.
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