More often than not, addiction and mental health issues go together. Addiction can come from early life trauma, recent loss, control response to extreme situations, or even a natural imbalance of your brain chemistry. Further, addiction is also a form of trauma as a substance or behavior steals away your control over your decisions. This is why inpatient treatment almost always includes a mental health program as well.
To overcome the roots of addiction and allow yourself to grow from this point, face the mental health issues that both led to and came from the addiction experience. But instead of thinking of therapy as something you have to do, look at it like an opportunity. Therapy is valuable, you have some stuff to work through, and there’s professional therapy available every day during your inpatient recovery.
You might as well take this time to work through anything that’s been holding you back. This might be the best time to talk out stuff from your childhood or recent issues where your family is too close to understand your feelings. Chances are, you’ll come out the other side more able to face your addiction as well as your mental health.
Get the Most From Your Therapist’s Time in Your Mental Health Program
Individual therapy is when you get to sit down one-on-one with a mental health professional. Outside of treatment, getting a therapist might be a hassle and expense. But during your inpatient treatment, a therapist is right down the hall and you’ll have regular sessions during your recovery. This is your one chance to really get some valuable therapy without booking an appointment every other Thursday.
During individual therapy sessions, dig into that stuff you would normally have to book a therapist for. Explore your childhood memories, early influences, your motivations, and what’s missing in your life. Work with the therapist and try what they suggest, whether that’s closing your eyes for a few seconds or exploring one specific memory more deeply. They know what they’re doing, and can help you sort out a lot of stuff before your inpatient time is through.
See New Perspectives in Group Therapy in Your Mental Health Program
Group therapy is when you get the chance to see the world from other people’s perspectives and stories. It’s also your chance to tell your story and share your perspective with people who might have a fresh view on things. Their experiences and opinions can help you take a new look at your life – often outside the preconceived ideas of ourselves that come from a family who remembers your entire life.
Group therapy gives you a chance to offer support and constructive ideas to others and you may find that you get better at giving yourself good advice along the way.
Try the Mental Health Homework to See What Happens
When your therapist or counselor suggests “homework”, consider trying it during your mental health program. These aren’t like school assignments – they’re thought experiments. The mind is a machine and by doing certain things, you can turn the gears; working through thoughts and emotions that need to be worked through. You might be asked to write down a recurring dream or fantasy you have. Just writing it down will help you have deeper and more organized thoughts about the dream itself – and what it really means to you.
Maybe your homework is to conjure a specific memory or to close your eyes and go through a thought exercise before bed. Like an experiment, just try and see what happens. Maybe you’ll feel differently in the morning. Maybe you’ll remember something special. Lastly, maybe you’ll gain a deeper understanding of your dreams. And if not, the worst-case scenario is that you have something to share during homework time tomorrow.
Try Openness and Engagement – Because It Might Make a Difference That You Like
All too often, people come into inpatient recovery unsure about the mental health aspect. They shy away from sharing in therapy and feel like homework is a demand on them. But really, this is your chance to work with the system if it works for you. Everyone needs a little professional help. We could all use a therapist to work out some childhood stuff and motivations holding us back. And right now, you have daily access.
Why not get the most out of your inpatient mental health program? Instead of feeling pushed by the program, take it by the horns. Share what you want to share, and work on becoming who you want to be. Talk about the parts of yourself you want to change, the emotions or thoughts holding you back, and see if the inpatient mental health resources have what it takes to help you make a difference in yourself that you will like.
Inpatient recovery isn’t just about addiction. It’s about setting yourself up for success. Contact us to learn more.