Biofeedback and Neurofeedback
Biofeedback involves training your mind to heal your body. In Biofeedback, sophisticated equipment monitors and gives you moment to moment information about your bodily processes such as heart rate, blood pressure, muscle tension and skin temperature. Initially, you use the equipment to monitor your bodily processes and correlate them with your thoughts and feelings. Then, slowly, with training, you learn to identify and control your mental state to bring about the desired physical and physiological changes in your body, thus amplifying the addiction treatment process. Both Biofeedback and Neurofeedback have shown increased success rates and relapse prevention when used with conventional treatments for addiction. Additionally, an improvement in the overall functioning – cognitive and psychological – can be seen in patients who undergo Neurofeedback training. It helps replace self defeating patterns of thinking and behavior in patients with healthier patterns and choices, thereby making it an addiction treatment of choice.
Cognitive Testing and Remediation
There is evidence that substance abuse causes a deficit in brain functioning. This deficit can impair the success of addiction treatments. Improvement in functioning can be measured when individuals are included in a 6 week program involving exercises for the mind that have been proven to generate new dendrites and increased blood flow to the brain. The testing processes are simple and occur at the beginning, to set a baseline, and again after 6 weeks to show progress. The tests indicate strength and weakness allowing a custom remediation program for each patient, to teach them utilize their strengths and improve on the weak areas. In the end, the ability to make choices, think clearly, and recall what they have learned assists in the successful recovery process.
Social Support Groups
Social support groups are sessions where individuals share their experiences and help each other overcome a common problem like alcohol or drug addiction. Alcoholics Anonymous is probably one of the biggest and the best known support groups. Research has shown that participation in support groups, in conjunction with other addiction treatments, are more effective in helping individuals suffering from addiction to remain sober, as compared to participating in addiction treatment by itself.
Families can play an important role in recovery. The main aim of this therapy is identifying and removing factors within the family that are blocking the patient from recovering, identifying and addressing issues that could lead to relapse in the future, increasing family support in the individual’s recovery and improving the overall functioning of the family.
Aftercare plans and continuing care
The key to long term success is providing patients with a structured aftercare plan, making the transition from an intense staff supported recovery to outpatient care smooth. The components of aftercare plans and continuing care remain more or less the same as treatment but occur less frequently – for example, the patient might be required see his counselor only once a month or engage in group therapy once a week instead of everyday to continue addiction treatment