Psychotherapy is provided in both individual format and group sessions. The individual format allows a trust bond to develop with the therapist while underlying psychological issues are examined and processed. Group sessions provide an opportunity for bonding with peers in a discussion format that is facilitated by a clinician.
Medication. In most instances, a psychotropic medication will be prescribed to help manage the symptoms of the mental health condition. These drugs include antidepressants, benzodiazepines, lithium, and others. For the substance use disorder, medication-assisted treatment (MAT) may be utilized for some clients to help minimize withdrawals and reduce cravings. These drugs, such as naltrexone or Suboxone, may be prescribed for the first year of recovery to help increase the sustainability of sobriety while the individual is stabilizing.
Recovery meetings. Many outpatient and inpatient rehabs incorporated recovery group meetings into the program. These may involve A.A. 12-step program or an alternative such as SMART Recovery. These meetings provide social support during treatment and in recovery moving forward. The philosophies that are at the core of the programs is sometimes also woven into the rehab program.
Education. Learning about how the brain is impacted by the substance of abuse can be enlightening to individuals in treatment. These classes help clients understand how increased tolerance to the effects of the substance of choice leads to escalated consumption, and eventually chemical dependence. Clients are guided toward forming their own personal relapse prevention plan, outlining strategies and identifying triggers. Recovery tools, such as coping skills, relaxation techniques, and conflict resolution skills are also taught.
Holistic therapies. Holistic therapies can be very therapeutic for individuals with a co-occurring mental health disorder. These activities help regulate emotions, decrease stress, and promote feelings of relaxation. The therapies are useful throughout recovery, not only during rehab. Holistic therapies might include meditation, art therapy, massage therapy, yoga, equine therapy, and acupuncture.
Aftercare. Someone with a dual diagnosis must be vigilant in recovery and remain engaged in treatment, although at a less intensive level. Once rehab has been completed, continued involvement with outpatient services, such as individual and group therapy, is essential. Therapy provides a source of support during that first challenging year after rehab when relapse risk is highest. Also, continuing on with a recovery community is also a protective factor in recovery. In addition, establishing a healthy lifestyle including regular exercise and a healthy diet is also restorative and promotes overall wellbeing and confidence.