Types of Counselling

Explore the different types of counselling used for addiction treatment, providing insights into various therapeutic approaches and their effectiveness in addressing addiction. 

Exploring the Different Types of Counselling Use For Addiction Treatment

Counselling is a broad and diverse field with various approaches and techniques. It is essential to have a clear understanding of the different types of counselling available to make an informed decision about which one may be best suited to your needs. This article aims to explore the basics of counselling, the importance of seeking counselling, the various types of counselling, factors to consider when choosing a counselling type, and the role of the counsellor in different therapy approaches.

What we will cover in this article

  • ​The Various Types of Counselling​
  • Choosing the Right Type of Counselling
  • Factors to Consider When Choosing a Counselling Type
  • What therapy do we recommend for addiction?

The Various Types of Counselling

When it comes to seeking support and guidance for addiction and mental health, there are several different types of counselling approaches available. Each approach has its own unique theoretical foundations and techniques, offering individuals a range of options to find the most effective and suitable form of therapy for their needs.

Addiction Counselling

Addiction counselling is tailored to help individuals overcome dependency on substances like drugs, alcohol, or certain behaviours. This therapeutic approach offers a safe and supportive environment where clients can address the underlying issues contributing to their addiction. Counsellors work with clients to develop coping mechanisms, set achievable recovery goals, and rebuild relationships affected by addiction. Techniques might include cognitive-behavioural strategies, motivational interviewing, and relapse prevention planning. Addiction counselling can be vital in navigating the complex journey from dependency towards a healthier, substance-free lifestyle.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

CBT is a structured, time-limited therapy that aims to solve problems concerning dysfunctional emotions, behaviours, and cognitions through a goal-oriented, systematic procedure. CBT is based on the concept that thoughts, feelings, and behaviours are interconnected and that changing one can change others. This approach is widely used to treat a variety of disorders, including depression, anxiety, and PTSD, by helping individuals identify and challenge negative thought patterns and engage in more positive behaviours.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)

Dialectical Behavior Therapy is a type of cognitive-behavioural therapy that emphasizes the psychosocial aspects of treatment. DBT is particularly effective for individuals with borderline personality disorder and those exhibiting self-harm behaviours or suicidal ideation. The therapy combines standard CBT techniques for emotion regulation and reality-testing with concepts of distress tolerance, acceptance, and mindful awareness largely derived from Buddhist meditative practice.

Group Therapy

Group therapy involves one or more therapists working with several people at the same time. It is often focused on a particular issue, such as anxiety, depression, or substance abuse. Participants can benefit from the shared experiences of group members, providing mutual support and encouragement. The dynamic of group therapy allows individuals to develop communication skills, self-awareness, and socialization techniques, contributing to their healing process.

Person-centred Therapy

Person-centred therapy, developed by Carl Rogers, emphasizes the importance of the individual's ability to develop in a conducive environment. It operates on the principle that individuals are inherently good and capable of self-awareness and self-directed growth. The therapist offers unconditional positive regard, empathy, and genuineness, helping clients to understand their feelings and aiding them in finding their own solutions to their problems.

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)

EMDR is a relatively new, nontraditional type of psychotherapy that's growing in popularity, particularly for treating post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It involves the patient recalling distressing experiences while receiving one of several types of bilateral sensory input, such as side-to-side eye movements or hand tapping. EMDR is thought to be effective because recalling distressing events is less emotionally upsetting when your attention is diverted, allowing the brain to reprocess the experience in a more adaptive way.

Psychodynamic Therapy

Psychodynamic therapy focuses on uncovering and understanding the unconscious motives that drive behaviours. This approach is based on the theories of Freud and others and seeks to delve into an individual’s past to uncover unresolved conflicts. It is a depth-oriented therapy aimed at bringing the unconscious into consciousness, helping individuals understand the roots of their emotional distress.

Art Therapy

Art therapy integrates psychotherapeutic techniques with the creative process to improve mental health and well-being. It allows individuals to express themselves through art-making, facilitating self-exploration and understanding. This form of therapy is used for a wide range of mental health conditions and situations as it transcends language barriers and taps into the non-verbal aspects of therapy.

Family Therapy

Family therapy is a form of psychotherapy that aims to resolve family issues through family counselling. In a safe space, family members explore their relationships with each other and work on communication and conflict-resolution skills. The therapy is based on the belief that problems exist between people, not within people, which means changing the family dynamics can resolve individual issues.

Motivational Interviewing

Motivational Interviewing is a counselling method that helps people resolve ambivalent feelings and insecurities to find the internal motivation they need to change their behaviour. It is a practical, empathetic, and short-term process that takes into consideration how difficult it is to make life changes.

Integrative Therapy

Integrative therapy, or integrative counselling, is a combined approach to psychotherapy that brings together different elements of specific therapies. Integrative therapists take the view that there is no single approach that can treat each client in all situations. Each person needs to be considered as a whole, and counselling techniques must be tailored to their individual needs and personal circumstances.

Substance Abuse Counseling

Substance abuse counselling is a comprehensive mental health treatment that addresses the facets of an individual’s addiction, including psychological, physical, and social aspects. Counsellors in this field work with clients to identify behaviours and problems related to their substance use. Through therapy, individuals learn coping strategies, gain insights into their behaviours, and develop recovery plans.

Solution-Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT)

Solution-Focused Brief Therapy is a goal-directed collaborative approach to psychotherapeutic change that is conducted through direct observation of clients' responses to a series of precisely constructed questions. Based upon social constructionist thinking and Wittgensteinian philosophy, SFBT focuses on addressing what clients want to achieve without delving into the history of their problems. This approach is future-focused, and goal-oriented, and works on building solutions rather than dissecting problems.

Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT)

Emotional Freedom Techniques, or EFT, is a form of counselling intervention that draws on various theories of alternative medicine including acupuncture, neuro-linguistic programming, energy medicine, and Thought Field Therapy. It is often referred to as "psychological acupressure" and uses fingertip tapping to apply pressure to specific energy points on the body while thinking about a particular problem or aiming for a particular emotional state.

Couples Therapy

Couples therapy is a type of psychotherapy in which a therapist with clinical experience working with couples, most often a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT), helps two people involved in a romantic relationship gain insight into their relationship, resolve conflict and improve relationship satisfaction utilizing a variety of therapeutic interventions. Although the practice of couples therapy may vary depending on the therapist’s theoretical orientation, it is ideally a structured, time-limited form of treatment that identifies and treats specific problems within the relationship.

Choosing the Right Type of Counselling

When deciding on the right type of counselling for your needs, it is important to consider several factors. These may include your specific concerns, goals for therapy, personal preferences, and the expertise and approach of the counsellor. Reflecting on these factors can help you make an informed decision that aligns with your needs and values.

Another crucial factor to consider is the cultural competence of the counsellor. It is important to find a therapist who understands and respects your cultural background, beliefs, and values. A culturally sensitive counsellor can create a safe and inclusive space for you to explore your thoughts and emotions without judgment.

With such a variety of counselling approaches available, it is important to remember that finding the right fit may require some exploration and experimentation. What works for one person may not work for another, and that's perfectly okay. The key is to be open to the possibilities and to find a therapist who can guide and support you on your journey towards improved mental health and well-being.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Counselling Type

  • ​The nature of your concerns or challenges​
  • Your specific goals for therapy
  • Previous experiences with therapy
  • Your personal values and preferences
  • Theoretical approaches that resonate with you
  • The credentials and expertise of the counsellor

What therapy do we recommend for addiction?

After years of experience in the industry, delivering hundreds of hours of counselling and working across various rehabilitation centres, our team has garnered extensive expertise. Our program amalgamates a broad spectrum of therapeutic approaches to offer a comprehensive treatment solution.

At the core of our methodology lies person-centred therapy, ensuring we establish meaningful connections with clients, characterized by empathy, attentive listening, and understanding. This foundation allows us to build trust and a positive therapeutic relationship.

Incorporating cognitive strategies from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), our approach addresses the psychological aspects of addiction, including disruptive thoughts and cravings. These techniques empower clients to understand and manage their thought patterns and behaviours effectively.

Delving into the client's story, we apply principles of psychodynamic therapy to identify the roots of addiction, facilitating a deeper understanding of their personal history and its impact.

Additionally, when necessary, we integrate couples and family therapy to mend trust and foster healing within the home environment. This holistic perspective aims to heal the individual comprehensively.
Our structured eight-week program ensures focused and goal-oriented counselling, leading to optimal outcomes for our clients by providing them with a holistic and guided path to recovery.

The Counselling Process

Our team of counsellors is distinguished by their diverse training in a wide array of therapeutic methodologies, ensuring a multifaceted approach to treatment. Each counsellor brings a rich background in person-centred therapy, fostering an environment of empathy and understanding. They are proficient in cognitive techniques from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), which are critical in addressing the psychological components of addiction. Their expertise also encompasses psychodynamic therapy, providing insights into the underlying causes of addictive behaviours. Additionally, they are skilled in conducting both couples and family therapy, essential for repairing relationships and ensuring a supportive recovery environment. This comprehensive training allows our counsellors to tailor their approach to meet the unique needs of each client, promoting effective and lasting healing.

Unsure of Your Best Option?

Deciding on the right therapy can be challenging. The most effective starting point is to schedule an assessment and have a discussion with a member of our team. This initial conversation is a crucial step towards understanding which therapeutic approach will best suit your needs.


Last edited on: 07-05-24

Reviewed By:

Clinically reviewed on: 07-05-24

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