10 treatments offered in rehab and how they work

Updated on February 26, 2021

There is a range of different treatment options offered in alcohol rehab that each support addiction recovery. These suit different people based on personal experiences of addiction and individual needs. We’ve outlined ten treatment options below, so you can get a better understanding of rehab and select what works best for you.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is a talking therapy that aims to challenge your negative thought pattern. It is centred around the belief that addictive behaviour begins with negative thoughts because your thoughts influence how you feel and behave. It offers techniques for you to challenge your negative thought pattern into thinking more positively. This may be an approach you are interested in as it leads to more positive decision making to help you in recovery. 

12-Step Programme

Known for its spiritual approach to addiction treatment, this programme develops your motivation to change and transform your life. You do not need to be religious to benefit from this type of treatment, as the 12 steps act as milestones to guide you during your recovery. The steps included range from admitting your addiction, identifying your mistakes, making amends with those close to you and improving your consciousness. Certified Psychotherapist Jason Shiers with UK Addiction Treatment says “the 12 step model has been successful for many years and is widely known”

Holistic Therapy

Combining physical, psychological and spiritual wellness, holistic therapy uses a natural approach to health, such as yoga and music therapy. You may be interested in this treatment because it offers a variety of techniques to work on your whole self and reduce your negative impulses. The belief is that by improving the three elements of wellness, you can be in complete harmony and make healthier life choices.


Mindfulness is a form of meditation that focuses on your mental awareness. It is a still practice in which you tune into your thoughts, senses, and reactions to external stimuli. This may be a good treatment option for you because it reduces feelings of being overwhelmed, which can often disrupt recovery.

Medical Detox

If you are addicted to drugs or alcohol, medical detox is the first stage of most treatment programmes. You will be supported to abstain with the help of prescribed medication. The medication helps to manage your withdrawal symptoms as well as act as a substitute for the harmful substances. Once the harmful substances are no longer in your body, you can fully engage in your remaining treatment.


Offered as either group or individual counselling, this talking therapy can help you address underlying issues that you may have suppressed, which are often the cause of addictive behaviours. Although these things can be challenging to discuss, rehab will offer a non-judgemental space to talk about your difficulties. As your treatment progresses, your counsellor will suggest coping mechanisms for you and help you reach a better understanding of yourself.

Self-Management and Recovery Training (SMART)

SMART recovery is a group programme based on motivation, coping strategies, thoughts, feelings and actions and living a balanced life. In this group, you will be offered aspects of CBT, along with other techniques to utilise independently. You may be interested in this treatment as you are empowered to choose your own tools to help you in your recovery journey.

Experiential Therapy

This is an activity-based therapy, which involves doing different activities whilst subconsciously exploring your underlying issues with a therapist. Your therapist will assess how you respond to challenges in the activities, share insights and help you to reformulate responses to challenges. This can help you to elevate any trigger points in your life that might otherwise lead to a relapse.

Solution-Focused Therapy

Solution-focused therapy is a social work approach that places focus on your strengths; despite the negative experiences you may be facing. Feelings of low self-esteem can be common during recovery from addiction, so this therapy can improve your resilience, empowerment, and motivation. It does this by acknowledging your own resources and strengths, showing you how to use these to continue in your recovery journey.

Psychodynamic Therapy

If you want to resolve past trauma, psychodynamic therapy may be ideal for you. It aims to bring your unconscious feelings into consciousness, addressing your deep-rooted emotions. This treatment option could be beneficial for you if you have had difficult life experiences, as it helps you assess the impact of these experiences to help you manage your impulses during your recovery. 

These are some of the most popular treatment options provided in rehab. Depending on which clinic you attend, you may be offered a mixture of therapies to support you for optimum chance of recovery. No matter which treatment type you choose, they all have the same goal; to help you recover from addiction.

The Editorial Team at Healthcare Business Today is made up of skilled healthcare writers and experts, led by our managing editor, Daniel Casciato, who has over 25 years of experience in healthcare writing. Since 1998, we have produced compelling and informative content for numerous publications, establishing ourselves as a trusted resource for health and wellness information. We offer readers access to fresh health, medicine, science, and technology developments and the latest in patient news, emphasizing how these developments affect our lives.