There are a number of different therapy techniques for treating addiction.
This is something I’ve noticed the longer I’ve stayed clean and sober in recovery. Different people use different strategies for maintaining their recovery.
And wouldn’t you know it – different things work for different people.
If you look at the numbers when it comes to recovery and relapse the odds can be a bit daunting. Most people don’t make it in recovery. Given that, doesn’t it make sense for the struggling addict to try different approaches to staying clean? Should they not experiment until they find something that works for them?
Traditional recovery wisdom doesn’t actually support this idea though. In fact, most people’s advice for the struggling addict or alcoholic is to keep doing the same thing but only to try harder. “You slipped up and started drinking again? Come back to the meetings!” This seems to go against the conventional 12 step wisdom that “insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” If that is true then why would you encourage someone who keeps relapsing to continue to use the same recovery strategy? Why not follow the prevailing wisdom and encourage them to seek a new path?
There are many different paths to sobriety, and there are a number of recovery strategies available. Let’s consider:
1) Meetings, 12 step fellowships
2) Group therapy (non 12 step)
3) Addiction therapy or one-on-one counseling
4) Long term treatment
5) Holistic wellness programs
And so on. So if you are new to recovery and you want to insure your best chance at staying clean, you owe it to yourself to explore your options and find what works best for you. If you listen to the prevailing wisdom in traditional recovery circles then you can expect to get the average rate of success (which is not very high). It might pay off to think outside the box when it comes to your recovery program, as that is what I’ve seen work so well in the success stories that I know in my own recovery network. Non-traditional recovery programs seem to produce the best results based on what I’ve seen (and experienced).
Furthermore, if you’ve tried and failed to stay clean and sober in the past, then you really need to push yourself to explore new options. Whatever you did before did not work. So do something different. Try a new approach. Find what works for you and then leverage it to the fullest.