Psychotherapy plays a crucial role in addiction treatment, providing individuals with the necessary tools and support to overcome their addictive behaviors. As a renowned mental health and addiction treatment center dedicated to providing comprehensive and evidence-based care, Alamo Behavioral Health and our team of experienced professionals offer a range of specialized services, including psychotherapy for addiction, tailored to meet the unique needs of individuals struggling with addiction. Let us help you rediscover your purpose in life and begin your journey to a better tomorrow. 



Psychotherapy, also known as talk therapy or counseling, refers to a collaborative process between a trained therapist and an individual seeking help. It involves the exploration of thoughts, emotions, and behaviors to promote personal growth, alleviate distress, and facilitate positive change. Through various therapeutic techniques, psychotherapy aims to improve mental health and well-being.


The goals of psychotherapy in addiction treatment are essential for helping individuals overcome substance abuse and maintain long-term recovery. These goals include:

  1. Understanding underlying issues
  2. Developing self-awareness
  3. Acquiring coping strategies


Psychotherapy plays a vital role in addiction treatment by delving into the underlying psychological, emotional, and social factors that contribute to alcohol or drug addiction. Through a collaborative therapeutic relationship, individuals are guided to explore these issues, gaining insight into the root causes of their addictive behaviors.

Some of the most common causes of addiction are:

  1. Past trauma
  2. Unresolved conflicts
  3. Co-occurring mental health disorders

The Impact of Trauma

One significant aspect addressed in psychotherapy is the impact of trauma. Many individuals struggling with drug or alcohol addiction have experienced traumatic events in their lives, such as physical or sexual abuse, accidents, or witnessing violence. These traumatic experiences can lead to the development of maladaptive coping mechanisms, including substance abuse. Psychotherapy provides a safe and supportive space for individuals to process their trauma, heal emotional wounds, and develop healthier ways of dealing with their past.

Unresolved Conflicts and Addiction Issues

Unresolved conflicts can also contribute to addiction. These conflicts may stem from strained relationships, family issues, or unresolved personal struggles. Psychotherapy helps individuals explore these conflicts, identify patterns of behavior that perpetuate addiction, and work toward resolution. By addressing these underlying conflicts, individuals can find alternative ways of coping with emotional distress and reduce their reliance on substances.

The Relationship Between Co-Occurring Mental Health Disorders and Addiction

Co-occurring mental health disorders, such as depression, anxiety, or bipolar disorder, are common among individuals with addiction. Psychotherapy helps identifies and treat these disorders alongside addiction. Therapists work with individuals to understand the interplay between their mental health and substance use, providing integrated treatment that addresses both issues simultaneously. Managing mental health symptoms effectively allows individuals to reduce the need for self-medication through substances and improves their overall well-being.


Psychotherapy promotes self-reflection and self-awareness, enabling individuals to understand their thoughts, emotions, and patterns of behavior related to addiction better. This increased awareness helps those struggling with addiction recognize triggers, unhealthy coping mechanisms, and negative thought patterns that perpetuate substance abuse.


Psychotherapy equips individuals with effective coping strategies to manage cravings, triggers, and high-risk situations. Therapists provide practical tools and skills to navigate challenges, develop healthier ways of dealing with stress and emotional distress, and replace substance use with healthier coping mechanisms.



Several evidence-based types of psychotherapy are commonly used in addiction treatment. These include:

  1. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
  2. Motivational Interviewing (MI)
  3. Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)
  4. Group therapy and support groups


Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy is a widely utilized approach in addiction treatment. It focuses on identifying and changing unhealthy thought patterns and behaviors associated with addiction. Key components of CBT include:

  1. Identifying Distorted Thinking: Therapists help individuals recognize and challenge negative and distorted thoughts that contribute to substance abuse. These thoughts might include beliefs such as “I can’t cope without using” or “I’m unworthy of recovery.” By questioning the accuracy and validity of these thoughts, individuals can develop more realistic and positive beliefs about themselves and their recovery journey
  2. Developing Adaptive Beliefs: CBT aims to replace negative beliefs with more adaptive and empowering ones. Individuals learn to cultivate self-compassion, self-efficacy, and a sense of control over their lives. They are encouraged to challenge self-defeating thoughts and embrace more positive and affirming beliefs, such as “I am capable of change” or “I deserve a healthy and fulfilling life”
  3. Implementing Behavioral Changes: CBT emphasizes behavioral modifications to support recovery. Therapists at Alamo Behavioral Health work collaboratively with patients to develop practical strategies and action plans to reduce substance use and engage in healthier behaviors. These may include setting goals, creating a structured daily routine, practicing stress management techniques, and engaging in pleasurable activities that do not involve substance use


Motivational Interviewing is a person-centered approach widely used in addiction treatment. It aims to enhance individuals’ intrinsic motivation to change addictive behaviors by exploring their values, goals, and ambivalence toward change. Therapists utilize several techniques to facilitate the process of motivation and commitment to recovery:

  • Empathetic Listening: In MI, therapists provide a non-judgmental and empathetic space for individuals to express their thoughts, concerns, and uncertainties about changing addictive behaviors. Through active listening and genuine empathy, we seek to understand your experiences, fostering a supportive therapeutic alliance
  • Reflective Questioning: Therapists use reflective questioning techniques to help individuals explore their motivations, ambivalence, and the potential consequences of their addictive behaviors. Open-ended questions encourage individuals to delve deeper into their own thoughts and motivations, allowing for self-reflection and increased awareness
  • Eliciting Change Talk: MI encourages individuals to articulate their own reasons for change, known as change talk. We skillfully elicit and reinforce change talk by highlighting the individual’s own desires, values, and goals related to recovery. We amplify your own motivation so you become more committed to making positive changes
  • Developing Discrepancy: We work collaboratively with you to explore the discrepancies between your current behaviors and desired goals or values. By highlighting this discrepancy, you become more aware of the need for change
  • Enhancing Self-Efficacy: MI focuses on building your confidence and belief in your ability to change. Therapists reinforce individuals’ strengths, past successes, and coping skills to enhance self-efficacy
  • Goal-Setting: MI incorporates goal-setting techniques to support individuals in establishing meaningful and achievable goals related to recovery. Therapists collaborate with individuals to develop realistic action plans that align with their values and aspirations. These goals provide a roadmap for change and serve as motivation along the recovery journey

How MI Helps You Handle Mixed Feelings About Changing Your Behavior

Motivational Interviewing recognizes that you may initially have mixed feelings or ambivalence about changing your addictive behaviors. The person-centered and collaborative nature of MI helps you explore and resolve ambivalence, leading to an increased commitment to change. By fostering motivation from within, MI empowers you to take ownership of your recovery process and make positive, sustainable changes in your life.

In addiction treatment, integrating Motivational Interviewing with other therapeutic approaches can enhance engagement, promote self-reflection, and facilitate positive behavioral changes.


Dialectical Behavior Therapy is a comprehensive and evidence-based approach that combines elements of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) with mindfulness practices. DBT was initially developed to treat individuals with borderline personality disorder, but it has proven effective in addressing addiction and various other mental health conditions. DBT focuses on the following areas:

  • Emotion Regulation: One core component of DBT is helping individuals develop skills to regulate their emotions effectively. Therapists assist individuals in identifying and understanding their emotions, including intense or overwhelming emotions often associated with addiction. Through various techniques, such as identifying triggers, mindfulness practices, and cognitive restructuring, individuals learn to manage and express emotions in healthier ways
  • Distress Tolerance: DBT emphasizes the development of distress tolerance skills to navigate challenging situations without resorting to self-destructive behaviors, such as substance abuse. Individuals learn strategies to tolerate distressing emotions, urges, and crises without engaging in impulsive or harmful actions. These skills include distraction techniques, self-soothing methods, and crisis survival strategies
  • Interpersonal Effectiveness: DBT addresses difficulties in interpersonal relationships commonly experienced by individuals with addiction. Therapists help individuals improve their communication skills, assertiveness, and boundary-setting abilities. By learning effective ways to express needs, negotiate conflicts, and maintain healthy relationships, individuals can build a supportive network and reduce interpersonal triggers for substance abuse
  • Mindfulness Practices: Mindfulness is a core component of DBT. Individuals learn to cultivate non-judgmental awareness of the present moment, promoting acceptance and reducing emotional reactivity. Mindfulness exercises, such as meditation, breathing techniques, and body scans, help individuals develop a greater sense of self-awareness, self-compassion, and the ability to observe and regulate their thoughts and emotions

How Is DBT Delivered?

DBT is typically delivered through:

  • Individual therapy sessions
  • Skills training groups
  • Phone coaching
  • Consultation teams

It emphasizes a non-judgmental and validating therapeutic environment where individuals feel supported and understood. DBT is a structured and goal-oriented approach, empowering individuals to build a life worth living, free from addictive behaviors.

Through integrating elements of cognitive-behavioral therapy, mindfulness practices, and skill development, DBT equips individuals with practical tools and strategies to reduce the risk of relapse, regulate emotions, cope with distress, improve interpersonal relationships, and cultivate a balanced and mindful approach to life.

Skills Acquired With DBT

DBT involves the development of various skills to support recovery and promote overall well-being. Some essential skills include:

  • Stress Management Techniques: Individuals learn and practice stress reduction strategies such as deep breathing exercises, mindfulness, meditation, and relaxation techniques
  • Problem-Solving and Decision-Making Skills: Therapists provide guidance and tools for evaluating options, considering consequences, and making informed choices that align with their recovery goals
  • Healthy Communication and Relationship-Building Skills: Building healthy relationships is crucial in the recovery process. Psychotherapy and DBT assist individuals in developing effective communication skills, setting boundaries, and fostering healthy connections. These skills contribute to improved interpersonal relationships and a supportive network that aids in the recovery journey


Group therapy provides a supportive environment for individuals to share experiences, receive feedback, and gain support from peers facing similar challenges. Support groups, such as 12-step programs like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA), offer additional support and a sense of community, allowing individuals to connect with others in recovery.


Alamo Behavioral Health offers a range of therapeutic interventions tailored to meet the unique needs of individuals seeking help for addiction. Our team of qualified professionals, including therapists and counselors, specialize in various modalities, including Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Motivational Interviewing (MI), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), and group therapy.

Through a compassionate and supportive approachAlamo Behavioral Health empowers you to overcome addiction, improve your mental well-being, and build a foundation for a fulfilling and substance-free life.


When embarking on psychotherapy at Alamo Behavioral Health, the process begins with an initial assessment and evaluation. During this stage, individuals meet with experienced professionals who conduct a thorough evaluation to understand their unique needs, history, and treatment goals. Based on the assessment findings, personalized treatment plans are created, taking into account the specific challenges and strengths of each individual. The treatment plans outline the recommended therapeutic approaches and interventions tailored to address the individual’s needs.

The duration and frequency of psychotherapy sessions at Alamo Behavioral Health are determined collaboratively between the individual and their therapist. Depending on the severity of the addiction and individual circumstances, sessions may be scheduled weekly, bi-weekly, or in accordance with the treatment plan.

Confidentiality and privacy are of utmost importance at Alamo Behavioral Health. The information shared during psychotherapy sessions is treated with the strictest confidentiality. We follow professional, ethical guidelines and legal requirements. Our therapists prioritize maintaining the privacy and trust of our patients. That way, they ensure that your personal information remains confidential within the bounds of the therapeutic relationship. You can feel secure in sharing your thoughts, feelings, and experiences, knowing that your privacy is respected and protected.


Through various evidence-based approaches, psychotherapy addresses underlying psychological factors, develops coping strategies, and fosters personal growth. We offer comprehensive psychotherapy services tailored to meet your specific needs. Our team of experienced professionals is there to help you overcome addiction and achieve long-term recovery. If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, we encourage you to take the first step toward healing.

Together, we can embark on a journey of transformation, empowering you to live a healthier, more fulfilling life free from the grip of addiction. Take the important step today and contact Alamo Behavioral Health to begin your path to recovery.



Reach out to our detox center in San Antonio and jumpstart your recovery. Our all-inclusive inpatient rehab for veterans in Texas is there for you.


Discuss your treatment and insurance options with your San Antonio rehab advisor and find the most effective recovery program for you.


Let us help you regain control of your life today! Move forward with your treatment in one of the most serene detox centers in San Antonio.

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