The Benefits of a Co-Ed Rehab Treatment Facility

Hard drugs on dark table

Men and women approach treatment and recovery from substance use disorder (SUD) differently. Societal expectations and personal experiences all influence how SUD affects you. Each gender has a very different experience before, during, and after rehabilitation. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), “Women often use drugs differently, respond to drugs differently, and can have unique obstacles to effective treatment.”

Newport Beach Recovery Center uses co-ed and gender-specific treatments to help men and women heal from the damage caused by substance misuse.

What Is a Co-ed Treatment Facility?

Co-ed rehab facilities cater to men, women, and individuals who identify as nonbinary. All clients share the same facility and attend group therapy and activities together. In some cases, there may be multiple levels of care, with some treatment programs only focusing on one gender.

For example, at Newport Beach Recovery Center, our sober living community is tailored to individuals who identify as male. However, we offer co-ed outpatient treatment and other programs that provide services to men and women seeking treatment for SUD.

Contact our office or visit our outpatient page to learn more about our programs.

Do You Offer Couples Treatment for Alcohol and Drug Addiction?

Couples addiction treatment in the form of couples recovery retreats and marriage retreats can be powerful modalities through which to approach recovery and rebuilding a healthy relationship with your partner. Although Newport Beach Recovery Center does not offer couples retreats in the traditional sense, our outpatient behavioral couples therapy (BCT) and sober living arrangements have helped many couples struggling with addiction find their way to recovery.

Similar to co-ed treatment, couples therapy can help identify and address elements of a relationship that may be contributing to substance misuse. By working together to become and stay sober, many couples also find their bond only grows stronger and more stable, bringing happiness and satisfaction back into the relationship.

Our sober living services can also help couples who have undergone treatment together to find a supportive, substance-free living space while they continue co-ed outpatient treatment to aid their recovery journey.

How Does a Co-ed Treatment Facility Approach Gender-Specific Issues?

Gender-specific care ensures that every client receives the treatment they need to heal and develop essential recovery skills. Treatment centers that treat men and women often have certain activities where men and women split into different groups to address gender-specific topics. Individuals who identify as LGBTQIA+ can join whichever group they feel most comfortable participating in during treatment.

Trauma and individual counseling are also essential for gender-specific issues that some people might not want to discuss in a co-ed group. If you feel uncertain about what topics are appropriate for co-ed group therapy, you can talk with your therapist or the facility staff. We generally avoid the following common issues during co-ed group sessions, including:

  • Domestic violence and abuse
  • Sexual abuse and harassment
  • Anger management issues related to partner violence

Sensitive topics like these can make some people feel uncomfortable when discussed with the opposite gender. We generally reserve them for trauma, gender-focused, or individual therapy sessions.

How Can Peers Benefit from Treatment in a Co-ed Facility?

The rehabilitation process relies on peer support to encourage the development of healthier routines, behaviors, and thought patterns that benefit individuals once they return to the real world. Sober peers help you stay focused, motivated, and accountable for your recovery. In addition, co-ed peer groups show you the recovery process from multiple points of view and allow you to practice setting social boundaries.

Everyone within the sober community benefits when men and women are encouraged to explore and share their experiences. Also, for many people in recovery, the connections they make with peers can last a lifetime and provide essential emotional support.

Do Men and Women Have Different Reactions to Treatment?

Men and women may have different reactions to treatment based on their socioeconomic status and how it affects their relationships. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), “In general, women with SUDs have less education and employment experience than men with SUDs.” Some women rely on men to finance their treatment, causing additional stress. Women have limited options compared to men, meaning they often attend facilities with more male than female clients.

Newport Beach Recovery Center offers gender-focused therapy sessions to ensure women get the support they need when attending co-ed programs. Our personalized treatment takes into account cultural, religious, and gender preferences. We believe everyone should have access to high-quality, effective treatment programs that address their individual needs.

Recovery may look different for men and women. However, in many cases, they have more shared experiences. Group sessions and co-ed activities provide an excellent opportunity for peers to form a close-knit community.

What Are the Treatment Options for Individuals Who Identify as LGBTQIA+?

Couple deep in drug troubles

Individuals who identify as LGBTQIA+ face unique challenges during treatment and ongoing recovery from SUD. Co-ed treatment programs offer greater freedom for LBGTQIA+ clients to engage with whichever gender they identify with the strongest.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “When compared with the general population, gay and bisexual men, lesbian, and transgender individuals are more likely to:

  • Use alcohol and drugs,
  • Have higher rates of substance abuse,
  • Not withhold from alcohol and drug use, and
  • Continue heavy drinking into later life.”

Newport Beach Recovery Center welcomes diversity and takes steps to accommodate anyone who identifies as LGBTQIA+. As previously mentioned, individuals who identify as LGBTQIA+ can choose to attend whichever groups make them feel most comfortable. We treat every client with respect and compassion. If you identify as LGBTQIA+, our care team can help you determine the best treatment program to meet your needs and preferences.

Men and women have unique experiences during the treatment and recovery process. Research has shown that both genders misuse substances differently and sometimes for unrelated reasons.

In addition, men and women generally do not prefer the same substances. Statistics also show that risk factors and side effects can differ between genders.

Why Choose Newport Beach Recovery Center?

Newport Beach Recovery Center offers gender-focused and co-ed group therapy. Men and women can benefit from hearing how the other gender experiences and copes with recovery. Co-ed groups can learn from each other and have a better outcome.

Don’t wait. Start your journey to a stronger bond, healthier relationship, and better life with Newport Beach Recovery Center today! To learn more about how we accommodate gender-focused care, call our office today at (949) 706-4016.

What Happens During an Admissions Assessment?

What Happens During an Admissions Assessment?

If you are new to rehabilitation, undergoing an admissions assessment might feel scary or overwhelming. The information gathered during the evaluation will help your care team create a personalized treatment plan. Your admissions interview provides us with essential details about your needs and current health. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), “Assessment comprises a medical and psychological history along with family, social, sexual, and drug use histories and a physical examination.” Newport Beach Recovery Center provides a comprehensive assessment for every new client to ensure they get access to appropriate treatment.

What Should You Expect?

Many people who undergo an admissions assessment have never received professional treatment for their substance abuse. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), “For many people, drug and alcohol problems begin as self-medication: using substances to cope with temporary stress or to manage symptoms of chronic mental health problems they may not even know they have.” The comprehensive admissions assessment at Newport Beach Recovery Center will allow our admissions specialist to determine if there are any undiagnosed co-occurring disorders.

You can expect to do the following during an admissions assessment:

  • Provide family medical history
  • Disclose the substances abused along with how long, what dose, and how frequently they were abused
  • Information on any past treatment or attempts at abstinence
  • Give a detailed description of current thoughts, beliefs, and behaviors regarding substance abuse and treatment
  • Undergo additional testing as needed

The more honest you are during this portion of the admissions process, the easier it will be for your care team to create a personalized treatment plan. If for some reason you can’t be fully honest, they can adjust your treatment plan later on in the process.

What Questions Do They Ask During an Admissions Assessment?

The questions you get asked during the admissions assessment will depend on a range of factors, including the type of substance and degree of symptoms. Your answers will provide a foundation for treatment and recovery.

Some of the questions you may have to answer about your history and experiences include:

  • What is your mental health and substance abuse history?
  • Have you ever undergone treatment for substance use disorder? If so, where, when, and what type of treatment did you experience?
  • What substances have you used? When did you start and stop taking them? What amount did you take?
  • Does your family have any history of substance abuse or mental health disorders?

The questions may seem very personal, and some people worry that the information they provide will be shared with family, coworkers, or law enforcement. Newport Beach Recovery Center does not break client confidentiality except in cases where legally required to do so. We believe that discretion and anonymous services provide more people with the opportunity to get help without shame.

What Information Should You Bring With You to an Admissions Assessment?

During the admissions process, you may need to provide the following information:

  • Your family phone numbers or an emergency contact
  • Details on any current medications, including the name, dose, and prescribing physician
  • Any diagnosed mental health disorders
  • Insurance card

You will provide a lot of information to set the foundation for your treatment. Some people find it helpful to call ahead of time to get a list of all the details they might need to provide.

How Are Admissions Assessments Used to Personalize Treatment?

Newport Beach Recovery Center uses the information provided during admissions assessments to personalize treatment. We believe everyone has unique traumas, needs, and preferences that can guide recovery. Our team will help you determine the best approach to treatment by offering our expert opinions. You will have the ultimate choice on your recovery goals and treatment plan.

An assessment can personalize treatment by doing the following:

  • Identifying problem areas that need addressing
  • Narrowing down possible treatment options
  • Identifying undiagnosed co-occurring disorders

Try to go into the process with an open mind. Everything you share will ensure a more personalized rehabilitation experience.

What Are the Benefits of a Comprehensive Admissions Process?

A comprehensive admissions assessment can benefit individuals who are new to treatment or have recently undergone significant life changes. Our clinician will take into account any diagnosed or undiagnosed issues that might interfere with your ability to achieve and maintain sobriety. We understand that rehabilitation is complex, and you might need several levels of care before you feel confident in your recovery. You can rely on us to work beside you every step of the way.

The primary benefits of honestly answering questions for the admissions process include the following:

  • Proposed treatment options will consist of only relevant services and programs
  • The care team will have access to necessary details, including any instances of relapse
  • Your care team will know what type of support will give you the most significant relief

The more you share with your care team, the better prepared they can be to help you overcome any unexpected challenges.

Some people who struggle with substance abuse might hesitate to get help because they do not know what to expect during the admissions process. One of the most important steps involves a comprehensive assessment that determines your physical and mental health. Newport Beach Recovery Center uses the admissions assessment to determine what treatment approach will work best for each client. During an admissions assessment, you will talk with a mental health professional who will diagnose your condition, get your medical history, and document any relevant information about your health. The information we gather from you during that meeting will provide us with essential details we can use for personalized treatment. To learn more, call us today at (888) 850-0363.

What Are the Benefits of Transferring to Newport Beach Recovery Center?

What Are the Benefits of Transferring to Newport Beach Recovery Center?

Some people with substance use disorder (SUD) transition between different facilities and programs if their circumstances change. The choice to transfer can provide some clients with the care they really need. According to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), “[A] spectrum of effective strategies and services are available to identify, treat, and manage substance use problems and substance use disorders.” Newport Beach Recovery Center offers a full continuum of care and personalized treatment options. Our facility is ideal for individuals who do not require hospitalization while still needing various levels of structured care.

Why Do Some Clients Transfer to Newport Beach Recovery Center?

Sometimes during treatment, a person experiences a setback or recovers faster than expected. If their current facility does not provide higher or lower levels of care, they may transfer to another treatment facility like Newport Beach Recovery Center.

A few reasons people transfer to Newport Beach Recovery Center include the following:

  • They experience a sudden change in their recovery
  • A medical or mental health professional referred them to the program
  • They experience a relapse or other setback that requires supervised care

No matter what stage you have achieved in your recovery, Newport Beach Recovery Center can help you continue moving forward. Our care team genuinely cares about the safety and comfort of all our clients. We will collaborate with you to ensure you have the best possible outcome.

What Treatment Options Does Newport Beach Recovery Center Offer?

The Newport Beach Recovery Center care team has your best interest at heart, and we provide only the best treatment options. We have a full continuum of care to ensure clients can work with the same people through every stage of rehabilitation. The programs we offer at our facility include:

  • Comprehensive psychiatric evaluation
  • Detox
  • Stabilization
  • Medication-assisted treatment (MAT)
  • Management and withdrawal
  • Residential (RTC)
  • Partial hospitalization (PHP)
  • Intensive Outpatient (IOP)
  • Outpatient
  • Sober Living

The treatment programs are co-ed and support people who identify as men, women, and nonbinary. However, our sober living housing only hosts men at this time. Still, we are willing to help women and nonbinary individuals find other housing accommodations. Our team ensures that anyone seeking help has access to the treatment program that will give them the best possible outcome. We believe everyone can achieve and maintain sobriety if they have the right tools.

How Can Our Services Help You Heal?

Your recovery and health are our top priorities at Newport Beach Recovery Center. We believe that everyone should have access to inclusive, high-quality services. Moreover, we prioritize personalized treatment. If you transfer to our facility from another program, we can smooth that transition and help you achieve emotional stabilization. Sometimes, we even offer access to personalized services that other facilities cannot provide.

Some of the unique addiction recovery services we offer include:

  • Case management
  • Medication management
  • Gym memberships
  • Community activities and events
  • Group outings
  • Alumni services
  • Aftercare planning

We will work with you to accommodate any spiritual, religious, or personal preferences or beliefs you would like incorporated into your treatment plan. In addition, we also offer trauma-focused therapy that ensures we address any underlying traumas that contributed to your disorder. Our team can help you identify problem areas and find healthy solutions.

Long-Term Recovery, Aftercare, and Alumni Services

Aftercare is essential to the services we offer at Newport Beach Recovery Center. Our care team will collaborate with you to plan for the transition back home or into a sober living community.

Aftercare plans often include the following:

  • Referrals to community clinics and therapy offices
  • Information about local 12-Step and self-help groups
  • Relapse prevention and crisis management strategies

Newport Beach Recovery Center ensures every client has the tools they need to maintain sobriety after completing our programs. However, we understand that sometimes stress can build or triggers may cause some people to backslide into unhealthy thought patterns. We offer aftercare services that continue to provide support and resources to our alumni after they transition into independent recovery. Everyone needs a helping hand sometimes, and we are always here to provide our alumni with referrals or a return to structured care to help them maintain sobriety.

Newport Beach Recovery Center Believes in Your Recovery

Our team is passionate about helping individuals and families recover from substance abuse. We understand the devastation it can cause, and we want to help. All of our staff and clinicians go above and beyond to provide clients with excellent care. You can rely on us to provide you with the following:

  • Ethical, evidence-based, and compassionate treatment
  • Skill development
  • Psychoeducation 
  • Relapse prevention
  • Gender-focused therapy
  • An inclusive and welcoming environment for healing

We ensure all our clients have the tools and information they need to make positive life changes and maintain sobriety. You are not alone. We can help you get the support you need to heal and grow. Our team will meet you wherever you are today and guide you through the recovery process. We believe in your ability to overcome challenges and successfully achieve long-term sobriety.

Individuals who feel like they have not received the help they need from other programs may benefit from transferring to Newport Beach Recovery Center. We offer a full continuum of care that provides personalized treatment, case management, and aftercare planning, among other services. Our facility will give you access to the tools you need to successfully achieve and maintain sobriety. Additionally, we help you build up your social support system. We believe everyone benefits from high-quality treatment and a top-notch care team. You can rely on us to guide you through all the stages of treatment and recovery at your own pace. To learn more, call us today at (888) 850-0363.

Who Benefits From Attending Marriage Therapy In Recovery?

Who Benefits From Attending Marriage Therapy While at Newport Beach Recovery Center?

Individuals recovering from substance use disorder (SUD) often have relationship issues that need addressing during treatment. According to the Journal of Food and Drug Analysis, “Couples or family sessions can help families address their questions and concerns, change how they interact within the family system, and improve communication.” Newport Beach Recovery Center offers family and marriage therapy to clients in all of our treatment programs. We can help you heal from the damaging side effects of substance abuse and repair essential relationships.

What Is Marriage Counseling?

During marriage or couples therapy, you will attend joint therapy sessions with your significant other. Depending on the program, sessions might take place in person or online. Outpatient clients often benefit from in-person appointments. However, individuals new to rehabilitation or early in treatment might do better using telehealth services. For some people, physical distance can decrease stress and make it easier to focus on recovery.

Marriage counseling usually consists of the following:

  • Weekly joint and individual sessions
  • Homework that may include documenting events or practicing coping skills
  • Discussing problems and improving skills like conflict resolution

Often, the tension between couples improves when they increase communication and establish healthy boundaries. According to BMC Public Health, “Studies have found significant improvements in relationship satisfaction from pre- to post-treatment and throughout one to two years following [counseling].” Couples therapy can guide you through the process of resolving conflicts healthily. Once you identify your needs and any relationship problems, you can address them in therapy sessions.

How Can Marriage Issues Interfere With Rehabilitation?

Many people in recovery choose to focus on their mental health without prioritizing their relationships. However, social interactions and the support of loved ones play a vital role in relapse prevention and long-term recovery. Ultimately, the decision to include your partner in the process often depends on the circumstances of your relationship.

The most common ways that relationship issues can interfere with rehabilitation include the following:

  • Loss of emotional and social support
  • Increased stress, anxiety, or depression
  • Lower self-esteem and self-confidence
  • Financial strain
  • Family instability

Couples with children face the added challenge of navigating relationship issues while prioritizing their children’s development and well-being. You can successfully overcome these problems by making an effort to include marriage therapy in your treatment plan.

What Are the Benefits of Marriage Therapy?

Marriage or couples therapy can help you communicate your feelings and give you insight into what your significant other needs. Couples therapy does the following:

  • Allows couples to focus on their relationship and each other
  • Improves overall communication
  • Provides access to an unbiased and objective outside perspective
  • Improves self-awareness and personal growth
  • Decreases risk of divorce or separation
  • Encourages healthier family dynamics

In addition to providing support and conflict resolution, marriage therapy also lowers the risk of relapse triggered by relationship stress. Therapy can help couples forgive past mistakes, accept current circumstances, and move forward. According to the Journal of Family Psychology, “[R]esearchers have concluded that forgiveness is the cornerstone of a successful relationship.” You can reconcile with your loved one or strengthen an already strong bond by attending therapy and finding ways to support one another.

Should You Attend Marriage Therapy During Treatment or Aftercare?

Not everyone needs marriage therapy, and sometimes one or both individuals may not be ready to take that step. Treatment requires a couple to willingly work together and agree on a healthy path forward. However, sometimes it takes a while to reach that point. If you and your significant other struggle to see eye to eye or have unresolved issues, therapy may help.

Most people do not attend marriage therapy during detox or early recovery. Instead, they spend that time focusing on achieving physical and psychological stability. However, in the later stages of treatment or aftercare, relationship issues may become a significant stressor that requires attention. You can collaborate with your care team to determine if marriage therapy will improve your outcome and lower your risk of relapse. Usually, individual therapy is the best place to start. In some cases, people choose to include marriage therapy later after they feel more confident in their sobriety and emotional stability.

You Can Repair Your Relationships

Every couple faces ups and downs in their relationship. Substance abuse may cause significant tension. Addressing issues early, learning to communicate effectively, and compromising will help you repair any damage. It’ll also stop SUD from causing more problems within your relationship.

Marriage issues can interfere with recovery if left unaddressed. You may feel helpless or uncertain about how to repair your relationship from the damage caused by substance abuse. However, you can heal your relationship and forge deeper bonds with your family and significant other. Couples therapy will give you the tools you need to recover and build a healthier future for your family.

Many people in recovery have relationship problems caused by substance abuse. Healing those wounds takes time and hard work. Attending therapy with your significant other can give you the tools you need to repair that damage. Some couples attend therapy even if they have no noticeable issues with their relationship to establish a healthy line of communication. Newport Beach Recovery Center offers marriage and family therapy to all of our clients. We understand that family and social support are critical to long-term recovery. We encourage family to attend psychoeducation groups to understand their loved one’s disorder better. To learn more about our programs and services, call our office today at (888) 850-0363

Treating Early Childhood Trauma During Adult Rehabilitation

Treating Early Childhood Trauma During Adult Rehabilitation

Early childhood trauma can profoundly affect a person’s ability to cope with substance use disorder (SUD). In addition, co-occurring mental health issues related to trauma can significantly impact recovery. According to Depression and Anxiety, “Ample evidence has shown that childhood trauma compromises neural structure and function, rendering an individual susceptible to later cognitive deficits and psychiatric illnesses, including schizophrenia, major depression, bipolar disorder, [post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)], and substance abuse.” Newport Beach Recovery Center empowers clients to overcome trauma related to adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) using evidence-based treatments

The Connection Between Early Childhood Trauma and Substance Abuse 

Early childhood trauma is an umbrella term that covers a wide range of possible ACEs, including: 

  • Sexual abuse or exploitation
  • Witnessing domestic abuse or other traumatic events
  • Physical, emotional, or verbal abuse 
  • Not having access to necessities like consistent housing, clothing, and food
  • Physical or emotional neglect 
  • Witnessing or experiencing emotionally distressing events like the death of a loved one or a natural disaster
  • Chronic stress 
  • Racism
  • Bullying or harassment by peers 
  • Living in a war zone or area of high conflict 

The brain continues to develop until the mid-20s. Early childhood experiences have a significant impact on the development and structure of the brain. When a person’s gone through a significant number of ACEs, the prolonged stress caused by those experiences can trigger SUD.

Adverse Childhood Experiences and Co-occurring Disorders

According to the Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Clinics of North America, “Childhood traumas, particularly those that are interpersonal, intentional, and chronic are associated with greater rates of” the following: 

  • PTSD
  • Depression 
  • Anxiety 
  • Antisocial behaviors 

All of these conditions can make treating SUD more complicated and difficult. They involve treatment for multiple disorders at once.

Early Childhood Trauma Can Restructure the Brain 

Children who witness or live through traumatic events may experience structural changes in some regions of the brain, including: 

  • Hippocampus
  • Amygdala 
  • Corpus callosum
  • Cerebellum 

Children are incredibly resilient. If they get early treatment, it may not have a lasting effect. However, adults who struggle with untreated trauma-related issues may require more in-depth mental health treatment. Newport Beach Recovery Center uses individual and group therapy to help clients address substance abuse and underlying issues like trauma. 

Trauma-Focused Therapy and Treatment Options 

Adults struggling with the effects of untreated childhood trauma often benefit from trauma therapy. Many programs use a combination of therapy, peer support, and prescription medication to manage symptoms like panic, depression, and anxiety. During rehabilitation, a person needs to address any underlying trauma that may have contributed to the development of their SUD. Accepting, processing, and reintegrating those memories and events increases the effectiveness of treatment. 

Some therapy options for individuals with PTSD and other trauma-related disorders include: 

  • Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) 
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • Exposure therapy (ET)
  • Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) 
  • Alternative holistic therapies 

Psychotherapy is the cornerstone of trauma treatment, and many people make significant progress through talk therapy alone. However, using psychotherapy alongside EMDR or other techniques can significantly speed up the healing process during rehabilitation. 

What Impacts Trauma Symptoms

The symptoms of early childhood trauma vary in type and severity depending on a wide range of factors, including: 

  • Type of trauma 
  • Family mental health history 
  • If the trauma was previously treated or left untreated 
  • How many instances of trauma 

Trauma symptoms often overlap with SUD and can contribute to the development of substance abuse. Every case is unique, and personalized trauma-informed care usually ensures the best possible outcome. 

Managing Symptoms of Early Childhood Trauma

Some common symptoms of childhood trauma include: 

  • Unhealthy attachment styles 
  • Underdeveloped social and communication skills 
  • Difficulty trusting others, especially authority figures 
  • Anxiety 
  • Depression 
  • Panic 
  • Self-harm or suicidal ideation
  • Sleep disturbances 
  • Changes to appetite and eating patterns 
  • Difficulty maintaining relationships 

Coping skills like mindfulness, meditation, deep breathing exercises, and relying on a support system can reduce the severity of symptoms. Talk therapy is one of the most valuable tools for healing from trauma. Newport Beach Recovery Center offers trauma therapy for every client. We believe, in most cases, SUD develops due to the presence of trauma.  

Healing and Thriving

Overcoming issues related to ACEs requires patience and a determination to change. However, a person can successfully heal and thrive during recovery. Rehabilitation in a dual diagnosis system allows them to reprocess trauma in a safe and structured environment with a reduced risk of relapse. 

Most people make major life changes after attending treatment. In addition to no longer abusing substances, they often do the following: 

  • Cut off toxic relationships with individuals related to past substance abuse
  • Set clear boundaries at work, school, and home to ensure positive mental health 
  • Change eating, exercise, and sleep patterns 
  • Repair relationships with loved ones 
  • Find new hobbies and activities to replace the time previously spent misusing substances 

Accepting the current circumstances and finding healthy solutions for improving your lifestyle will help you thrive during recovery. Decisions an individual makes during treatment and aftercare can impact how quickly they learn to manage trauma-related challenges. The Newport Beach Recovery Center care team provides each client with a comprehensive aftercare plan to guide them through these essential changes. People can build a happier, healthier future for themselves and their loved ones. 

Early childhood trauma can play a significant role in the development of substance use and mental health disorders. Untreated childhood trauma can affect how adults think about themselves and interact with people around them. Treatment for trauma-related issues usually involves a combination of psychotherapy and prescription medication. Childhood traumas impact development, and many clients in treatment for SUD require simultaneous trauma therapy and essential life skills education to address these issues. Newport Beach Recovery Center uses evidence-based methods to treat trauma. Our care team collaborates with clients to ensure they feel supported and have the tools they need to heal. Find out more about our programs by calling us today at (888) 850-0363.

What Is the Difference Between a Psychiatrist and a Therapist?

What Is the Difference Between a Psychiatrist and a Therapist?

Rehabilitation programs use a range of professionals to provide personalized care and essential services. Many treatment programs have an in-house or contracted psychiatrist to conduct assessments, prescribe medications, and track symptom progress. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “Addiction psychiatrists are [specifically] trained to give evidence-based treatment to their patients, which involves not only addressing addiction but also addressing any mental disorders that might have contributed to behaviors associated with addiction.” Newport Beach Recovery Center offers a wide range of treatment services to help our clients, including psychiatric assessments.

What Is a Psychiatrist?

A psychiatrist is a medical doctor trained to diagnose and treat mental health disorders. Like any other doctor, they had to obtain a bachelor’s degree, complete four years of medical school, and go through a residency. In addition to providing admissions assessments and diagnosing clients, psychiatrists also determine if clients may benefit from prescription medication. Many programs use psychiatric assessments to determine the best approach to treatment.

Some people confuse therapists with psychiatrists. However, a therapist does not have the same medical training and cannot prescribe medications. In many cases, a psychiatrist can reduce stress on the client by playing multiple roles in the recovery process. Some people feel more comfortable having one person responsible for supervising their therapy, medication management, and treatment plan. However, in most cases, clients will have both a therapist and a consulting psychiatrist.

How Can Psychiatry Help You Heal?

Psychotherapy combined with medication and alternative holistic therapies provides essential support for people in recovery. Often, a psychiatrist collaborates with the client and care team to ensure the best possible outcome. Psychiatry can help reveal hidden issues and alert the care team to undiagnosed co-occurring mental health disorders. Rehabilitation is only effective if it addresses the whole person and any potential underlying problems.

A psychiatrist does the following to help individuals struggling with SUD and related conditions:

  • Provides psychoeducation on the causes of addictive behaviors
  • Assists clients in recognizing the underlying cause of specific thoughts and behaviors
  • Prescribes medication to reduce symptom severity
  • Assists the care team in addressing any co-occurring mental health disorders

You can benefit from seeing a psychiatrist if you struggle with moderate or severe mental health symptoms. Newport Beach Recovery Center ensures every client undergoes a comprehensive assessment during admissions to ensure we have a clear idea of how to approach treatment.

What Are the Differences Between Psychiatry and Therapy?

A psychiatrist is a medical doctor that focuses on the symptomatology, diagnosis, and treatment of substance abuse and mental health disorders. In some cases, they may assist with interventions, consultations, or other aspects of treatment. On the other hand, a therapist may not have the training to conduct complex mental health assessments and interventions.

You can expect to interact with therapists during the following:

  • Group therapy
  • Individual therapy
  • Peer activities and community events
  • Trauma therapy

Most clients have regular contact with their therapist during their time in the program. However, they may have limited exposure to the psychiatrist responsible for conducting assessments or prescribing their medication.

Does Every Treatment Plan Require a Psychiatrist?

You might only meet briefly with a psychiatrist or work closely with one depending on the severity of your co-occurring disorders. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), “A psychiatrist provides services crucial to sustaining recovery and stable functioning for people with [co-occurring disorders]: assessment, diagnosis, periodic reassessment, medication, and rapid response to crises.” Every case is unique, and not everyone requires psychiatric support during rehabilitation. However, most programs have a psychiatrist take part in at least the admissions assessment.

Usually, a psychiatrist will only become closely involved in a client’s individualized treatment plan if they have severe symptoms that require specialized therapy or medication. Some of the conditions that a psychiatrist might diagnose and help treat include:

  • Anxiety disorders
  • Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Depression
  • Dissociative disorders
  • Mood disorders
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Panic disorder
  • Personality disorders
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Schizoaffective disorder
  • Schizophrenia

Severe symptoms related to co-occurring disorders often require medication management supplied by a psychiatrist. The psychiatrist helps juggle the intersections of disorders.

Who Benefits From Seeing a Psychiatrist During Aftercare?

Aftercare ensures a smooth transition between structured treatment and independent recovery. You will move from a controlled environment, a.k.a. the “treatment bubble,” to the real world, where you will need to maintain the coping skills you learned. The change can feel destabilizing for some people. Newport Beach Recovery Center uses aftercare planning and alumni services to support clients after they complete rehabilitation.

Individuals with the following will benefit most from psychiatric care during aftercare and ongoing recovery:

  • Debilitating mental health disorders that require additional treatment
  • Chronic mental health issues
  • Most people who rely on prescription medication to maintain mental stability

People who continue to see a psychiatrist after completing rehabilitation have severe underlying mental health issues or lingering symptoms of SUD. They shouldn’t be shamed for taking advantage of the resources available. Ultimately, sobriety and emotional well-being is the goal for everyone.

Many people confuse therapists and psychiatrists. While they both focus on mental health and psychology, they have very different training. They each bring their own expertise to a care team. A therapist counsels clients, helps them identify issues related to mental health, and teaches coping skills. A psychiatrist is a medical doctor who focuses on mental illnesses. They often conduct assessments, diagnose clients, and prescribe medications as necessary. Many people recovering from substance misuse will have a psychiatrist who provides them with a diagnosis and manages any necessary medications. With the help of therapists and a psychiatrist, you can heal. To learn more about a path to recovery, call Newport Beach Recovery Center at (888) 850-0363.

Residential Treatment for People Who Identify as LGBTQIA+

Residential Treatment for People Who Identify as LGBTQIA+

Individuals who identify as LGBTQIA+ often face unique issues when searching for a substance use disorder (SUD) treatment program. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), “People who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or questioning (LGBTQ) often face social stigma, discrimination, and other challenges not encountered by people who identify as heterosexual.” Newport Beach Recovery Center is an inclusive rehabilitation facility that offers compassionate care and personalized treatment for people who identify as male, female, or nonbinary.

Residential Treatment for LGBTQIA+ 

Many people require higher levels of care during detox and withdrawal. Residential (RTC) and partial hospitalization (PHP) treatment programs provide some of the most extensive service coverage. Individuals who do not feel safe or confident in their ability to stay at home or in a sober living community during rehabilitation can benefit from the structured treatment plans offered by residential facilities. However, individuals who identify as LGBTQIA+ may feel uncertain about staying with a group of strangers. 

Some of the top concerns experienced by LGBTQIA+ folks include: 

  • The willingness of peers and staff to acknowledge and respect identity, pronouns, or orientation 
  • Not having a supportive family to care for children and pets during treatment
  • Uncertainty about talking to a therapist about topics related to identity
  • Fear of being physically, verbally, or emotionally harassed 
  • Feeling isolated if no other LGBTQIA+ peers participate in the program 
  • Uncertainty about what treatment options to choose (e.g., which groups to join during gender-focused group therapy) 
  • Confidentiality for individuals who have not disclosed their identity to family, friends, or coworkers 
  • Aftercare housing arrangements if they choose to transition into a sober living community 

Individuals who identify as LGBTQIA+ may require special accommodations and might worry about being judged. Newport Beach Recovery Center is an inclusive environment that encourages peer support and diversity. We understand the uncertainty some people feel when they start residential treatment. However, our dedicated team goes the extra mile to ensure every client feels at home in our facility. LGBTQIA+ individuals will have a whole team working around the clock to ensure they feel heard, understood, and supported. 

Newport Beach Recovery Center Encourages Diversity 

Social support is essential to treatment and long-term recovery. Individuals with SUD may have a limited support system and underdeveloped social skills. Becoming part of a community during treatment can improve your mental health. According to Substance Abuse: Research and Treatment, research “findings suggest that the relationships most helpful for initiating abstinence involved recognition by a peer,” service provider, or family member. Our staff acknowledges each client and validates their recovery journey.

In addition, peers help one another during recovery by doing the following: 

  • Sharing similar life experiences that reduce feelings of isolation 
  • Providing alternative points of view that motivate positive changes 
  • Offering moral support and sharing tips for success 

Newport Beach Recovery Center understands the power of community and welcomes clients into a family-like environment that encourages social bonding and connections. 

Finding Your Voice During Treatment 

Individuals who identify as LGBTQIA+ have a higher risk of experiencing trauma, prejudice, and bigotry in their day-to-day lives. Some people may feel their point of view has no value based on how others have treated them in the past. However, Newport Beach Recovery Center believes that every person is unique and that their experiences matter. Everyone deserves to feel heard and accepted by the sobriety community. 

Risk Factors Associated with Substance Abuse 

LGBTQIA+ youth have a higher risk of developing mental health disorders that can contribute to adult substance abuse. Some other significant risk factors that impact the risk of SUD include: 

  • Childhood abuse or neglect 
  • Experiencing or witnessing domestic violence 
  • Physical or verbal assault 
  • Sexual assault or exploitation 
  • Chronic or acute stress, including the loss of a loved one or financial instability
  • Relationship problems 
  • Childhood mental health disorders
  • Family history of substance use or mental health issues 

It’s important to acknowledge that many of these risk factors are more common among LGBTQIA+ people and other minority communities. On the other hand, risk factors are not always an indication that someone will develop SUD. 

Long-Term Recovery for Individuals Who Identify as LGBTQIA+ 

Most people require additional support during the transition from rehabilitation to aftercare services. Individual therapy, interacting with sober peers, and community-based self-help groups, including 12-Step meetings, will help you remain focused on making positive changes. 

Aftercare and long-term recovery involve unique challenges, stressors, and dangers for individuals who identify as LGBTQIA+. They face social stigmas and targeted harassment. Additionally, they’ll receive fewer community resources, and there’s a looming threat of violence that can complicate ongoing recovery. The reality is that people who identify as LGBTQIA+ have an increased likelihood of experiencing trauma and other events that increase their risk of relapse. Newport Beach Recovery Center offers aftercare planning, alumni services, and additional resources to ensure the best possible outcome for all of our clients. We are here to provide continued support during early and ongoing recovery. 

Individuals who identify as LGBTQIA+ often face unique issues during rehabilitation and ongoing recovery. In addition, many people feel unsure about attending residential treatment. Fear of being looked at differently, judged, or harassed can make it hard for some individuals who identify as LGBTQIA+ to get the help they need. Newport Beach Recovery Center celebrates diversity and uses a trauma-informed approach to ensure everyone feels safe and comfortable with the care team and peers at our facility. You can rely on the dedicated professionals at Newport Beach Recovery Center to ensure you have a positive rehabilitation experience. To learn more about our program and services, call our office today at (888) 850-0363.

How Does Brain Chemistry Affect Recovery?

How Does Brain Chemistry Affect Recovery?

Substance use disorder (SUD) can cause chemical imbalances in the brain that affect mood, behavior, and thought patterns. In addition, brain chemistry can contribute to the development of SUD. According to the US Surgeon General (SG), addiction is “associated with changes in the function of brain circuits involved in pleasure (the reward system), learning, stress, decision making, and self-control.” Newport Beach Recovery Center uses evidence-based treatments to treat SUD and co-occurring mental health disorders.

Addiction Is a Brain Disease

The media, social stigmas, and misinformed politicians all help perpetuate the misconception that SUD is something only experienced by people with low moral character. Addiction is a brain disease, not a personal choice. SUD has zero indication of someone’s personality. Changes in the brain and body cause behavioral patterns to develop over time though.

People often struggle to combat the compulsions caused by the effects of substance abuse. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), “Drugs change the brain in ways that make quitting hard, even for those who want to.” Rehabilitation programs like those provided at Newport Beach Recovery Center provide necessary support and personalized treatment to ensure clients get the help they need to reverse chemical changes in the brain. Our brains have plasticity and can usually heal over time.

How Does Substance Abuse Change Brain Chemistry?

Your brain function is controlled by a delicate balance of absorbed or produced chemicals that affect how your demeanor. Substance abuse severely damages your brain’s natural ability to balance these chemicals. According to NIDA, “Long-term use also causes changes in other brain chemical systems and circuits . . . affecting functions that include:

  • learning
  • judgment
  • decision-making
  • stress
  • memory
  • behavior”

Too much or too little of any chemical can cause significant changes to your overall health. The regions of the brain most commonly affected by SUD include:

  • Basal ganglia
  • Extended amygdala
  • Prefrontal cortex

Substance abuse can alter your brain’s ability to absorb, transmit, or produce essential chemicals like dopamine. As stated by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), “Many studies have shown that neurons that release dopamine are activated, either directly or indirectly, by all addictive substances, but particularly by stimulants such as cocaine, amphetamines, and nicotine.” In most cases, these changes are temporary, and after a period of sobriety, the brain repairs itself. However, it may take more time for some individuals, and long-term abuse of certain substances may lead to permanent changes.

How Does Brain Chemistry Affect Physical and Mental Health?

Brain chemistry directly affects your health. The way your brain absorbs and transmits certain chemicals controls how you perceive the world around you. Too little or too much of neurotransmitters can cause the following:

  • Mood swings
  • Loss or increase in appetite
  • Increased or decreased stress tolerance
  • Lack of energy
  • Reduced ability to empathize with others
  • Difficulty making decisions
  • Hyperactivity
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Risk-taking behaviors like continued substance abuse

Neurotransmitters contribute to brain function, emotions, and behaviors. Some of the neurotransmitters affected most by substance abuse include:

  • Dopamine
  • Serotonin
  • Endorphins
  • Glutamate
  • Norepinephrine

Often, psychiatric medications are necessary to return the brain to baseline. Additionally, the reward system must be retrained to respond properly to feel-good neurotransmitters.

What Are the Most Effective Treatments?

Rehabilitation for SUD often incorporates multiple methodologies. According to the HHS, “[A] spectrum of effective strategies and services are available to identify, treat, and manage substance use problems and substance use disorders.” The personalized treatment plans at Newport Beach Recovery Center incorporate a combination of evidence-based methods, including:

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • Prescription medications, when appropriate
  • Psychotherapy
  • Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)

Some social activities can improve your general well-being and contribute to more balanced brain chemistry. Peer support also provides emotional relief. Healthy social interactions can improve coping skills and activate certain areas of the brain that increase positive mental health. Rehab programs can facilitate these social interactions by providing holistic therapies and group outings.

How Do Changes in Brain Chemistry Affect Long-Term Recovery?

Many behaviors and activities can lead to long-term side effects from SUD. Individuals with the following issues may experience more severe or prolonged symptoms:

  • Malnutrition or physical health issues caused by poor diet
  • Some prescription medications can interfere with brain chemistry
  • Sleep disturbances, including insomnia

The longer a person abuses substances, the more time it will take for their mind and body to return to a balanced state. Underlying issues like co-occurring disorders can complicate recovery and require ongoing therapy or medication. Newport Beach Recovery Center has every client participate in an admissions assessment to help our care team identify issues that might complicate the recovery process.

You Can Recover From SUD

We can successfully help clients recover from SUD. With our help, you can overcome issues related to changes in brain chemistry. Our care team collaborates with each client to ensure the best possible outcome. In addition, we offer aftercare planning and other services to connect you with essential complimentary treatments that will help you continue healing from the effects of SUD. You can learn to manage your condition. With the help of professional treatment services, you can go on to live a happy, healthy, and functional life.

Brain chemistry affects the development of substance use disorder. Substance use disorder is a brain disease and not a moral failing or indication that you do not want to get better. The relationship between chemical imbalances in the brain and maladaptive behaviors is extremely complex. Significant changes in the brain that affect certain chemicals like dopamine can cause addictive behaviors. Our brain is capable of healing our neurotransmitter levels. Newport Beach Recovery Center uses evidence-based methods to treat SUD and co-occurring disorders. In many cases, cognitive-behavioral therapy is combined with medication to help people manage symptoms. Additionally, we offer groups and holistic therapies to encourage social healing. To learn more about our treatments, call us at (888) 850-0363.

5 Easy Ways Introverts Can Improve Communication During Therapy Sessions

5 Easy Ways Introverts Can Improve Communication During Therapy Sessions

Substance use disorder (SUD) treatment often utilizes individual and group therapy. Extroverts may have no difficulty speaking up and sharing their opinions or experiences. However, introverts can easily feel out of place, embarrassed, or judged by others. Communication is essential during recovery, and some introverts may struggle with that aspect of treatment. According to Patient Communication In Substance Abuse Disorders, “Proper communication allows patients to be more knowledgeable about their prognosis and to be more proactive in seeking assistance.” Newport Beach Recovery Center offers a range of treatments to ensure clients feel comfortable communicating openly with our care team.

Coping With Therapy as an Introvert

Not everyone feels comfortable discussing their experiences, thoughts, and beliefs with strangers. Many introverts shy away from sharing embarrassing or incriminating details about past events, and for them, therapy might feel threatening or intrusive.

Some introverts do the following to cope with anxiety or stress related to therapy:

  • Take regular breaks from talking to refocus
  • Utilize grounding techniques like deep breathing
  • Work through difficult discussions over the course of several sessions
  • Write down details instead of sharing them verbally

Co-occurring disorders often worsen symptoms, and introverts with mental health issues might feel misunderstood, alienated, or isolated from peers. The care team at Newport Beach Recovery Center uses a resiliency-focused approach to ensure clients feel safe and accepted during therapy sessions.

5 Ways Introverts Can Communicate Effectively During Therapy

Below are five ways introverts can effectively communicate with their therapist during sessions. We encourage people to use whatever methods help them get the most out of each session.

#1 Take Things One Step at a Time

You may feel easily overwhelmed by new settings, people, or situations. At first, you might want to avoid being vulnerable with a therapist. Take things one step at a time. Focus on getting to your appointment and then introducing yourself. Express your hesitation to the therapist. Your therapist will walk you through the healing process at a pace that keeps you moving forward slowly and comfortably. You shouldn’t feel pressured to open up about certain topics before you’re ready.

#2 Use Grounding Techniques to Avoid Triggers

Triggers can affect your ability to communicate effectively. Moments of extreme stress in public spaces often overwhelm introverts. You might get triggered during sessions and feel unable to continue. Grounding techniques will help you cope and manage side effects.

Many people use the following grounding techniques during treatment sessions:

  • Physical grounding using textures (e.g., touching your clothes or bringing a stim toy or other item with a unique texture)
  • Focusing briefly on the five senses and mentally or verbally listening to what you hear, see, taste, feel, and smell
  • Completing several deep breathing techniques
  • Focusing on specific items within the room and mentally or verbally describing their appearance and function

These activities can help you stay present in the moment. You might feel more capable of emotionally regulating by grounding yourself.

#3 Establish Clear Boundaries

Forcing yourself to keep talking when you feel emotionally or physically exhausted can lead to negative therapy experiences. Effective communication sometimes means knowing when to take a short break. Your therapist can help you establish communication boundaries to improve your mental health. You can also establish safe words to relay to your therapist when you’re getting close to your boundaries and when you’ve hit a hard stopping point.

#4 Practice Body Language and Nonverbal Communication

Therapists observe body language and take cues from the client. You can express your feelings about various topics during sessions by using body language and other forms of nonverbal communication.

Your therapist may look for the following when monitoring your body language:

  • Tensed muscles
  • Shorter or quicker breathing
  • Closed expression
  • Folded arms
  • Speech pattern changes

Closed body language is an excellent way to alert your therapist that you do not feel comfortable discussing specific topics. Additionally, you and your therapist can implement certain ASL signs. “Stop,” “no,” “yes,” and emotion words can help when you feel too overwhelmed to speak out loud.

#5 Engage in More Social Interactions

Engaging in positive social interactions frequently can increase your confidence, thereby improving your communication. According to a study published in Frontiers in Psychology, “[I]ntroverts with high social engagement have higher self-esteem than introverts with low social engagement.” Group therapy and peer interactions during community activities can improve your social skills and ability to communicate during therapy.

Overcoming Shyness and Uncertainty as an Introvert

You can overcome shyness, embarrassment, fear, and uncertainty by finding ways to improve your confidence. Once you find techniques that work for you, therapy sessions will feel less intimidating. Being shy does not have to stop you from taking full advantage of individual and group therapy sessions. You can collaborate with the therapist and your care team to find healthy solutions and resolve issues.

People can work through shyness or hesitancy during therapy sessions in the following ways:

  • Treat the therapist as a friend
  • Try to avoid stimulating activities, drinks, or foods directly before therapy
  • Be kind to yourself
  • Set realistic expectations for therapy sessions

Therapy is an essential tool, and being able to take advantage of it will help you achieve and sustain long-term sobriety. In many cases, individuals with SUD benefit from therapy during aftercare and ongoing recovery. Newport Beach Recovery Center uses evidence-based methods to develop essential life skills like effective communication.

Introverts often feel overwhelmed, shy, or uncertain about having deeply personal conversations in public. During rehabilitation, individual and group therapy sessions are essential to treatment. Some introverts might not feel comfortable talking to someone they do not know about highly personal things like substance abuse, family dynamics, and beliefs about recovery. However, there are things you can do as an introvert to decrease stress during therapy. You can find alternative ways to communicate your needs and get to know your therapist better. Having a more personal connection can reduce anxiety for introverts. Newport Beach Recovery Center makes it easy for clients to build rapport with our therapists. To learn more about our programs and services, call (888) 850-0363.

What Are Defense Mechanisms and How Can They Affect Relationships?

What Are Defense Mechanisms and How Can They Affect Relationships?

Everyone faces moments in their relationships where they do not see eye to eye with the other person. Compromise usually resolves these issues. You might avoid certain behaviors or actions that previously caused problems in your relationships. However, in some cases, people develop maladaptive defense mechanisms. According to a book by StatPearls Publishing, “[T]he early identification of defense mechanisms can have great clinical significance.” Identifying defense mechanisms and processing the underlying causes can improve the effectiveness of treatments at Newport Beach Recovery Center.

What Are Defense Mechanisms?

The famous psychologists Sigmund and Anna Freud used the term “defense mechanism” to describe an unconscious process that protects the ego from internal or external stress. In modern psychology, defense mechanisms can indicate how a person may react to stressors and treatment. According to a study in Frontiers in Psychology, “More than half century of empirical research has demonstrated the impact of defensive functioning in psychological well-being, personality organization and treatment process-outcome.” How you automatically respond to pressure or stress within your environment often depends on what defenses you have developed.

Unconscious emotional defenses protect you by doing the following:

  • Helping you avoid situations that can cause pain or discomfort
  • Lessening the emotional impact of traumatic events
  • Keeping you from fixating on things you cannot change or control

However, the majority of defense mechanisms are inherently maladaptive. Risk-taking behaviors like substance abuse often manifest as an unhealthy defense against stress. By entering into treatment, you can heal from substance use disorder (SUD) and work to create more positive coping skills.

Common Types of Defense Mechanisms

Most people have unconscious mechanisms they use to decrease stress or emotional pain. In some cases, they may play a significant role in your ability to function from day to day. However, they can also cause social and relationship issues. Everyone is unique. Your defenses might look very different from the ones other people use.

Some of the different types of defense mechanisms include:

  • Acting out
  • Avoidance
  • Compensation
  • Conversion
  • Denial
  • Displacement
  • Humor
  • Identification
  • Intellectualization
  • Isolation
  • Projection
  • Rationalization
  • Regression
  • Repression
  • Sexualization
  • Schizoid fantasy
  • Splitting
  • Sublimation
  • Suppression

Many categories and sub-categories of defense mechanisms exist. You may unconsciously use some of these in your relationships to cope with stress related to recovery or other issues.

What Are Signs You Have Maladaptive Defense Mechanisms?

The cause and effects of defense mechanisms vary significantly from person to person. However, there are some noticeable signs that someone has a maladaptive defense against specific thoughts, feelings, behaviors, or situations. You may use unhealthy defense mechanisms if you do the following:

  • Gaslight and manipulate others
  • Act out
  • Become dismissive or argumentative
  • Self-isolate
  • Project personal issues onto others
  • Rationalize negative behaviors
  • Deny negative behaviors and beliefs

Often defense mechanisms have a negative effect on social relationships. In many cases, adverse defenses play a role in the development of SUD. Treatment for SUD can help clients learn healthier ways to avoid stress. You do not have to continue relying on defense mechanisms that will decrease your quality of life.

How Do Defense Mechanisms Affect Social Interactions?

Most defense functions provide some distance between you and the people, thoughts, or situations that might cause you distress. Unfortunately, this can lead to aggressive behaviors, self-isolating, and manipulative tactics. If you often feel victimized, you may shut yourself off from emotional intimacy with loved ones. Also, if you lash out during stressful social situations, it can make it harder for you to form healthy attachments. Rehabilitation will give you the tools you need to overcome defensive urges by teaching you the following:

  • Effective communication
  • Establishing and respecting social boundaries
  • Conflict resolution
  • Essential life skills
  • Mindfulness and grounding techniques

Once you have the skills in place to cope with your stress, you can begin to replace defense mechanisms with healthier behaviors.

How Can You Effectively Redirect Your Defenses?

Redirecting your thoughts or behaviors is one way to stop relying on unhelpful defense mechanisms. Your therapist can help you learn how to recognize defense mechanisms and their possible triggers. You can use that information to redirect your focus when you notice yourself slipping back into unhealthy thought patterns.

Some common ways people redirect their thoughts or behaviors include:

  • Using mindfulness-based grounding techniques to focus on the present moment
  • Focusing on positive experiences that directly contradict maladaptive thought patterns (a technique called thought-balancing)
  • Mentally taking a step back and looking at a situation objectively to determine the best way forward

By healthily diverting your defense mechanisms, you open yourself up to healing. You’ll find yourself engaging with your emotions instead of stifling them. It may feel painful and difficult at first, but it’s an important part of getting better.

Take Back Control of Your Behaviors

Defense mechanisms can control your thoughts, beliefs, and behaviors. However, you can change them by processing whatever underlying issues caused them to manifest. The dedicated care team at Newport Beach Recovery Center can help you overwrite maladaptive defenses and replace them. You do not have to continue living with the consequences of unhealthy defense mechanisms.

Defense mechanisms often interfere with relationships. If you find yourself frequently experiencing conflict with loved ones, you might have maladaptive defense mechanisms. In many cases, they stop people from communicating effectively and connecting on a deeper level with the people around them. Conflict resolution is an important skill taught in every level of care at Newport Beach Recovery Center. We can help you find healthier ways to avoid emotional distress without resorting to maladaptive defense mechanisms. This will allow you to slowly open yourself up to underlying issues. No matter where you are in your recovery, our team will guide you through identifying and overcoming self-destructive patterns. To learn more, call our office today at (888) 850-0363.