Psychological Treatment

Even if the client has accepted his or her addiction and is motivated and committed to follow the 12-step approach of guidelines and abstinence, the client’s psychological vulnerabilities can lead to relapse.

Therefore in addition to the focused treatment of addiction via the Minnesota Model, Bloemendal Addiction Treatment has developed a unique approach of simultaneously addressing the psychological vulnerabilities and patterns of the client.

Every client is guided by an experienced psychologist who consults him or her for therapy sessions throughout the programme.

This affords the client enough time to deeply engage with their most pertinent psychological needs, as well as co-morbid mental health issues.

The three major causes of addiction are availability, conditioning and sensitivity. The first two factors of availability and conditioning are addressed via the Minnesota Model of focus on the addiction.

Psychological treatment of the client focuses on the aspect of sensitivity to addiction, which can be genetic (physiological/ chemical) and or psychological (temperament; learnt personality patterns; coping styles; attachment styles and the regulation of emotions). The psychological treatment of the client consists of in-depth psychological assessment, identification of vulnerabilities and therapy to address this.

Apart from the psychological vulnerabilities, a myriad of other difficulties that the client may experience in his or her life in general and especially as a consequence of the addiction are also addressed. This may include issues in relationships, work and social functioning, but also negative life experiences and trauma. It also includes assessment and treatment of co-morbid mental health conditions.

Clients at Bloemendal Addiction Treatment have three individual psychotherapy sessions per week with highly qualified and experienced psychologists.

People who are genetically sensitive to addiction through their dopaminergic and limbic systems in the brain, might have a higher tendency to seek instant gratification and have a low frustration tolerance.

These factors are given attention through psychological treatment to assist the client in working more adaptively with these factors.

Untreated psychiatric disorders are closely linked to this and therefore clients at Bloemendal Addiction Treatment are fully assessed over an extended period to identify, diagnose and treat psychiatric conditions such as Major Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Anxiety Disorders, Personality Disorders and other conditions.

Apart from Addiction Focused group work, clients also partake in psychological group therapy, namely an emotional process group focusing on interactional styles and psychodynamic issues. Clients will also partake in Mindfulness Dialectic Behaviour Therapy, to assist with emotional regulation, distress tolerance, interpersonal effectiveness and mindfulness skills.

It is our experience that the combined approach of addiction focused therapy with in-depth psycho-therapy, involves the whole person in the process of their treatment and increases motivation, hope and outcomes. We therefore not only treat addiction, but also other aspects, patterns and conditions of the client.