As a nationally recognized center for clinical excellence, we strive to be on the cutting edge of clinical research into addiction treatment that works. We also seek to apply this research by ensuring that all of our client interventions are “evidence-based practices”—namely, therapies, treatments and approaches that, based on the latest clinical science, are associated with better treatment outcomes. This section lays out the evidence-based practices that we employ at Beach House, as well as the data that supports their use.
Evidence-Based Treatments for Substance Abuse
Effective treatment for substance abuse consists of the following five evidence-based interventions, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse:
- Behavioral counseling
- Medication-assisted treatment
- Dual diagnosis treatment
- Long-term follow-up to prevent relapse
At Beach House, we utilize all of these treatments, as part of a full continuum of care that enables us to provide whatever level of care a client may require—at any point in the life cycle of their disease:
- Our medically supervised detox ensures a safe, effective withdrawal from drugs or alcohol.
- We follow detox with behavioral counseling that emphasizes the therapeutic alliance and draws on various clinical tools that are evidence to improve treatment outcomes. For more about these various psychotherapies, read on.
- Our addiction-certified psychiatrist and 24/7 medical team oversee the safe administration of Suboxone and other evidence-based MAT’s for addiction, as well as dual diagnosis treatment for those whose addiction co-occurs with another mental disorder.
- We also provide long-term follow-up, via an active alumni program and continuing care services.
In addition to the above interventions, we employ holistic treatments for addiction that, as complementary interventions, have been proven to augment treatment outcomes.
Evidence-Based Behavioral Therapies for Addiction
Our skilled team of therapists is trained and credentialed in a number of evidence-based behavioral therapies and practices. They include the following:
- Therapeutic Alliance – “Therapeutic alliance” refers to the collaborative relationship between a client and their therapist and the warmth and genuineness of their connection. At Beach House, we prioritize this client-therapist bond, because research shows that it may be the single biggest clinical predictor of client treatment outcomes (Proctor, 2014). Therapeutic alliance is so critical to treatment outcome, in fact, that it has outperformed other therapies known to work for addiction, such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and motivational interviewing (MI), which are featured below (Proctor, 2014). We therefore work to ensure that all of our therapists know how to create and strengthen therapeutic alliance, and are evaluated according to standardized measures of therapeutic alliance—so that they can make real-time improvements in the care we provide our clients. This emphasis on therapeutic alliance is also one of the “Clinical Excellence Practices” that distinguish our treatment programs.
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) – CBT focuses on correcting and replacing thoughts and behaviors that feed the addiction cycle and impede recovery, by contributing to relapse. Much of CBT’s emphasis is on identifying and modifying irrational thoughts, managing negative emotions, and preventing relapse. All of our clinicians are trained in CBT and use it to help clients learn healthier anger management skills and better ways of coping with stress and other cues and triggers for substance abuse. CBT is associated with better treatment outcomes in multiple controlled clinical trials (McHugh, Hearon, and Otto, 2010).
- Trauma-Informed Therapy, including Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) skills, helps clients heal from the experiences of trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) that are often at the root of substance abuse. Our therapists teach clients DBT skills involving how to manage the painful emotions associated with a post-traumatic stress response, so that clients can successfully overcome this very common relapse trigger. In addition to these DBT skills, clients learn how to develop the following cognitive-behavioral tools through trauma-informed therapy: grounding skills, resource building, safe place work, and resiliency skills.
- Motivational Interviewing (MI) – MI empowers clients to make core life changes necessary to sustaining a life free of drugs and alcohol, by helping them develop greater self-directedness and self-advocacy. MI’s therapeutic effectiveness has been most widely studied among the alcohol abuse population where at least 32 studies have linked MI to improved treatment outcomes (Jhanjee, 2014). Like CBT, MI is viewed as most effective when combined with other psychosocial interventions.
- 12-Step Group Therapy – The 12-step, self-help approach combines the spiritual recovery principles of the “12 steps” with the practical support and help of group members who share the same problem. A large body of evidence has found that 12-step group participation correlates with better long-term recovery outcomes. For instance, one major randomized trial, among multiple studies, found that participation in a 12-step program resulted in treatment outcomes similar to those for CBT and MI (Jhanjee, 2014).