Team Clinical Insight
Holistic Model of Care for Men
On many treatment program's websites you will disocver that many of these companies promote a "holistic" model of care or, more specifically, individualized care. We hope within this section of our own site that we can shed light on this concept, address limitations for all programs when it comes to providing a legitimate holistic framework for treating addiction, and how Triple Peaks Recovery achievs a holistic framework.
When it comes to treating young adult men gripped by alcohol and drug addiction, including underlying mental health disorders, you can remove the drugs and alcohol via a medical detox, but once medically stable we must discover the root causes for the use in the first place. Root causes may include past trauma such as emotional or physical abuse, it may include underlying mental-health disorders such as bipolar disorder, depressive disorders, or anxiety disorders; it may even be fundamentally related to adolescent behaviors and mentalities. Clinically speaking, then, if we do not promote the psychological, emotional, physical, spiritual, and cognitive healing, then, we have done nothing to undo the root causes of the substance use disorder and the chances for relapse are almost guaranteed.
For young adults, particularly, it is extremely difficult to undo all the root causes for a variety of reasons. For example, in the case of trauma, there is a great deal of shame and guilt that may be associated with past traumatic experiences. Undoing the reoccurring trauma is nearly impossible if the shame and guilt are not dealt with as well. In fact, working on trauma or mental health disorders and developing real-world coping mechanisms requires a substantial investment of the individuals time. Often clients will tell their families that thirty days is all they need. For some, this is true, however, for the vast majority of people it takes time, many years at times, to thoroughly work through their issues.
At Triple Peaks Recovery Centers we understand that both the addiction and underlying causes for the addiction manifest themselves differently for men and women. This is why we value a gender-specific, evidence-based treatment approach which have been empirically shown to be effective in the treatment of addiction and dual diagnosis. In fact, we are among a very small handful of treatment programs here in the state of Colorado that offer gender-specific treatment. We also can provide the length of stay to do long-term work surrouding the underlying disorders.
The Best Types of Individual Therapy for Men
In the modern age, it’s becoming more accepted for men to seek assistance with mental disorders and substance abuse. However, it can still take a lot of strength to take that first step and make an appointment with a medical doctor, counselor, or psychotherapist. Knowing where to turn and what type of therapy to choose can be another difficult aspect of the issue.
We’re here to explain the best means of therapy for men and why each is perceived as useful in this situation. We’ll look at how each type of therapy works and what sort of disorders it is best for. We’ll also consider the gendered aspect of the therapy suggestions and why they are excellent options for men, in particular.
The first option you have as a man who is seeking assistance with mental illness or addiction is motivational interviewing. The purpose of this therapy is to help an individual move from a place of uncertainty and into a space where there is motivation to make healthier decisions and accomplish personal goals. This type of therapy is most often used for drug abuse, sex addiction, gambling addiction, depression, and anxiety.
The way that men are socialized often leads to a feeling of uncertainty when it comes to expressing deep emotions. Motivational interviewing can be a comfortable place for men to talk about the things that are plaguing them in a comfortable and relaxing environment. This type of therapy is very low-key with a therapy listening to what the individual has to say and helping them feel supported in the decisions they go on to make.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Another potential therapy type for men is cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). This type of therapy is commonly used with a broad range of mental disorders and addictions. It can be used for PTSD, OCD, depression, eating disorders, schizophrenia, and more. This type of therapy is extremely structured and offers a man both clear goals as well as solutions for attaining those goals.
Something that can be devastating for men is feeling as if they are not in control. CBT is a therapy that can alleviate that feeling for many people. The structured method of therapy that CBT consists of can help an individual feel more emotionally and mentally in control of their own life. This alone can help to remove some of the distress that the person may be feeling. In addition, CBT is something you can continue to use in other aspects of your life. This might appeal to someone who prefers to learn coping methods and leave therapy.
CBT is also something that can be addressed through fellowship within the community through programs like Smart Recovery.
Men go through trauma just like anyone else does. While it may not be commonly discussed, men are victims of emotional, physical, and sexual abuse, not just women. As a male, this kind of trauma can be devastating, but it may seem as if the correct response socially is to downplay those feelings or not even tell anyone about them. Even in other aspects of life, trauma can occur. PTSD is common of those who have served in the armed forces, which can also be worked on through trauma therapy.
Talking about the trauma is something that is often suggested by mental health professionals. By pulling back the layers of suffering that the trauma has caused, it gives a new base to heal from. Men may feel more comfortable talking about their emotions and trauma with someone in a professional atmosphere where they have confidentiality. Many of our therapists actively practice trauma therapy and can provide journey back to a life without so much pain.
Dialectical Behavioral Therapy
Dialectical behavioral therapy, or DBT, is sometimes confused with CBT but they are not the same thing. CBT is primarily used to help a person understand their thoughts and behaviors and then change those patterns and behaviors. DBT, on the other hand, looks at the person’s life and experiences and doesn’t shy away from them. As such, patients using DBT will learn ways to better cope with things that are often stressful or otherwise negative.
Men may find that DBT is an excellent fit for their needs. Like CBT, DBT can be used with many different disorders and addictions. It is straightforward and involves working with a therapist, participating in skills groups, and having access to other support as needed. It is a type of therapy that can seem very logical, which will appeal to many men who require therapy.
The final option for men’s individual treatment is to engage in sessions with a psychiatrist. As a medical doctor, this may feel more comfortable for some men as it doesn’t have the exact same feel as having a therapist. Instead, you see a medical professional who is skilled in mental illness and treating addiction. This person can listen to your problems and help in many different ways. For instance, the psychiatrist may do evaluations and tests to determine what your underlying mental disorder is.
On top of that, once there is a diagnosis, the doctor can treat using various methods. They might suggest psychotherapy for one person, brain stimulation treatment for another person, and prescribe a medication for a third person. Often, a psychiatrist can point you in the direction of resources, as well. This can be helpful for those who prefer to keep their problems quiet unless in a comfortable situation where help is available.
At Triple Peaks Recovery we have an onsite psychiatrist who can be seen on a weekly basis, if needed for updated psychiatric evalutions and medication management. We also have a full time psychologist who is a primary therapist in our mens program. For more intensive needs, such as psychiatric disorders, our clients can get the clinical services needed to help with their underlying disorders.
If you are a young adult male experiencing mental illness or alcohol and drug addiction, there are many treatment options that can help. Triple Peaks Recovery model of care seeks to address underlying disorders or issues that perpertuate your loved one's cycle of addiction. Each client of ours deserves to feel empowered and in control of your own life. Therapy is a way toward that experience and we can offer a variety of onsite and external therapy sessions to help your loved one work on their issues. Call to learn more today.
Five Benefits of Group Therapy for Men
Starting group therapy can be a massive step for anyone, and simply determining whether it is the right thing for you often takes a lot of consideration and thinking. While both men and women seek out therapy, they often have very different reasons for doing so. There are also typically different causes for their substance abuse or mental disorders to manifest to begin with. That’s why it is so important that therapy focuses on the real needs of the individuals who are being treated.
Group therapy with other men can provide an environment that feels safe, relaxed, and comfortable. It has a different feel than everyday life, which can be appreciated by men who are in situations where they feel they lack control. There are many reasons that men should consider group therapy, too many to list in a single article. However, we are going to provide some insight into the most significant benefits that men may see by choosing group therapy.
Lessening the Stigma
The larger society has a whole host of expectations for men, which may or may not be easy to uphold, especially when dealing with mental illness or substance addiction. Men are traditionally expected to show less emotion than women, be strong both physically and mentally, and keep their deepest feelings buried within. This is also why so many men find it difficult to seek therapy to begin with. Asking someone else for help can be the antithesis of what men believe they should be doing, which ironically means that it takes a lot of strength to do so.
In group therapy with other men, an individual may find that those societal expectations fall away. With other men present, a lot of that societal requirement doesn’t seem as pressing. Every man who is there is present for the same reasons, so there’s nothing to prove to anyone else. As such, conversation and discussion can be more focused on serious topics in an effort to find a positive solution.
Lack of Judgment
This lines up with the first benefit, but being in a group with other men can lead to a lessening of any feelings of being judged. In groups with both men and women, there can be huge differences in experiences between men and women. For instance, a woman may have experiences with men who has been aggressive or abusive, which can mean discussing these things is more difficult and nuanced. Men may also have experiences as aggressors which can be very hard to articulate, especially in mixed company.
Of course, a co-ed therapy group doesn’t take away all ability to discuss these challenging topics, but it may be easier in a group solely or mostly made up of men. Sexual tension between members of the opposite sex is also reduced. There may be less contrasting reactions to focus on and more discussion about how other men have experienced and dealt with the same problems. The lack of judgment makes a huge difference when it comes to issues such as these.
Male Focused Issues
There are, of course, specific issues and needs for people of any gender. In a group that is largely or completely made of men, more of the time will be focused on topics specific to men. While it can be important to understand the way other people experience mental illness or substance abuse, it’s more important for therapy to offer solutions and discussions that everyone present can have a part in. This is more achievable in male dominant groups.
Some of the things that can be talked about in a male group therapy session are reasons for mental illness and addiction, the way that men have certain pressures as husbands, boyfriends, fathers, and sons, and how to cope with the various stressors that are specific to men.
Level of Comfort
Men participating in group therapy are more likely to find themselves interested in contributing and continuing that therapy if they feel like the environment is a comfortable one. Many men feel more comfortable in groups with other men for various reasons. As such, a men’s therapy group may allow for a higher level of bonding and trust. While this, in itself, is important, it also leads to a higher level of discussion.
For instance, those who are comfortable and relaxed in an environment with those of their own gender may find it easier to open up about their actual feelings. They may also become more comfortable talking about sex, relationships, and self-esteem. Conversations about control and how it affects their lives, as well as fears about their illness or addiction are more likely to see light, which means they can be worked through.
While men in a group therapy session may not have the same problems, the same background, or the same lifestyle – they do have similar experiences based solely on gender and its effect on life. For men who are in group therapy for alcoholism or drug addiction, those shared experiences and the shared problem can lead to better interactions and understanding of one another.
In addition, men who have experienced abuse may find that it’s easier to accept and talk about with those who are similar to them. While this can sometimes be thought of as an issue that happens only to women, there is nothing that could be farther from the truth. Men experience emotional, physical, mental, and sexual abuse, as well. This can bring up very strong emotions that may be able to be expressed in a situation where a man feels a shared, comfortable environment is available.
Men who are considering therapy for mental illness or substance abuse should consider group therapy. A group that consists of other men can provide understanding, relaxation, and a place where challenging topics are easier to discuss. If you are considering therapy yourself, for whatever reason, choosing to try group therapy or even supplement individual therapy with a group therapy can be a great decision.