Do you know the difference between insight and learning-based psychotherapy?
These are two very different approaches you can take when exploring therapy, so it’s good to know the difference. Let’s take a closer look!
When you’re in recovery you might find yourself participating in a wide range of activities, all meant to support your recovery from addiction and/or mental illness. One of these activities is therapy. It is a time to reflect on your past and current experiences so that you can learn, heal, and grow.
In basic terms, you could say that psychotherapy comes in two forms.
First, there are types of therapies that are meant to promote insight or revelation regarding your thought pattern, history, behavior, or life choices.
These are called insight therapies.
On the other hand, therapy can focus on how a disorder (such as addiction) manifests in your life and affects your behavior, decision making, or thought patterns.
There are called learning-based therapies.
Learning based therapies are not so concerned with causes as they are with giving you practical tools so that you can change unhealthy patterns of thinking, feeling, or behaving. Both insight therapies and learning-based therapies are necessary in recovery from addiction.
Having the opportunity to experience insights might help you understand why you engage in certain behavior. Perhaps your early experiences influenced the development of an addiction to drugs and alcohol. Insight therapy would safely attempt to bring those childhood memories to the surface in order to promote further understanding of who you are and why you do the things you do. Having a greater understanding of your life can facilitate being compassionate toward yourself. At the same time, learning based therapies can give you tools to manage cravings, stress, and triggers.
Benefits of Psychotherapy
If you’re in recovery now and participating in therapy, you might be able to identify how therapy may be facilitating insight into your life as well as teaching you coping skills to manage life in new and healthy ways. In fact, psychotherapy can add to the success of your recovery in significant ways.
- Understand your mental illness or addiction
- Define and reach wellness or holistic goals
- Overcome fears or insecurities about yourself
- Cope with stress and overwhelming emotions
- Make sense of past traumatic experiences or losses in your life
- Discover your true personality underneath the mood swings and other symptoms caused by a mental illness
- Identify triggers that may worsen your symptoms
- Manage cravings if you’re in recovery
- Improve relationships with family and friends
- Establish a stable, dependable routine
- Develop a plan for coping with crises
- Understand why things bother you and what you can do about them
- End destructive habits such as drinking, using drugs, or overspending
If you’re participating in therapy and you’re not enjoying it, consider the benefits you can receive, such as those mentioned above. In fact, in order to really receive any benefits, therapy asks that you actively participate. If you’re actively involved in learning about yourself, you’re likely to uncover something that can add to your recovery.