Beyond Therapy Alone: The Role of Good Detox and Rehab

Woman looks thoughtfully out train windowThe popular TV show Intervention has made much of the importance of entering detox, especially for individuals whose relationship with drugs or alcohol has persisted over years. Willpower alone is, for most people, not enough to overcome a long-term, daily habit, particularly when the person is still heavily influenced by the substance. In some cases, family and friends step in, but refusing rehab and therapy is still a very real possibility. From Amy Winehouse to The Office, pop culture gives us plenty of examples of refusing rehab for substance abuse. But for all of the negative examples Hollywood gives us, there are still a few situations in which celebrities willingly check themselves into detox or rehab. David Arquette has done so recently, with the notable love support of his estranged wife, Courtney Cox.

There are two phases involved in recovery from alcohol and drug abuse. The value of a therapist or counselor only comes into play once the person is sober and can play an active role in the healing process. So the first phase of recovery is to clear the fog of that particular and get sober. This can be done at an in-patient rehabilitation center or at a hospital, depending on the nature of the addiction. Withdrawal can be physically dangerous, so it’s essential to have trained medical professionals overseeing the process.

Once a person is sober, the second phase is to work on maintaining that sobriety. This phase is, of course, far more tedious and complicated. It can’t be done to you or for you, and it requires hard work, persistence, and honesty–with the self as well as others. However, it’s not a journey that’s taken alone. There are therapists and counselors who specialize specifically in substance abuse, many of whom have been addicted themselves. The recovery process is both challenging and rewarding, especially when an emphasis is placed on the individual’s ability to make positive choices and then enjoy the benefits of doing so. And just as substance abuse is about more than just that substance, therapy is about more than daily choices as well. A person recovering from addiction can work through any number of past personal issues with the support and guidance of a trained therapist who understands. Recovery isn’t easy, but it is certainly possible. There are hundreds and thousands of examples of this possibility, and there’s no reason you or your loved one can’t become yet another.

© Copyright 2011 by By Noah Rubinstein, LMFT, LMHC, therapist in Olympia, Washington. All Rights Reserved. Permission to publish granted to

The preceding article was solely written by the author named above. Any views and opinions expressed are not necessarily shared by Questions or concerns about the preceding article can be directed to the author or posted as a comment below.

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  • Bradley


    January 9th, 2011 at 11:07 AM

    Wow,I didn’t know a therapist’s work starts after te person has sobered up…I’m no expert in the field,but the articles here give a common person like me a lot of knowlege regarding psychotherapy.

  • Cecil


    January 9th, 2011 at 1:30 PM

    What about that Celebrity Rehab crap? Dr. Drew wants us to think that he is a real therapist but this reality show seems like a shameless push for attention and money.

  • alison


    January 9th, 2011 at 9:55 PM

    rehab and deaddiction,if you ask me,test whether the person can actually quit the substance abuse (or anything else that may be the problem) and stay away from it.if the person is capable of doing that,he can then be finished and polished by’s not like a few sessions of therapy alone will do the trick of turning an addicted into a sobered and normal person.



    January 10th, 2011 at 5:47 AM

    Rehab is a very important stage for any addict to actually kick the addiction and stay away from the substance abuse that they had got so used to.If a person is not de-addicted there is nothing that can help him/her too much.

  • sal


    January 10th, 2011 at 6:08 AM

    There are some good programs out there and if you can find a good one then it is definitely worth the effort to find one. The people who are a part of many of those are well trained to help patients with their recovery and can offer so much more personalized treatment in a residential program than you may receive in traditional therapy.

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Title   Content   Author is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis, medical treatment, or therapy. Always seek the advice of your physician or qualified mental health provider with any questions you may have regarding any mental health symptom or medical condition. Never disregard professional psychological or medical advice nor delay in seeking professional advice or treatment because of something you have read on