Private rehab vs. State Funded Rehab

Private rehab vs. State Funded Rehab

The term “rehab” is short for the word rehabilitation and refers to a facility that offers treatment for drug abuse and addiction. Rehab sometimes includes a medical detox program that serves the purpose of helping alcohol- and drug-dependent people to ease completely off substances with less discomfort than going cold turkey, or stopping abruptly.  Another part of rehab is the inpatient program. This part of treatment involves therapy that addresses drug addiction behaviors and coping mechanisms to utilize in a sober lifestyle.


There are two types of rehabs: private rehab and state funded rehab. The main difference between these is the way in which the programs are funded.

Private rehab provides services by being funded either by out-of-pocket payment by the patient or by the patient’s health insurance plan. If you have private insurance through your employer or through your spouse’s or another family member’s employer, then more than likely you can attend a private rehab that is in-network with that plan and only have to pay a deductible, if the plan requires it. Some plans do not even have a deductible in which case you can attend a private rehab with no out-of-pocket cost to you.

State funded rehab is just that: its services are able to exist and be provided to those who cannot afford to pay for rehab or who do not have insurance with support of state funding through tax revenue and/or grants.

Services and Amenities

Another way in which private rehab and state funded rehab differs is in the quality and extent of the services that they provide.

Usually, private rehab offers many more amenities that can make your stay more comfortable. A private rehab provides a resort-like atmosphere with some “extras” besides room, board, and therapy. Oftentimes, they offer spa experiences, yoga, meditation, massage, acupuncture, chiropractic adjustments and so on.

State funded rehab provides adequate services that can help anyone get sober who is willing to do the work. It may not be as cushy as private rehab but it is sufficient and meets high standards of quality of care.

Types of Therapy

Both private rehab and state funded rehab offers therapy for substance abuse and addiction however, the type and intensity of the therapy differ between the two.

Private rehab offers alternative and holistic therapies such as Native American sweat lodges, music and art therapy, hypnotherapy, massage therapy, to name only a few. Private rehab also offers the industry standard of cognitive behavioral therapies in both one-on-one and group sessions.

State funded rehab also offer the widely accepted therapy approaches for substance abuse and addiction but often therapy sessions are in group settings because of funding and the growing demand for treatment by more and more people.


Other Considerations: Private Rehab vs. State Funded Rehab

You must be careful to do your research when considering a private rehab. Just because it is private does not mean that it is legitimate or accredited.

Because they must answer to state government and therefore taxpayers, state funded rehabs are strictly regulated. With state funded rehabs, at least you can be sure that treatment is uniform and meets industry standards.






Exposure therapy in addiction treatment

Exposure therapy in addiction treatment

Exposure therapy is a specific type of cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy technique that is often used in the treatment of PTSD and phobias, but exposure therapy is also used in addiction treatment. Exposure therapy in addiction treatment works the same way it does when it is used to treat PTSD and phobias.

Exposure therapy in addiction treatment, just like when it is used for patients with PTSD, is intended to help the patient face and gain control of their addiction. The way exposure therapy in addiction treatment does this is by literally exposing the addict or alcoholic to certain fears, triggers, traumas and stressors. Exposure therapy is done carefully so as not to flood the patient but rather build up to the most severe stressors. The point of this exposure therapy is to desensitize the addict or alcoholic to potential stressors and triggers.

There are many studies that point towards alcoholics and addicts having automatic responses to cues such as seeing as alcohol or places they may have used. Much like when someone who is hungry sees food wants to eat they believe that the alcoholic responds to alcohol in the same way. So in order to combat this exposure therapy in addiction treatment, literally exposes the alcoholic to cues that would normally create a response or want to drink in the alcoholic and gives the alcoholic or addict coping methods or techniques to use to combat and eventually no longer respond in the old way they used to.

Exposure therapy in addiction treatment is a very new concept that doesn’t have a lot of proof of effectiveness to back it up. The rates of relapse after someone has been through exposure therapy have not been studied. While exposure therapy for PTSD has been effective for the treatment of trauma and stress there has been no proof that it will work in addiction treatment. In fact, exposure therapy in addiction treatment could end up having the opposite effect, instead of helping actually hurting the alcoholic.

In one study this is what they had to say about exposure therapy in addiction treatment:

“There continues to be little evidence for the superior efficacy of Cue Exposure Therapy (CET) over other forms of substance abuse treatment. However, it should be emphasized that the efficacy trials did not find CET to be ineffective; indeed CET subjects improved significantly from baseline, though these improvements did not differ from the other active treatment conditions.”

And of course there are all the other problems that anyone who is in the addiction treatment field knows: “Studies investigating Cue Exposure Therapy continue to be challenged by a number of methodological problems, including small sample sizes, high dropout rates, lack of objective measures of substance use and lack of procedures for preventing substance use between extinction sessions.”

The truth about addiction and alcoholism most likely is that any kind of addiction treatment is better than no treatment at all. But when it comes to treating alcoholism and addiction, in my opinion, how can you possibly expect an alcoholic to want to stop drinking by exposing them to things that make them want to drink; even with the better tools to cope with it etc.


Do I Need Therapy?

Do I Need Therapy?

There was a time where even if you didn’t really need therapy you probably should still get therapy just because of its added benefits. But if you really only want to utilize therapy if you really need it than this blog is for you. It can sometimes be difficult to have enough self-awareness and insight to realize that you need therapy. Usually some event has to happen in order to trigger the awareness that you might need some help or just someone to talk to. Luckily there are ways to know if you are looking for answers if you need therapy.

Here are some signs that you might need therapy:

  • If you’re unable to function as you normally do.
  • If you feel unlike yourself – if you’re sleeping a lot more, or more anxious, or less sociable, or just in a weird mood you can’t shake – then don’t simply resign yourself to a less-satisfying life. You need therapy.
  • If you’re dealing with an issue you’ve never dealt with before and it’s making you anxious and unsure about how to proceed. Every now and then, unprecedented situations might come up that make you feel stuck or uncomfortable. Getting therapy offers the chance to talk about ideas with a neutral party who doesn’t have a stake in the outcome.
  • If you need clarity or reassurance. We so rarely give ourselves time to sit in peace and think through the things we’re experiencing. But if you book a therapy session, you’re committing to an hour of sitting and talking through whatever is on your mind.
  • If you’re falling into old patterns or dealing with old issues that aren’t healthy. We all have negative habits and tendencies, for example smoking or possessiveness in a relationship; that we have to actively work to suppress. But if the battle starts to seem way more uphill, it’s a sign that you can’t handle it on your own and may need therapy.
  • If you’re want to gain greater insight into your behavior. Sometimes we can get stuck and aren’t really sure how to make the changes we want to see in our lives. The right therapist can help show you why you make the choices you make, which should help you to make any changes.
  • If you can’t get past an interpersonal conflict. It’s common for family members to become estranged or even simmer indefinitely over the same old issues. Trying therapy can help bring the two of you closer together, or at least help you figure out how to stop contributing to the problem.
  •  If you have difficulty moving beyond any particular issue in your life. Sometimes we have problem to address and don’t know where to start whether it’s related to your love life, family life, self-image or professional stability.

Most people can benefit from therapy and needing therapy doesn’t mean that there is anything wrong with you it just merely means that you want to better your life and your surroundings. There is no reason that you have to settle for anything than the best life for yourself and that’s why if you need therapy you go out and start getting it!


Online therapist for alcohol addiction

Online therapist for alcohol addiction

An online therapist for alcohol addiction sounds like a great idea, but is it really? Yes, an online therapist may be convenient and in some instances cheap, but are you really getting the quality of therapy you may need to treat something as serious as an alcohol addiction. It all really depends on how much therapy is needed and the severity of your alcohol addiction. An evaluation of your alcohol addiction will definitely need to be done in order to determine if this very light level of care will work for you. Such an evaluation can be done online, leading to recommendations for the appropriate treatment.

So who can use or benefit from an online therapist for alcohol addiction help?

People who are already involved in any stage (intensive outpatient, continuing care, aftercare) of traditional treatment program or have completed any stage of a traditional treatment program can use online therapy as a way supplement their treatment.

So what is wrong with an online therapist for alcohol addiction?

1. By its nature, online therapy can be interrupted by technological difficulties beyond the control of either the counselor or the client, for instance, a storm or just a random modem problem. Is your mental health really going to rely on an internet connection? Before services are provided, the client will be given suggestions for alternative methods for contacting the online therapist should disruptions in the client’s service occur (for ex., a public library). The online therapist should pledge that should technical difficulties result from his/her personal computer or other internet access the online therapist will have alternative internet access readily available.

2. The visual and auditory cues available during face-to-face online therapy are, of course, not available in internet counseling. Therefore, it is vital that both the client and the online therapist be diligent in seeking clarification of any communications, as needed. And making sure that everything is well understood and talked about.

3. The online therapist for alcohol addictions must at the outset of the online therapeutic relationship help the client to identify local therapists and other treatment providers, including crisis services in the event of an emergency. Most of the time therapists give their phone number to clients or clients can rush to see them should something happen. With an online therapist for alcohol addiction there is no personal connection like that in the event something goes wrong in the client’s life.

4. The online therapist for alcohol addiction must include safeguards to keep client information confidential and protected from unauthorized access. This is always an unknown when using the Internet. Client information, including history, diagnosis, treatment recommendations, and progress notes, should be for the online therapist’s eyes only. No one else must have access to this information. The information should be retained on a safeguarded CD for one year after the online therapy relationship has ended, or for a longer or shorter period of time dictated by the client.

Therapy is very much a relationship between the therapist and client. With an online therapist for alcohol addiction that relationship is not nearly as strong or as helpful for either one. You would never have a romantic relationship entirely based online for years or even months. So why do the same with a therapist? Online therapists for alcohol addiction may be a great last resort for those who just need a little extra advice here and there but for someone who is really depending on therapy this sounds like a terrible idea

History of Therapy: Albert Ellis

History of Therapy: Albert Ellis

Albert Ellis, Ph.D., was born in Pittsburgh, PA on September 27, 1913 and was raised in New York City. He held an M.A. and Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Columbia University. Albert Ellis held many important psychological positions that included: Chief psychologist of the State of New Jersey and professorships at Rutgers and other universities. More importantly, Albert Ellis was the founder of Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT), the first of the now popular Cognitive Behavioral Therapies (CBT).

In 1954, Ellis began teaching his new techniques to other therapists, and by 1957, he formally set forth the first cognitive behavior therapy by proposing that therapists help people adjust their thinking and behavior as the treatment for emotional and behavioral problems. Two years later, Ellis published ‘How to Live with a Neurotic’, which elaborated on his new method.

Albert Ellis established the Albert Ellis Institute in 1959. The Albert Ellis Institute is a non-profit organization whose mission was to promote Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy as a educative and preventative theory. The Albert Ellis Institute promoted Rational Behavioral Therapy’s practice and theory through training professionals and the public. Initially Albert Ellis ran everything from his own private practice as a psychologist. Then Albert Ellis purchased a six story townhouse in Manhattan in 1964. He took that town house that had previously been occupied by The Woodrow Wilson Institute and used it for his work. Albert Ellis donated the earnings of his books to purchase the building and to fund the running costs of the Institute.

Albert Ellis practiced psychotherapy, marriage and family counseling as well as sex therapy for over sixty years at the Psychological Center of the Institute in New York. Albert Ellis also served as president of the Division of Consulting Psychology of the American Psychological Association and of the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality. He also served as officer of several profession societies including the American Association of Marital and Family Therapy, the American Academy of Psychotherapists, and the American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors, and Therapists.

Albert Ellis was ranked one of the most influential psychologists by both American and Canadian psychologists and counselors. He also served as consulting or associate editor of many scientific journals. He published more than eight hundred scientific papers and more than two hundred audio and video cassettes. 

During his final years he collaborated with Michael S. Abrams, Ph.D., on his only college textbook Personality Theories: Critical Perspectives. Albert Ellis also wrote an autobiography entitled “All Out!” published by Prometheus Books in June 2010. The book was dedicated to and contributed by his wife Dr. Debbie Ellis who Ellis described as “The greatest love of my whole life, my whole life”. He also entrusted the legacy of REBT to her. In early 2011, the book Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy by Dr. Albert Ellis and his wife Dr. Debbie Ellis was released by the American Psychological Association. The book explains the essentials of the theory of REBT and is considered an excellent basic guide in understanding the REBT approach for students and practitioners of psychology as well as for the general public.


Airport Therapy Dogs

Airport Therapy Dogs

Airport therapy dogs are exactly what they sound like, dogs meant to provide therapy in airports. These dogs are not sniffing out drugs or there as security; these dogs are just meant to bring a smile to anyone in the airport who wants to be near them.

Airport therapy dogs are becoming more prevalent in U.S. airports where travelers are in need of a friend. Travelers can interact with loving dogs that are looking for a belly rub or even just a hug. The idea behind airport therapy dogs is that you never know why people are flying or what kind of day they have had and traveling can make anyone’s day a little bit more stressful with its long lines, crowds and terrorism concerns; airport therapy dogs are meant to relieve some of that stress.

Airport therapy dogs have to be healthy, skilled, stable and well-mannered. They must also be able to work on a slack 4-foot leash. The airport therapy dogs also have to be comfortable with crowds, sounds, smells and they have to pass through security just like all the other airport workers. The airport therapy dog handlers are taught to watch for people who may be afraid or dislike dogs or those who might have allergies. In most cases the people who like dogs will come up to them. The airport therapy dogs are identifiable by their vests or bandanas that they wear around the airport.

People can come up to the airport therapy dogs and hug them, touch them, talk to them, pet them etc. The whole point is for the dog to make them feel better about whatever it is and if they are already having a good day just to make them smile. The airport therapy dogs are already having a big impact. Anyone who is around them leaves smiling; strangers begin talking to each other etc.

Here are some sweet stories of airport therapy dogs from the New Jersey Herald:

When Claudia McCaskill’s family recently flew home from vacation in Brazil she requested Casey meet the plane to greet her 5-year-old daughter, Carina, who is autistic. She knew Carina would be low on energy and patience and they still had a 2.5-hour drive home to St. Lucie. Casey and handler Liz Miller were there with a gift basket and Carina fell in love with the dog. “Thank you for visiting us at the airport so I would be happy,” Carina said in a video the family made for Casey. Now Carina wants to go back and see Casey again. “I can’t say how much we appreciate what they did for us. It not only helped our daughter, but us too,” McCaskill said.

Before departing from San Jose, a soldier kneeled down and told Henry James: “OK, buddy, you take care of the house while I am gone,” Hubis said.

A woman who said her husband of 40 years told her he wanted a divorce that morning wept on Henry’s shoulder. “He just sat there,” Hubis said. “He knew. He can feel.”

Airport therapy dogs have been a huge success at the few airports where they are working which is mainly within the Los Angeles International Airport; within Miami International Airport; and in San Jose, California’s airport.

Antisocial Personality Disorder Therapy

Antisocial Personality Disorder Therapy

Antisocial personality disorder is more commonly referred to as psychopathy or sociopathy in today’s popular culture. Antisocial personality disorder is characterized by patterns of disregard for other people’s rights and more often crossing the line and violating those rights. Antisocial personality disorder usually begins during childhood or as a teen and continues on into adult life. Someone who has an antisocial personality disorder fails to feel empathy and tends to be cynical, hard and contemptuous of other people’s feelings, rights, and suffering. Someone with antisocial personality disorder may be arrogant, excessively opinionated, self-assured, or cocky. Antisocial personality disorder is really characterized by a lack of empathy, an inflated self-appraisal, and superficial charm.

Antisocial personality disorder is usually diagnosed in someone who has had a pattern of antisocial behavior since the age of 15 even though only adults can be diagnosed with antisocial personality disorder. Some of the symptoms of antisocial personality disorder are:

  • Deceitfulness
  • Impulsivity
  • Irritability and aggressiveness
  • Reckless disregard for safety of self and others
  • Irresponsibility
  • Lack of remorse
  • Failure to conform to social norms

Researchers today don’t know what causes antisocial personality disorder. It is believed to be caused by biological, genetic, social and psychological factors. Antisocial personality disorder therapy usually is a long term type of therapy with a therapist that has experience in treating antisocial personality disorder. Antisocial personality disorder therapy usually includes trying to connect the person’s actions and their feelings together. Emotions are usually the focus of antisocial personality disorder therapy. People with antisocial personality disorder often tend to have no significant emotionally rewarding relationships with other people; this means that the relationship a patient makes with a therapist may be one of the first ones. Antisocial personality disorder therapy also focuses on reinforcing emotions that are safe which means it reinforces any emotion that is not anger or frustration. People who need antisocial personality disorder therapy often have problems with authority figures. This means during antisocial personality disorder therapy the therapist makes sure to take a totally neutral stance instead of an authoritative one.

There are also other types of antisocial personality disorder therapies aside from individual psychotherapy. For instance, some other antisocial personality disorder therapies that are effective are group and family therapy. Any group therapy for antisocial personality disorder isn’t effective though. Usually when someone with antisocial personality disorder is in a group setting they will shut down or be more apt to close off emotionally; it is easier too. When in a group setting that is totally exclusive for those with an antisocial personality disorder it is most effective. The patient instead of being given reason to close off emotionally has more reason to open up.

Unfortunately the truth about antisocial personality disorder therapy is that most people who are suffering from the disorder don’t seek out treatment on their own. Most people who are participating in antisocial personality disorder therapy are mandated to go either by the courts or a significant other. This makes antisocial personality disorder therapy even more difficult because most of the patients are unmotivated.


What to do when you can’t afford therapy

Cost of therapy

One of the biggest reasons some people who need therapy don’t get therapy is because of money. They might look at a therapist’s hourly rate and immediately assume that they can’t afford it at all so they just give up. The truth is that if you need therapy you can probably manage to get it you just need to know what to do if you can’t.  Here are some really good ideas on what to do when you can’t afford therapy but really want it or need it.

  • Check with your insurance- Even if you can’t pay the hourly rate out of your own pocket for therapy, you may be able to afford it with insurance, if you have it. Just call your insurance and see what therapists are covered in your network. Chances are therapy that costs one hundred to two hundred dollars will only costs you a fraction of that. If you insurance won’t help pay for therapy find out what it does cover. You may be surprised.


  • Another thing you can do when you can’t afford therapy is try a training clinic. Training clinic offers clients a sliding scale. Usually training clinics are at universities where graduate students are preparing to become psychologists.


  • Try a community mental health center for when you can’t afford therapy. To find a community mental health center use the internet, use Google, or look at your state government website for the Department of Human Services.


  • Read self-help books when you can’t afford therapy. You can call local therapists and just search around online for book recommendations. Depending on what your special needs are you can find self-help books for everything now days.


  • Self-help groups are great when you can’t afford therapy. Self-help groups are free and are a lot like group therapy. Sometimes self-help groups are run by mental health professionals or they are run by peers. Ask therapists if they offer lower costs for group therapy session or where they know of some self-help groups. With self-help groups you can meet people who are struggling with the same thing you are.


  • Look up some natural or holistic ways to deal with whatever you are going through. When you can’t afford therapy you can find other holistic therapies that you can do all by yourself on your own. For instance, you can try working out, meditation, breathing exercises, eating well, drinking more water, or even buying a pet. Whatever it is that may make you feel better naturally. Go get a massage, maybe get into acupuncture, or get some chiropractic care. All of those things are cheaper than some therapy. Either way you can find out all about these holistic ways of healing yourself online or with podcasts and on YouTube.

When you can’t afford therapy you have to do what works for you whatever that is. A lot of the time you will find a solution to your problems in the places you least expected it.

Grief and Substance Abuse

Grief and Substance Abuse

Grief and Substance Abuse

Grief is a response to loss and it can involve many different facets. It is feelings of sorrow, emotion, and confusion after losing someone or something that is important to you. It is a natural, normal part of life. Grief can be experienced in reaction to death, divorce, job loss, a move away from family and friends, or a loss of health due to illness.

Grief and Substance Abuse: Emotions

Grief is often associated with crying, anger and depression. But these are not necessarily the only emotions a person experiences when they are grieving. Some people feel emptiness and apathy. Others get angry or frustrated. Still others will use drugs and alcohol as a way to cope with the grief. This is why the link between grief and substance abuse is so strong. Drugs and alcohol become a way for some people to numb the difficult emotions.

Grief and Substance Abuse: The Connection

Many people turn to drugs and alcohol to cope with a loss. They may find comfort in drugs and alcohol, that the substances are there for them when they need them. They may wish to numb the way they are feeling or forget about what happened. Or they may use substance abuse to punish themselves for the loss, in the case of a divorce, job loss, accident, or death of a child.

When people combine grief and substance abuse, they may appear strong when they are not. They may feel that grief is a weakness. But people who abuse drugs and alcohol to deal with a loss are in fact just numbing their emotions and prolonging the process of grief.

In addition, combining grief and substance abuse can cause people to act out recklessly. The combination of their emotional state plus the reduction of inhibitions from drugs and alcohol can cause them to do things they otherwise would not do. They may use multiple drugs, drink until they are intoxicated, engage in risky sexual behaviors, drive while drunk, share needles, or take drugs they normally would not take. This tendency is especially common in people with a history of substance abuse, anxiety, depression, or negative behavior patterns.

Grief and Substance Abuse: The Danger

Substance abuse masks grief. Some people who have significant substance abuse issues may have started using or drinking as a way to cope with loss or grief. They continue to use because they don’t want to feel it. They know that as soon as they stop using drugs and alcohol, they will have to feel all the emotions they have been suppressing.

Grief and substance abuse is a common problem in drug addicts and alcoholics. Whether or not they were already abusing substances when it happen, many addicts and alcoholics experienced some type of grief which kicked off or worsened their substance abuse. To recover, they have to get clean sober and deal with the emotions that are associated with the loss. They will have to come to terms with it and learn how to process emotions in a healthy way.

Gestalt Therapy

Gestalt Therapy

Gestalt therapy is a type of therapy that is used to deepen the awareness of the individual and their feelings in a less intellectual manner in comparison to other traditional forms of therapy. The word “Gestalt” means whole or implies wholeness. Gestalt therapy believes that in any experience there are feelings in the background and the foreground or front of it. The idea of gestalt therapy is that all people have had to repress or suppress aspect of them because they weren’t accepted or supported. It is those aspects of themselves that end up in the background and can become unfinished business or unresolved issues.

The Gestaltists say that individuals usually only identify with one side of an internal conflict. If individuals can get in touch with both sides of a conflict and own both different views of that conflict then the conflict can be resolved without having to force anything and the solution should just come naturally. Gestaltists believe that forcing improvement involves becoming obsessed or preoccupied with changing or failing. It keeps individuals from being able to fully experience the here and now and who they are here and now.

Gestalt therapy helps to shed light on those unresolved issues by helping the individual to focus their awareness on their feelings or lack of feelings moment to moment. Once an individual can recognize their unresolved problems, issues, business; for example uncomfortable feelings, patterns of behavior, ways that they seem themselves and others based on experience rather than reality, they are able to handle and understand them and to choose whether or not they want to make any changes.

One of the most common methods of gestalt therapy is known as the empty-chair technique. The empty-chair technique is a simple and yet profound tool to involve self-exploration. When an individual goes to see a Gestalt therapist the therapist will usually have an extra chair in the room, an empty chair. The chair actually serves an important purpose as a part of gestalt therapy. The gestalt therapist will ask the client to hold an imagined conversation with someone or something that is in the empty chair. The empty chair technique as a part of gestalt therapy stimulates thinking, highlighting emotions and attitude.

A good example of the empty chair technique used in gestalt therapy would be the therapist asking a daughter to picture their mother in the chair and to have an imagined conversation with her. Whatever or whoever the conversation is with, it is meant to clarify the feelings and reaction to the other person or thing and can increase the understanding of the other person as well giving insight. Gestalt therapy believes that all of the images, memories, emotions, judgments, expectations about the other thing or person in the chair belong to the individual. The conflict is inside the individual not the other person. The imagined conversation with the person or thing in the empty chair proves it. It is all imagined and created from the individual. Gestalt therapy believes in assuming responsibility for your own difficulties, owning them, exploring them, every side, feeling them to the fullest and making choices and finding your way out of your own messes.