Evidence-based therapies are practices that adhere to psychological approaches and techniques that are based on scientific evidence, and thus are the preferred approaches to treatment. These therapies are further defined to include consideration of a patients’ preferences, actions, clinical state and circumstances. These therapies may include:
- Cognitive Processing Therapy for PTSD - This evidence-based therapy, often used as part of cognitive behavioral therapy, helps patients confront their anxieties by safely exposing them to situations or objects that evoke the fears. Often recommended for patients who have suffered trauma, exposure therapy provides a method for teaching patients to approach trauma-related memories and the feelings associated with those memories. Doing so can diminish post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms and help people overcome their fear of situations that remind them of the trauma.
- Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT): DBT is an evidence-based therapy that can be highly effective for people who have a substance abuse disorder and are diagnosed with personality disorders, including those who have difficulty regulating their emotions, have suicidal thoughts, or may harm themselves. This practical behavioral therapy is based on the principles of the third wave of cognitive therapy and includes instruction in grounding and mindfulness practices. Through DBT, patients gain a better understanding of themselves and the knowledge they need to express their emotions constructively. The goal of DBT is help people learn and use new skills and strategies to develop a life that they experience as worth living.
- Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) for PTSD: EMDR is an evidence-based treatment for people who have suffered any kind of trauma. Many of the people we treat for substance abuse disorders have experienced trauma at some point in their lives. That unresolved trauma is often one of the factors in their substance abuse. EMDR employs bilateral stimulation, most often through eye movement, to reprocess distressing memories and the brain’s flight or fight response. In a relatively few EMDR sessions, patients are able to release the negative experiences and move forward. It does not require patients to talk about the trauma and its side effects are minimal.
- Focused Expressive therapies: Therapies defined as expressive therapies combine use of the arts with psychotherapy or counseling in order to treat patients. Art, music, drama, dance, play, and sand tray are some of the types of therapy that are considered expressive therapy.
- Neurofeedback therapy: Neurofeedback therapy, an evidence-based, breakthrough behavioral health modality designed to identify and treat co-occurring disorders, is a noninvasive therapeutic intervention that involves mapping and stimulating the brain in order to restore normal functioning in addicted or mentally ill persons. As part of an integrated care model, neurofeedback reinforces recovery by reducing cravings and compulsions. It also helps clients manage moods and emotions, process anxiety, improve sleep, and develop new, healthy behaviors that prevent relapse. Neurofeedback is used at Caron to supplement clinical therapy. Learn more.
- Prolonged Exposure Therapy (PE): This evidence-based therapy is a kind of exposure therapy (see description above) that exposes patients for a prolonged period of time to objects or situations that provoke anxiety. The prolonged exposure works to significantly diminish the anxiety. The therapy also uses psychoeducation and cognitive processing to help patients deal with their anxieties.
- Mindfulness-based stress reduction: This evidence-based therapeutic intervention is based on the use of mindfulness meditation to help patients take better care of themselves so that they can live healthier and more adaptive lives.