Published by Raffa Bari | Last updated: 31st March 2023


Clinically Reviewed by Dr. Olalekan Otulana (Advanced Practitioner)

question mark

All information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.
Last Reviewed: 17th June 2022

Addiction counselling is usually offered as part of a typical drug and alcohol addiction recovery plan. There are two main types of counselling sessions in a rehab treatment programme. These are group therapies and individual therapies. All of the different types of counselling sessions offered in rehab aim to give addicts more insight into their addiction, learn how to change their behaviours, motivate them with their recovery process, and help the addict to learn key relapse prevention skills.

If you or someone you know is suffering from addiction, you may be interested in learning more about counselling and addiction recovery. On this page, we will go over everything you need to know about the different types of counselling for addiction recovery, how counselling works in addiction recovery, and some facts and statistics about addiction counselling.


Counselling In Addiction Treatments

Counselling and therapy have some stigma around them. People will often associate these types of treatments with people that are being branded with outdated labels, such as people who are unstable or suffering from extreme mental illnesses. Many people also don’t realise just how wide the subject actually is. Some types of therapies don’t resemble typical talk therapies at all.

Addiction is considered to be a psychological issue by most professionals, even though it does include several physical symptoms. Since addictions are so psychological, therapy is a key element throughout any addiction recovery programme. Many people consider therapy to be the most important part of an addiction treatment plan.


How Does Counselling Work In Addiction Recovery?

As mentioned, addiction is considered to be a psychological issue rather than just a physical dependency. Detoxing can help a person recover from their physical dependency. However, this process won’t help with the psychological problems that lead to the addiction in the first place. This is where counselling comes in, and this can be one of the key factors in producing results that lead to long-term sobriety.

Counselling can help to treat the problems that originally resulted in the psychological addiction. The psychological part of addiction is usually much more difficult to treat and will take longer to treat. Counselling is usually provided within rehab as part of the addiction treatment plan. The therapies will then also continue through to after to ensure relapse prevention and to keep the addict motivated to remain sober.


What Are The Different Types of Addiction Counselling?

There are several different types of counselling treatments that you may come across during addiction recovery. Below, we will go over the various types of counselling treatments that you can expect when recovering from an addiction:

Acceptant and Commitment Therapy

This type of therapy encourages the addict to open up about their unpleasant feelings, experiences, and memories. Through doing this, the person will learn more about how to cope and react without the substance they are dependent on. The three main parts of ACT are accepting their reactions, remaining present, choosing a more valued direction, and taking appropriate action.

Art Therapy

Art therapy allows a person to release their emotions through creative art. It then focuses on the discussion and analysis of the art in question. Rather than simply talking with a therapist, the patient uses creativity and artwork to express their thoughts and feelings.

Alcoholics Anonymous

This is one of the most popular types of self-help support programmes available. In AA, an alcohol addict can work through a 12-step programme, pushing them towards a new sober lifestyle. There are support meetings of this kind all over the world, and they occur pretty much every day. Anyone can go to one of these meetings for help and encouragement.

Narcotics Anonymous

This treatment is similar to AA. However, this is aimed at people who have been suffering from a drug addiction instead of an alcohol addiction.


Counselling is quite a broad term. However, this usually involves a counsellor offering their advice to an addict and supporting them with their recovery. This is different to many other therapy options as this allows the counsellor to provide their direct opinion based on what they personally think is best for the addict.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

CBT is a type of talking therapy that allows patients to learn about their negative thought processes and learn new, more positive thoughts and beliefs. A therapist can also help the addict develop coping strategies that can help them remain sober in the long term. The therapies will not always tell the person the coping strategies. Instead, they will try to motivate the addict on their own.

Dialectal Behavioural Therapy

DBT is another type of CBT. However, in this therapy, the counsellor will accept and validate the addict’s emotions and will show them where their behaviours and actions are negative. The end goal of this type of therapy is the help change the behaviours of the addict, not necessarily changing their feelings and thoughts.

Family Therapy

Family therapy focuses on therapy for the entire family. The aim of this is to help the whole family identify and learn to deal with any problems and helps them to understand each other. This can help a lot in rebuilding relationships that have crumbled due to the addiction.

Group Therapy

Group therapy is where multiple addicts have a session together. The counsellor can teach skills during these sessions and may initiate discussions between the addicts. This is an important part of addiction recovery.


This type of therapy is quite broad. It uses various methods to help the addict overcome their issues and alter their behaviours. There are over 1000 different types of psychotherapy techniques.

Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing

This is a process that aims to help an addict associate a painful memory with less negative feelings, helping them to heal from the trauma. This is typically used to help people who have become an addict due to PTSD.

Motivational Enhancement Therapy

The goal of this type of therapy is to help minimise the doubts that the addict may have when going through their recovery process. This can be very beneficial in the earlier stages of addiction recovery.

Raffa Bari

Raffa Bari - Author Last updated: 31st March 2023

CQC Registered Manager

Raffa manages the day to day caring services here at Cassiobury Court. Dedicated to the treatment and well being of our visitors she is an outstanding mental health coach registered with BAAT (British Association of Art Therapists). Raffa has outstanding experience in managing rehabs across the country and is vastly experienced at helping people recover from drug and alcohol addictions.

Dr. Olalekan Otulana (Advanced Practitioner)

Dr. Olalekan Otulana (Advanced Practitioner) - Medical Reviewer - Last Reviewed: 17th June 2022

Dr. Olalekan Otulana MBChB, DRCOG, MRCGP, DFSRH, FRSPH, MBA (Cantab)

 Dr Otulana is a highly experienced GP and Addiction Physician. He has a specialist interest in Substance Misuse Management and he has a wide range of experience in the assessment, management (including detoxification) and residential rehabilitation of clients with various drug and substance addiction problems.  His main aim is to comprehensively assess patients with addiction problems and determine their treatment needs for medical detoxification treatments and psychological interventions. He is also experienced in managing patients who require dual drug and alcohol detoxification treatments.

A strong healthcare services professional with a Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) degree from Cambridge University Judge Business School.