Behavioral Couples Therapy (BCT), “a treatment approach for married or cohabiting drug abusers and their partners, attempts to reduce substance abuse directly and through restructuring the dysfunctional couple interactions that frequently help sustain it.” Alcohol and substance use disorders (AUD and SUD) are too often conceptualized as an individualized condition, but external influences, such as a tumultuous domestic life, often perpetuate abusive habits. BCT allows couples to address doubts, insecurities, and grievances in a supportive environment.
Is BCT for Me?
If you or your partner (or both of you) are struggling with AUD or SUD, consider attending BCT sessions. Couples involved in regular BCT report higher levels of satisfaction within their relationship and other familial and social relationships. Reports of domestic abuse and other abusive partner behaviors are less common among couples engaged in BCT. Moreover, those who attend individual and couples therapy abuse drugs and alcohol with less frequency than counterparts who only attend individual therapy sessions. Evaluating the relationship dynamic to locate areas of weakness is a healthy practice, and inviting a mental health professional to mediate the sessions can benefit both partners.
Should BCT Replace Individual Therapy?
BCT should be used as a complement to individual therapy, rather than a replacement. In individual sessions, one can share their thoughts and emotions freely, choosing to focus on issues that are unique to them rather than the experiences they share with a partner. The person struggling with AUD and/or SUD requires specialized treatment, and a shared therapy session cannot effectively treat use disorders. BCT sessions should occur contemporaneously with individual sessions, however, and may propel progress for the individual in recovery from SUD/AUD.
Inviting Your Partner to BCT
If your partner is struggling with SUD/AUD, you do not have the authority to direct them to therapy; only the person with SUD/AUD can choose recovery. If you are a partner with SUD/AUD, explain why BCT seems like a good option for both of you. A loving partner should want to rectify problems to save the relationship and assist in your recovery. BCT can be conducted with one couple or in a group setting, typically with three to four couples. Consider your comfortability with others, costs, and time restraints when searching for your therapist. Make sure to do the research together because this decision is impactful for both parties.
At Avalon Malibu, we believe it is important for both you and your partner to be active participants in your recovery. Our dedicated team of mental health professionals can equip you with the right tools to restructure your relationship. When you graduate from our facility, you and your partner should be able to apply the techniques you learned in treatment in your daily life. Our commitment to offering diverse treatment options means that each person can enjoy a unique rehabilitation experience tailored to their individual needs.
To learn more about BCT and the other programs we offer, please do not hesitate to call us today at (844) 857-5992.