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Individualized Care for You

Therapies for Alcohol Addiction in San Diego


At San Diego Detox, we have a supportive staff made up of experienced addiction treatment experts. Our team relies on the latest research, clinical evidence and scientific understanding when we create alcohol addiction treatment plans. Treatment for alcohol addiction often includes combined therapeutic approaches that are tailored to the needs of the individual. Personalized treatment plans are crucial because what works for one person may have different effectiveness for another.


While we are an alcohol addiction treatment program that believes research is critical in planning care, we are also empathetic and compassionate. We work to understand where you are now, and we do everything possible to help you not just achieve sobriety but create a life and recovery that fulfills you in every way. With our team by your side, you get the best possible care in each step of the treatment process.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Cognitive-behavioral therapy is one evidence-based therapeutic approach that addresses the relationship between thoughts, feelings and behaviors. It can be helpful in the context of alcohol addiction because it helps individuals to identify and challenge their unhelpful beliefs and thoughts surrounding their alcohol use. As you’re working with our clinicians, you can begin to recognize irrational beliefs and modify unhealthy behaviors associated with alcohol use.

  • As part of the process of CBT, you learn alternative behaviors and coping strategies to deal with stressors or triggers. 
  • CBT equips individuals with the practical skills they need to navigate situations that could otherwise lead to relapse. These skills can include communication, problem-solving and stress management techniques.
  • During CBT, you’ll set realistic, achievable goals for your recovery. Work towards incremental changes in your behavior and lifestyle that support your recovery and improve your sense of self-efficacy.

While CBT tends to be a cornerstone of alcohol addiction treatment, if it’s not the right fit for you for any reason, we’ll find alternative approaches.

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)

A form of CBT, DBT is helpful for the treatment of many mental health conditions and substance use disorders, including alcohol addiction. DBT integrates cognitive-behavioral strategies with acceptance-based techniques. There’s an emphasis on the balance between acceptance and change.

  • DBT helps individuals identify and regulate their intense emotions. For alcohol addiction, learning healthy ways to manage emotions can reduce the dependence on alcohol as a coping mechanism. 
  • This therapeutic approach emphasizes mindfulness, encouraging individuals to be present in the moment, free from judgment. This helps to reduce impulsive behaviors.
  • Other elements of DBT include the teaching of practical skills for distress tolerance, improving interpersonal skills, and finding a balance between emotional and rational thinking.

If DBT is a good fit for you, you’ll be equipped with skills and strategies to navigate difficult situations and crises while ensuring you’re staying in line with your core values. DBT is usually structured as one part of a more comprehensive program.

Family Systems Approach

The Family Systems Approach is a therapy framework that views the family as an interconnected system. It recognizes the role of family in addiction. 

  • For alcohol addiction and substance use disorders, it helps therapists and families identify patterns of communication, behaviors and roles within the family that could contribute to or help maintain addiction. It looks beyond the individual on their own to understand the effects on the entire family system.
  • During treatment at San Diego Detox, the Family Systems Approach helps families improve the emotional connection that exists between each of them. 
  • You can learn to understand yourself in relation to your family while creating a space for growth.

Broad goals of the Family Systems Approach include breaking codependency, establishing boundaries, and providing families with psychoeducation so they can better support the recovery process.

Music Therapy

A creative, expressive therapeutic approach, music therapy addresses the many needs of an individual—physically, socially, emotionally and cognitively. If someone is struggling with alcohol addiction, at San Diego Detox, our music therapy programs provide a non-verbal outlet for emotional expression. 

  • When someone is in recovery, they may face challenges articulating their emotions, and music can help them do that and regulate these emotions.
  • Listening to or creating music can induce relaxation, reducing stress. Stress management is a significant component of treatment for alcohol addiction.
  • Music-related activities such as creating music or playing instruments can become a coping mechanism. 
  • Music has the distinct ability to alter moods and evoke emotions, so it can serve as a tool to achieve a more positive emotional state. 

Music therapy’s benefits can be applicable to many conditions. These can include post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety and addiction.

At San Detox, music therapy can be combined with other therapeutic approaches and treatment tools to support your holistic healing.

Art Therapy

In art therapy at San Diego Detox, individuals use creative processes, including painting, sculpting and drawing, to express themselves and deeply explore their thoughts and emotions. Trained art therapists guide them throughout this experience. 

  • It’s a non-verbal means to express complex emotions that would otherwise be difficult to articulate.
  • Through the creative process, individuals engaging in art therapy can gain insight into the underlying issues that contribute to alcohol addiction. 
  • This form of therapy is an excellent way to reduce stress and relax, and it provides a healthy outlet for emotional tension.
  • As is true with many of our holistic therapy approaches, art therapy can begin to help individuals gain coping skills. Creating art is a constructive, positive way to deal with challenges in recovery and life in general. 
  • It can become part of relapse prevention strategies, foster mindfulness and boost self-esteem. 

We encourage you to contact us to learn more about the many therapies we offer, how we structure an individualized approach to treating alcohol addiction, and to take the next step toward your recovery.