Types of Alcohol Treatment Centers: Holistic vs Cognitive

Is the holistic or cognitive approach best for your alcohol recovery?

Regardless of whether you choose an inpatient or outpatient alcohol rehab center, you’ll still be faced with various treatment approaches.

These treatment approaches can be loosely separated into various categories. Holistic and cognitive treatments are both quite popular.

Holistic approaches are more natural. Cognitive approaches focus more on retraining the body and mind.

Some treatment facilities specialize in holistic addiction treatment. Others might specialize in cognitive behavioral therapy for alcoholism.

But, which one is best for your alcohol recovery? Which type of treatment program should you lean towards?

Let’s take a deeper look into these treatment options.


What Is Holistic Treatment?

More than one-third of adults in the U.S. rely on some form of holistic medicine.

This type of treatment approach seems to be growing traction. It’s becoming more popular.

A holistic treatment approach integrates both physical, mental and spiritual treatment together. These types of treatments are considered natural. They come from cultural traditions.

There’s nothing invasive about these procedures for treating alcohol abuse and addiction.

Since it’s seen as natural, many people are interested in getting alcohol addiction treatment from a holistic alcohol treatment center.

Some popular examples of holistic treatment methods include:


  • Acupuncture and acupressure
  • Biofeedback and neurofeedback
  • Herbal medicines
  • Massage therapy
  • Meditation
  • Nutritional therapy for treating nutritional deficiencies
  • Reiki and other types of energy work
  • Yoga


Holistic drug rehab centers focus on the fact that people have an innate healing ability. These techniques are designed to unlock that potential.

Each alcohol and drug addiction treatment center will use different holistic approaches.

These holistic approaches can help ease withdrawal symptoms. They also heal and calm the body and spirit.


The Effectiveness of Holistic Treatment Approaches

Depending on the type of holistic alcohol treatment you choose, the effectiveness of the therapy will differ. Some holistic therapies have a lot more research backing them than others.

Other times, the research is often inconclusive.

Some patients find themselves more receptive to treatment in general when receiving holistic therapy. They may feel more comfortable to the idea of substance use disorder treatment.

If you’re curious as to how effective a certain approach is, it’s important to do some research on it yourself.

For example, studies have shown that acupuncture can ease withdrawal symptoms. It can help people in recovery wean off of illicit drugs, prescription drugs and alcohol.

Massage can also help ease muscle or joint aches.


What Is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)?

Cognitive behavioral therapy involves both behavioral theory and cognitive theory. It’s a goal-oriented therapeutic approach.

CBT techniques help recovering addicts change maladaptive emotions. They promote positive thinking and behaviors.

Patients learn how to change their behavior and thought process, so they will be more likely to do certain actions.

Addiction therapists will work closely with patients during CBT sessions to instill various skills.

They identify problems and set personal goals. They, then, determine which skills are needed to accomplish or reach said goals.

CBT will be personalized for each patient. It’s a versatile therapeutic approach, as it takes into consideration the patient’s perspective. This means that CBT can be culturally sensitive.

These types of therapy sessions involve not only “talk therapy”, but also skill building. Patients will be given homework after each CBT session.

CBT techniques are not only used to treat substance use disorders. They can be used in many other situations.


Other Alternatives to CBT

CBT is one of the most popular behavioral health treatments available. It’s highly effective, and there’s a lot of research that can prove it.

With that said, it’s not the only type of behavioral therapy that patients at addiction recovery centers can opt for.

There are many other options that are just as effective. Some of these options include:


  • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)
  • Motivational Enhancement Therapy (MET)
  • Interpersonal Therapy
  • Family Therapy
  • Motivational Interviewing
  • Group Therapy
  • Individual Therapy


Behavioral health therapy improves a patient’s mental health. It intervenes with mental illnesses, like depression or anxiety.

As a result, it’s ideal for treating co-occurring disorders.

This dual diagnosis treatment also treats substance abuse. It helps patients learn how to develop better behaviors and habits that will keep them sober.

Most alcohol and drug rehab programs will offer an assortment of behavioral health therapies.


What Covered Under Most Health Insurance Plans?

Addiction treatment for drug or alcohol abuse can be quite expensive.

Many drug abusers and alcoholics are more likely to choose treatment options that are covered under their health insurance plan. They may not want to pay extra for these services.

With addiction treatment being so costly, some patients might not even have extra funds to spare.

So, it’s important to determine what your private insurance covers.

There’s a little loophole when it comes to holistic drug and alcohol treatment. Only certain insurance companies recognize their legitimacy and will provide reimbursement for them.

With that said, many inpatient treatment programs and residential rehab centers will offer holistic addiction treatment as a complementary service. This isn’t unusual, as inpatient treatment can cost anywhere from $200 to $900 per day.

Patients at an inpatient rehab center may get massage therapy as part of their treatment. They might even take part in yoga or meditation in their spare time.

If the rehab facility does not offer complementary holistic treatment approaches, patients will have to pay for it themselves. These costs can add up quickly.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), on the other hand, is almost always covered by health insurance. This is an evidence-based approach that has seen a lot of success. As a result, it’s recognized by many health insurance companies.


Combine Holistic and Cognitive Care for Optimal Results

Overcoming addiction is never easy. There’s going to be a lot of obstacles in your way.

If you choose the right rehab, you’ll have a much easier time.

Addiction treatment centers that offer holistic treatment approaches may also offer Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for alcoholism and vise versa. One does not necessarily have to exclude the other.

Ideally, you should look for rehab centers that integrate both types of treatment into their treatment plans.

The bottom line is that alcoholism is difficult to overcome.

You’ll need a combination of different types of alcoholism treatment to succeed and reach sobriety. You’ll need as much help as you can get.

Both CBT sessions and holistic drug treatments can heal your mind and body.

You should also combine these alcohol and drug addiction treatments with alcohol detox, counseling, therapy, 12-step recovery programs and more.