During addiction treatment, many people exhibit different defense mechanisms. Denial, projection, regression, and repression are some very common ones. Many people who struggle with addiction already battle low self-esteem, feelings of failure, and guilt. They employ defense mechanisms, like everyone else, to avoid feeling even worse about themselves.
At effective treatment centers, patients build self-image and healthy coping mechanisms through many exercises. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is one effective therapy method. CBT aims to bring negative or unhealthy thought patterns and behaviors to light, establishing new ones that are more functional and healthy.
Some treatment centers use strength and yoga therapy to enforce wellness and reconnect patients with physical fitness. Exercise also can serve as a form of sublimation—a healthy defense mechanism that helps many people to avoid behaviors that are not in their best interest.
Expressive therapy is another way to combat unhealthy defense mechanisms. Expressive therapy helps patients to express and accept difficult realities and move on, instead of denying, justifying and perpetuating substance abuse.
Our addiction treatment center network works to connect people with effective treatment centers. These treatment centers allow patients to shift their perspectives around substance abuse—teaching how addiction is a disease, no one’s fault and that it is possible to recover.