Medical intervention is an important part of any addiction recovery plan, but practicing self-care is also necessary for long-term success. It’s part of learning how to take care of yourself and exploring positive ways of dealing with stress and mental health issues.

It’s not surprising that self-neglect is often a major indicator of depression, and approximately 20% to 67% of individuals who seek treatment for alcohol dependence also struggle with depression. Continue reading for more information on self-care in addiction recovery vs. therapy for drug and alcohol use.

Self-Care in Addiction Recovery 

Self-care is any activity promoting better mental health and positively addressing your physical health. It can help change the negative emotions affecting how you respond to stress. During the recovery process, the ability to practice self-care helps you overcome self-destructive behaviors.


We can help you achieve permanent sobriety that gives you your life back. Call to learn more about our therapy options in Phoenix, AZ.

Common Self-Care Activities 

  • Physical self-care. Good nutrition, adequate sleep, regular exercise, personal hygiene, and grooming are all basic physical self-care practices. All these activities help give your body the energy required to perform at its best and provide the tools necessary for your body to heal itself from substance addiction. 
  • Emotional self-care. Being aware of your feelings and allowing yourself to understand and nurture positive affirmations is part of emotional self-care. Recognizing triggers and having healthy ways to express yourself positively, like journaling, support groups, or speaking to a therapist or a close friend, can help reduce your chances of relapse and increase your emotional health.
  • Spiritual self-care. One way to practice self-care is to explore your values and belief system and find ways to connect to your true self. This can be accomplished by joining a church or religious organization, volunteering to help others, meditating, or simply focusing on your hobbies and other things that bring you peace of mind. It can help you stay grounded and provides a sense of purpose.
Common Self-Care Activities for addiction treatment

Role of Self-Care in Addiction Recovery

  • Building resilience. Practicing self-care helps your body bounce back from challenging situations quickly and makes you ready to deal with adversity. This ability to deal with difficult situations positively leads to a successful recovery.
  • Enhancing mental and physical well-being. Taking care of yourself is good for recovery and helps keep your mind sharp, which makes it easier to focus and stay productive. Proper self-care also helps your body fight disease and stay healthy and makes it easier to accomplish your goals.
  • Fostering a healthy lifestyle. Your daily habits, like restful sleep, directly reflect your mental and physical health and determine how you feel and perform. Fostering a healthy lifestyle in addiction recovery can help you fight cravings, reduce the chances of relapse, increase your chances of living longer, and make you stronger.

Therapy for Addiction Recovery  

Also referred to as psychotherapy or counseling, therapy is provided by trained professionals who help you identify problems, focus on your strengths and encourage you to talk about your feelings. In addiction recovery, therapy is an integral part of your recovery journey.

Types of Therapy Used in Addiction Recovery

An essential part of substance abuse recovery in inpatient and outpatient rehab, individual therapy involves one-on-one sessions with a therapist or a mental health specialist in a treatment center. During each private session, you’ll explore your feelings and deal with challenges you’ve had to overcome. Your therapist will teach you to set personal goals and work toward sobriety. Types of individual therapy include cognitive behavioral therapy and holistic therapy.

In group therapy, a mental health professional or counselor works with small groups who are going through the same type of recovery process. Individuals in the group are encouraged to share experiences and encourage one another to live a sober lifestyle. The main goal of group therapy is relapse prevention.

Family therapy helps family members better understand substance abuse and teaches them how to support the recovering addict through communication, understanding, and healthy boundaries. It also explores the impact substance abuse, and mental illness has on the entire family. Types of family therapy include couples therapy and systemic family therapy.

Role of Therapy in Addiction Recovery

In addiction recovery, therapy is used to help you identify why you turn to alcohol and abuse substances, like giving in to after-work drinks with coworkers or using drugs and alcohol to deal with daily life. By identifying the problem, it’s easier to replace these habits with positive ones.

In therapy, you’ll learn deep breathing and meditation techniques and focus on developing hobbies or exploring new ones to take your mind off addictive behaviors.

Therapy, particularly group therapy, helps you build a network of friends who can help you through challenging situations.


We can help you achieve permanent sobriety that gives you your life back. Call to learn more about our therapy options in Phoenix, AZ.

Key Differences Between Self-Care and Therapy in Addiction Recovery

While self-care and therapy are integral parts of a successful recovery process, the two have distinct differences.

  • Self-initiated vs. professional guidance. Self-care teaches you to address problems and concerns independently, while professional guidance helps you explore ways to do this. Through self-care, you learn how to enjoy your life, reduce your stress levels and focus on recovery activities after completing treatment.
  • Scope and focus of each approach. Self-care focuses on your overall well-being, while therapy directly relates to substance abuse.
  • Short-term and long-term benefits. When working together, the long-term benefits of therapy and self-care help you remain drug- and alcohol-free. Self-care helps you focus on the present moment using coping mechanisms, while the long-term benefits of therapy help you deal with persistent cravings and negative feelings.

Camelback Recovery Provides Self-Care and Therapy for a Comprehensive Addiction Recovery Plan

Camelback Recovery provides many substance use treatment options to help you achieve better physical and mental health and stay sober. If you or someone you love needs substance abuse treatment, contact us at (602) 466-9880 to speak to one of our professional and compassionate counselors today.