Residential Addiction Treatment Programmes

Residential Rehabilitation programmes are performed within a private rehab or residential setting to treat addictions including Alcohol and/or Substance Use Disorders (SUD). Rehab programmes offer you or your loved ones a structured and organised environment to detox and rehabilitate from addictive behaviours, minimising stress and uncertainty, and allowing for a safe and supportive journey to healing and long-term recovery.

Being a part of a residential rehabilitation programme within a private rehab facility will enable you to focus, with experienced support, on your recovery through a complete break from your current circumstances. A residential rehab programme is beneficial in many ways:

  • One-on-one and group therapy sessions, run by addiction counsellors and therapists.
  • Private time to deal with your recovery and reflect in a safe and supportive environment,
  • Education concerning the holistic sides to recovery, such as diet and exercise.
  • Follow-up care after you leave the treatment centre.

A residential rehab programme is typically the second phase of treatment for those with alcohol and drug addictions, once an individual has completed an alcohol or drug detox.


a man in a group session

Upon Arrival at the Treatment Centre

Arrival at the rehab centre you chose can feel daunting, worrying about the unknown, feeling anxious and a bit overwhelmed are all ‘normal’ and valid feelings after deciding to get help:

  • Upon arrival, you will be assessed by a nurse or counsellor and then by a doctor. These assessments will be used to tailor a treatment plan to your specific needs, addiction, or behavioural disorder.
  • If you have chosen to detox from drugs or alcohol at the centre, the medical assessment done by the doctor will also determine what if any medications may be required to support your detox.
  • Your detox will be closely monitored and you may have an intravenous drip in your arm to ensure that you are receiving adequate nutrients so that you are as comfortable and safe as possible.
  • Once your detox is complete, your road to recovery through drug or alcohol rehabilitation can begin, you will be given a rehab timetable detailing how you will spend your days whilst in residence

What does a Residential Programme Involve?

A rehabilitation programme for addiction that incorporates holistic therapies focuses on your overall well-being whilst also treating the physical symptoms of addiction and withdrawal. Exercise, meditation, crafts, and nutrition sessions are offered as methods to help you in a non-medical way through recovery and may have a big impact on your or a loved one’s motivation to stay in the programme through:

  • Identifying underlying causes of your addiction
  • Strengthening resistance to cravings and teaching skills that will help you cope with cravings away from a therapeutic environment
  • Promoting physical fitness – a healthier you that is more attuned to your body is less likely to fall back into bad habits.
  • Increasing self-confidence – proper nutrition and a healthier sleep pattern increase your self-confidence
  • Reducing the appeal of drug and alcohol use


A residential rehab programme can aid you in your recovery through engagement interventions such as:

  • Counselling with therapists – emphasising your ability to change
  • Medications – to ease symptoms of withdrawal and minimise the effects of mental illness in the case of a dual diagnosis
  • Supportive staff able to monitor your withdrawal
  • Peer support, through group meetings and shared accommodation, helping you realise that you are not alone.

The most effective programmes have a tailored approach to your addiction treatment and are developed around you and the best course of treatment needed for you, as such your treatment programme may include all or only some of the following:

One to One Therapy

During your initial assessment on arrival, your counselor and rehabilitation team will have put together a therapy treatment plan for you, your counseling team may choose an integrated or holistic blend of different therapeutic elements to tailor your treatment plan:

woman talking to a therapist

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)

CBT is a broad term for a range of techniques and therapeutic approaches to addressing your thoughts, emotions, and behaviours – talk therapy has proven to be beneficial for people with substance use disorders or behavioural disorders.

Cognitive therapy has proven to be effective in addiction treatment – The focus of CBT is to change automatic negative thoughts and the resulting emotional response that can have a detrimental effect on your coping skills, with your counselor, you will learn to identify these thoughts, challenge them and replace them with more objective, realistic and positive thoughts. (

Dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT)

DBT incorporates emotional regulation and mindfulness strategies whilst addressing thoughts and behaviours. DBT is used commonly in those with dual diagnosis (addiction and mental health problems), especially for those with a diagnosis for Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD).

Rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT)

identifies irrational beliefs, actively challenges these beliefs, and teaches you to recognize and change these thought patterns.

Multimodal Therapy (REBT)

Also known as Combination Therapy, where a dual diagnosis is made (mix of mental health issues and substance abuse) there may be a need to treat both issues simultaneously, since trauma, family history, depression, etc may have led you to addiction, just treating the addiction is not enough, your mental health also requires treatment to prevent relapse. (

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group support session

Group Therapy

Group therapy offers you an opportunity to socialise with other clients that are at similar stages in their recovery, you will be introduced and encouraged to participate in group activities and sharing during group therapy sessions.
These sessions, led by a counselor are used to treat a variety of conditions and can also be helpful where a dual diagnosis (mix of mental and addiction issues) is evident.

A typical session might begin with all participants of the group introducing themselves and sharing why they are in group therapy. Members are also encouraged to share their experiences and progress since the last meeting.
The benefits of group therapy include:

  • Collective support and encouragement from all members
  • Safe space in which to share your feelings, state of mind, and concerns
  • Gives your counsellors a look into how each person interacts in social settings.

Aside from individual and group therapy, rehab programmes offer additional therapeutic activities such as art therapy & Yoga.

Art & Music Therapy

Creative therapy has been beneficial when incorporated as part of a holistic treatment plan, the goal of creative therapy is for you to explore your self-expression, gain personal insights and develop new coping skills through the creative process.
Finding new hobbies or rediscovering talents you had before addiction, will boost your self-esteem, and mood.

If you have experienced emotional trauma, physical violence, domestic abuse, anxiety, depression, and other psychological issues expressing yourself creatively is beneficial.

Yoga & Exercise

The holistic focus of Yoga and Excercise therapies encourages the integration of mind, body, and spirit as a type of therapy that uses yoga postures, breathing exercises, meditation, and guided imagery to improve mental and physical health.

In the treatment of substance abuse, depression, anxiety, PTSD, and even schizophrenia, yoga has been beneficial as it naturally boosts the GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) levels in your brain and also helps alleviate chronic pain and other physical conditions. (

Healthy Eating

During your addiction phase, you won’t have been focused on consuming a healthy diet, also the substance you used may have contributed to a depletion in vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. All of these are vital to your body’s recovery after addiction, as is understanding how good healthy foods benefit your body during and after rehabilitation:

  • Increased energy
  • Healthier organs – this includes your skin
  • Immune boosting
  • Faster and safer recovery


Relapse Prevention & Aftercare

Being in rehab away from the everyday triggers and stressors of your life, you were able to focus solely on your recovery, but once you have finished your stay in rehab, your life will return to ‘normal’ and relapse risks can increase as you integrate back into your community, family, and work.
Part of a private rehab programme is the aftercare and relapse prevention care that is offered, after rehab, you can continue to attend outpatient therapy or private therapy to maintain your new drug-free lifestyle and to lower the chances of relapse.

Support for Families

Families of addicts are often neglected during treatment, but there has been a growing awareness of the roles a support system for families and loved ones of addicts have in healing the family dynamic and thereby providing a healthier environment for the recovering addict.

Most treatment centres include the families of addicts in the recovery process during and after rehab.
In addition, there is free support offered through:

Choosing the Right Programme

Different treatment centres utilise different therapeutic models, some of these methods focus on spirituality, religion, or nonreligious needs. Some that might be offered include:

  • Twelve-step programmes – A spiritual abstinence-based programme pioneered by Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) where the belief is that addiction is a disease. The programme focuses on your motivation to change your addictive behaviours within the treatment and recovery process. This is a spiritual or Christian-based programme, where you hand your recovery over to a higher power.
  • Holistic programmes – Often combined with a twelve-step programme.
  • Non-12-step programmes – These programmes focus on the multifaceted issue that addiction is and offers a treatment programme that includes both physical and psychological therapy.

Choosing a programme that is right for you or your loved one often means asking a lot of questions, our team welcomes any questions you may have during the decision process, we know that if you are engaged in your recovery you are more likely to stick with it and emerge healthier and sober.

Choosing which facility best suits your needs is paramount to your recovery.
Start with a list of your needs:

  • If you are aware of an existing condition
  • How are the staff trained?
  • Are they licensed?
  • Are they able to handle a medical emergency?
  • Are counselling and medical services offered during detox?
  • Affordability
  • Are the costs covered by health insurance? Are there payment plans available? What are they
  • Aftercare and relapse prevention needs
  • Will you have access to counselling after rehab? Are there support groups available in your area?
  • Does the centre have trained and certified professionals suitable for your treatment? Credible programmes should offer a wide selection of evidence-based therapy options to find the right mix for you. The more options, the better your chance at success.

The Care Quality Commission ( is an independent regulator for health and social care in England, Their team monitor, inspect and regulate services to make sure they meet fundamental standards of quality and safety and publish their findings, including performance ratings to help with choosing treatment centres. You can check the ratings of the treatment centre you are considering at any time before making your choice.

Jason Sheirs
Author / Jason Shiers / Dip. Psych MBACP
Jason Shiers is a Certified Transformative Coach & Certified Psychotherapist who is a specialist in addiction, trauma and eating disorders. He has been working in the field of addiction for 25 years now.