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How Much Individual Attention Will I Get in a Residential Addiction Program?

Addiction is a complicated chronic disease that usually requires a complex solution to overcome. With the current addiction epidemic in the United States, there are many addiction treatment options throughout the country. However, not all of them offer the same treatment, and not all treatment approaches are equally effective.

 If you or someone you know is looking for treatment, how can you be sure that you’re going to get the right care for your needs? Will you actually get attention from a therapist in residential treatment, or will you just be one person in a group, getting standardized treatment? 

Group therapy and collective participation is an important part of addiction treatment for many, but individual attention is vital for effective treatment as well. In many ways, individualization is a cornerstone for effective treatment. Each person is different, so they each require unique treatment approaches. Of course, there are common therapies that make their way into the vast majority of treatment plans, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, but no two treatment plans should be identical. 

Learn more about personalized residential treatment programs, and how much individual attention you should expect from your treatment program.

How Residential Treatment Works

Residential treatment often falls under the category of inpatient treatment because it involves 24-hour access to addiction services. However, you may have more independence in a residential program than you would have in a medically monitored inpatient program. In residential treatment, you’ll live on campus in an apartment, food will be provided, and you’ll have access to various amenities, depending on the specific facility. However, you won’t necessarily be medically managed or monitored 24 hours a day. Instead, you may have access to conical management, where clinical staff members can address your needs.

Residential treatment is ideal for people who no longer require medical attention 24 hours a day. Any medical conditions they have were stabilized in a higher level of care or before starting treatment. However, residential clients may have ongoing medical needs that require daily management or have psychological needs that require a highly structured setting.

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Residential treatment can also be good for people in the early days of treatment who don’t have supportive environments that would help them maintain their recovery. For instance, if you enter treatment with no home, or if you share a home with someone who is abusive or still actively uses drugs, residential treatment offers a better environment for your treatment efforts.

In a residential setting, you may also have a highly intensive therapy schedule, with several hours each day devoted to individual, group, or family therapy.

Other therapy options you may have access to will include:

The therapies you go through during your stay in a residential treatment program will depend on your specific treatment plan. When you first enter addiction treatment, you will go through an assessment process. You will sit down with your therapist to create a treatment plan that’s personalized to your individual needs. The therapist will then help you through the therapies in your plan, adapting them as you progress.

Why Treatment is Individualized


Individual treatment at an addiction treatment center isn’t just the mark of high-quality treatment; it’s essential for treatment to be successful. If you enter a program that just puts you through a one-size-fits-all addiction treatment program, it will be less likely to lead you to lasting recovery. Addiction is a complex disease. It can come with a wide variety of causes and complications that have to be addressed during addiction treatment. 

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), an addiction treatment program needs to include several principles for treatment to be effective. Two of these principles speak to the need to individualize treatment.

One principle states that no single treatment that is appropriate for every person. Because the circumstances surrounding a substance use disorder are so varied and each person is different, there is no such thing as a treatment plan that will work for everyone. Treatment needs to be tailored to individual needs if they are to lead a person to long-lasting recovery. Different people also need different levels of care depending on their needs. Someone with urgent medical needs will need a higher level of care than someone who is healthy but requires addiction psychotherapies. 

The second principle states that treatment should address more than just a substance use problem. Addiction can slowly seep into every aspect of your life leading to medical, psychological, social, legal, and financial problems. 

For treatment to be effective, these problems need to be addressed, or else they are likely to lead to a relapse. However, with so many areas that may need addressing in treatment, it’s not practical to standardize a single plan that meets each possible need. Instead, a treatment plan is tailored to you when you enter treatment for the first time, and your plan will be reevaluated each week as you progress.

It’s important that you meet with your therapist weekly for individual sessions that will allow you to process the treatment interventions you go through so that your therapist can assess your plan’s effectiveness. You may also have one-on-one meetings with other clinicians who can help you with specific needs that have to be addressed. For instance, you may participate in regular therapy sessions with someone who specializes in past traumas.

Choosing the Right Treatment Center

When you are exploring your options for addiction treatment, it’s important to look for a few key factors that can let you know what kind of treatment you can expect. One of the most important factors is another principle that has made it onto NIDA’s list. 

A treatment program should recognize addiction as a complex and chronic disease that is treatable. Addiction isn’t simply a moral failing or bad habit, it’s a problem that affects the brain, specifically the reward center. A treatment center that understands this should treat addiction with evidence-based practices and proven methods. 
If you’re concerned about the level of individual treatment you might receive, it’s important to ask about a treatment center’s client-to-staff ratio. A center with 30 clients for each clinician won’t be able to provide a high level of individual attention realistically. The lower the ratio, the more likely it will be that you get personal attention. For instance, Ocean Breeze Recovery has around eight to 10 clients for each clinician, which gives clinicians enough time each week to work with each client on a one on one basis.

Starting the Journey to Recovery

Addiction is a chronic disease that can take time and the right therapies to overcome. However, this disease is treatable with help. To learn more about residential treatment and how it can help you or your loved one, speak to an addiction treatment specialist at Ocean Breeze Recovery. Call 855-960-5341 to hear more about the therapy options that are available to you and to find out if residential treatment is right for your needs. Call anytime, day or night, and take the first steps toward freedom from active addiction.


ASAM. (n.d.). What is the ASAM Criteria? Retrieved from

National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2018, January). Behavioral Therapies. Retrieved from

National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2018, January). Principles of Effective Treatment. Retrieved from

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