Relapse Prevention Phase
The relapse prevention phase is the third and final stage of treatment. Lasting six months, it sees a gradual de-escalation of intensity, with the primary focus now on further developing relapse prevention strategies and planning for the future.
Ongoing support with tapered treatment
The relapse prevention phase of treatment is designed to continue to support you whilst the intensity of treatment is gradually reduced. This tapering is especially important when treating addictions, so the City Addictions programme allows a full six months for the relapse prevention phase.
For the first two months you will meet with your psychologist every two weeks. Then over the next four months this reduces to once every four weeks. During the whole of this time, the focus is on developing specific relapse prevention strategies, planning for the future, and ensuring that you continue to consolidate the insights and techniques that you’ve developed during the intensive treatment phase.
For many of our clients this is an exciting time as they start to see, for the first time, what life without an addiction may look like.
Relapse prevention techniques
You’ll be introduced to specific techniques during this phase, some aligned with CBT, and others involving related approaches including Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), and Mindfulness Based Relapse Prevention (MBRP).
For example, MBRP will help you to manage high-risk situations that could trigger relapse, by recognising your own early warning signs through increased internal and external awareness. Such practices and techniques will help you develop more skilful behavioural choices at high risk moments.
You’ll also focus on developing acceptance and greater tolerance of negative states, thereby reducing the need to engage in your previous addictive behaviour.
The treatment during this phase is very personalised and tailored to your specific situation and individual triggers. It can be adapted to help you manage ‘real life’ situations as they occur, so that later on you can manage these situations effectively yourself.
Finally, we arrange two check-in sessions for the months ahead, spaced according to your requirements. There’s also scope for further ad-hoc sessions if you feel that they’re needed. The check-in sessions are designed to provide some final additional support as you move out of the final treatment phase, and into the next phase of your life.