Supportive-Expressive Therapy:

Supportive-Expressive Therapy is a talk therapy that helps you feel comfortable in therapy, uncover the things that led to your addiction, and develop a plan to overcome them.

Benefits of SET:

  • Self Understanding: Finding the cause of unconscious thoughts that lead to substance abuse.
  • Coping Skills: Healthy ways to deal with negative emotions. 
  • Motivation: The belief that you can and will succeed in sobriety.

Why it’s Important For Recovery:

SE Therapy is about understanding what things feed your addiction. It builds strong bonds between you and your therapist so that you can talk about personal or painful experiences and get to the heart of why you use.

Counseling Treatment Plan: How Does SET Work? 

SET believes that understanding the origin of a person’s addiction-related thoughts and behaviors can empower them to change. This happens in three stages:

Becoming a Source of Support: SE Therapy starts with you and your therapist building mutual trust and respect. SE therapy involves sharing personal memories so it’s important that you feel able to confide in this person and know that they are here to support your goals.  

Encouraging Expression: Your therapist will ask about all the different times you used substances. Including what was happening in your life, how you reacted to those events, and which events made you want to be high. Using your answers, the therapist can help you understand the role that drugs play in your life. 

Gaining Insight: As you recall things that led to substance use, your therapist will start to ask about the history of those thoughts and feelings. When was the first time you remember feeling that way? Where did you learn to react that way? By seeing that these are learned behaviors, your therapist can start to help you unlearn them.

Start Your Recovery:

Tree House Recovery uses SE Therapy and many other evidence-based practices (like motivational interviewing or cognitive behavioral therapy) to help you stay sober. Our holistic method teaches you actions and habits that can protect your sobriety long after you leave us. 


  1. Miller, Shannon et. al The ASAM Principles of Addiction Medicine (6th Edition). American Society of Addiction Medicine. 
  2. Hartney, Elizabeth. “How Supportive-Expressive Therapy Treats Addiction.” VeryWellMind
  3. Supportive-Expressive PsychotherapyEvidence-Based Practices for Substance Abuse.