Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

When seeking treatment for an alcohol or drug addiction, there are many options. You may be required to attend a certain type of treatment through the court system, for example. It is useful to know about the various types of treatments available.

One of the most well-known addiction treatments available is cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). This type of therapy may help people struggling with an addiction overcome their problematic feelings and thoughts. It is a treatment option used in many addiction rehab centers around the world. It helps people who are recovering from addictions to connect their feelings, thoughts, and actions. Cognitive behavioral therapy helps recovering addicts learn how different factors impact their recovery.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

While cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) helps treat addictions, it may also help recovering addicts who also suffer from some form of mental health illness. A person with an addiction and a mental illness has a condition known as a co-occurring disorder, comorbidity, or dual diagnosis.

  • Attention deficit disorder (ADD)
  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Eating disorders
  • Stress disorders
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

If you are suffering from both an addiction and a mental illness, you may benefit greatly from cognitive behavioral therapy.

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How Does Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Work?

Approaches such as cognitive behavioral therapy may be very helpful for recovering addicts. CBT helps show recovering addicts that they may have harmful emotions or actions that are not rational or logical. Their behaviors and feelings might have developed from environmental factors or past experiences.

When people with addictions understand why they are acting or feeling certain ways and how these actions and feelings lead to abusing substances, they may have better ideas about how to overcome their addictions.

Therapists who practice cognitive behavioral therapy are very active during therapy sessions. This type of therapy is focused mostly on achieving goals. Therapists and clients collaborate with each other to set and achieve goals.

During the sessions, therapists explain how the process of cognitive therapy works. They may even give homework assignments from one session to the next. Cognitive behavioral therapy is often used for a short amount of time to focus on a very specific issue.

Addiction Treatment and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Negative thoughts are major features of anxiety and depression. Anxiety and depression ar common in people with addictions. Cognitive behavioral therapy may help you change negative thoughts and overcome alcohol or drug addiction by

  • Eliminating insecurities and negative beliefs.
  • Providing tools to improve your mood and behaviors.
  • Teaching effective and healthy communication skills.
  • Assisting you to recognize and manage triggers.

These are just a few ways cognitive behavioral therapy may help you overcome an alcohol or drug addiction. If you suffer from an addiction, this type of therapy may help save your life.

Triggers and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Triggers are situations, people, places, things, or other factors that may trigger someone to use drugs or alcohol. Cognitive behavioral therapy may help you overcome addiction by teaching you how to handle triggers in healthier ways. There are many skills that may help you manage triggers better, including:

  • Recognizing: Identifying the circumstances that prompt you to drink or use drugs.
  • Avoiding: Taking yourself out of situations that trigger you.
  • Coping: Using cognitive behavioral therapy techniques to alleviate and address thoughts and emotions that may cause substance abuse.

There are many techniques you may learn from cognitive behavioral therapy. You may use the techniques on a daily basis. You may work on these techniques outside of your therapy sessions and implement them in your life. You may use them at work, in social environments, or at home.

In addition, there are support groups for recovering addicts, such as SMART Recovery meetings, where you may implement these techniques. If you want to stay clean and sober, these techniques may help.

How Is CBT Different from Other Addiction Treatment Therapies?

There are some major differences between cognitive behavioral therapy and other addiction treatment therapies. Compared to other therapies, CBT offers

  • Hands-on treatment
  • Activities to improve recovery during therapy sessions
  • Collaborative work with therapists
  • A focus on action instead of just talk
  • Quicker treatment programs
  • More immediate learning techniques for coping

If you need quick but effective addiction treatment, cognitive behavioral therapy may be the best option for you.

This type of treatment is very adaptable. Therapists and clients may alter CBT approaches based on each recovering addict’s lifestyle and needs. CBT is offered in both outpatient and inpatient treatment settings.

Several group and individual therapists are trained in cognitive behavioral therapy. Many addiction treatment therapists in rehab centers include this type of therapy in their treatment plans.

Medical disclaimer:

Sunshine Behavioral Health strives to help people who are facing substance abuse, addiction, mental health disorders, or a combination of these conditions. It does this by providing compassionate care and evidence-based content that addresses health, treatment, and recovery.

Licensed medical professionals review material we publish on our site. The material is not a substitute for qualified medical diagnoses, treatment, or advice. It should not be used to replace the suggestions of your personal physician or other health care professionals.

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