Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Recovery from Addiction
In addiction treatment cognitive behavioral therapy is widely used. It is also known as CBT for short. It helps to teach those who are in treatment for a substance use disorder (SUD) to help find solitude between their thoughts, feelings, and actions. Along with increasing the awareness of how these things all impact their recovery as a whole.
CBT can also treat many co-occurring disorders that may occur with addiction, such as:
- Bipolar Disorder
- Attention Deficit Disorder or ADD
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD
How Does CBT Work?
It helps show an individual where there are many harmful emotions and actions that are not logical or rational. These behaviors and feelings can come from past experiences or even environmental factors.
In understanding why a person may act or feel a certain way which leads them to substance abuse, they are better at knowing how to overcome their addiction.
People often self-medicate “automatic thoughts” which are negative. In CBT, a therapist helps identify those thoughts. Those thoughts are based on impulse and often come from internalized feelings and misconceptions. Those are often filled with self-doubt and fear.
In therapy, talking about painful memories, and revisiting them often, can help reduce the pain caused by them. It can then help a person learn new positive behaviors to help replace old harmful ones, such as substance abuse or alcohol abuse.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) And Addiction Treatment
The root cause of depression and anxiety is often caused by automatic negative thoughts. They are a common co-occurring disorder with addiction. Automatic negative thoughts can easily make someone more susceptible to abusing drugs and alcohol as well.
CBT helps patients overcome drug addiction and alcoholism by:
- Providing self-help tools to better their moods
- Helping to dismiss false beliefs and insecurities that lead to substance abuse
- Teaching effective communication skills
Triggers are situations that can induce a craving throughout the day or night. It keeps many people who are addicted from getting sober. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) really helps those who are struggling to deal with addiction triggers in 3 main ways.
- Recognizing – identifying the circumstances that led to drinking or drugging
- Avoiding – removing yourself from triggering situations whenever you can
- Coping – using CBT techniques to start addressing and alleviating thoughts and emotions that cause substance abuse
CBT techniques can be practiced anywhere. CBT exercises can be done on their own and in a therapeutic setting.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Techniques
There are specific exercises a Cognitive Behavioral therapist can use to help addiction recovery.
Examples of CBT techniques used are:
- Developing a good activity schedule
- Make a list of healthy, fun, substance-free hobbies you might enjoy
- Practicing positive emotions throughout the day
- Learning how to contrast negative thoughts against positive thoughts
- Figure out which thoughts bring more positivity to your life
- Doing behavioral experiments to see what helps you live your best life
- Examining your automatic thoughts to find objective evidence that supports or disproves the thoughts
- Think more balanced, healthy thought
- Critically evaluate each of your thoughts to determine if they are helpful for you.
- Think of memories that produce strong negative feelings and work through those based on the sounds, sights, thoughts, impulses, and emotions that are brought up
- Revisit painful memories with the help and support of a professional
Here at ARIA Fl, we can help you with a range of cognitive-behavioral therapy techniques. If you haven’t tried this type of therapy yet, but you want to know more about it, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team. We would be more than happy to walk you through the different steps of this therapy option and how it can most help you during your recovery.
How Does Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Differ From Various Other Psychotherapies
CBT is more of hands-on alternative therapy, unlike many less engaging therapies. In therapy both the patient and therapist work together to treat the addiction. The patient does more than just talk to their therapist during a CBT session and the therapist does more than listen. They go over worksheets together and really work through problems one-by-one identifying negative thinking patterns in their problems and situations.
CBT is very action-focused and thus is rapid treatment. Rehabilitation programs include CBT programs for their 60 to 90-day treatment programs. This is beneficial in helping them with immediate coping techniques.
Some psychotherapy techniques can take several years to even begin to have a strong impact on a patient. CBT however, often requires about 16 sessions to be able to produce promising and meaningful results for the patient.
Being that CBT is adaptable, it is effective in inpatient and outpatient settings. It is also successful in group counseling environments as well as in individuals. CBT is often included in many addiction treatment centers as a part of their recovery programs, due to its high success.
Get Into Recovery from Addiction Today
There are numerous ways that you can get into recovery from addiction. One of the best treatments you can utilize is cognitive behavioral therapy. Here at ARIA FL, we have this treatment and many others. Whether you need to overcome an addiction to drugs or alcohol or work through mental health-related issues, CBT could be just what you need to recover and improve your quality of life.
Not sure you are ready to start CBT or other addiction treatments? You can speak to a member of our team about this treatment or any others that you may have heard of to get a better idea of what would be right for your recovery process. Start contacting us today to get your recovery in gear and get your life back on track.