What Is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?
A Foundation of Care for SUD
Addiction to alcohol and drugs requires a customized treatment plan for each individual. The goal of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is to identify and develop coping mechanisms for addiction. Also known as psychotherapy or talk therapy, it is one of the foundations of care available to those struggling with alcohol and drug dependency.
At the heart of CBT is helping individuals to become aware of negative thinking that can make it difficult to handle situations properly. Those who work through this therapy learn ways to respond to those challenging circumstances in a better, more effective way.
CBT is a key component of therapy for addiction, especially when co-occurring mental health disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder or depression exist as well. It doesn’t work for everyone, but it often provides insight that’s valuable for creating a customized treatment plan.
Why CBT Is Worth a Look
For those struggling with alcohol and drug addiction, recovery begins when individuals become aware of the circumstances around them that lead them to make the decision to use. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy teaches individuals to recognize negative thought patterns that can lead to using drugs or alcohol. It also goes further to help individuals learn what to do when this is happening. As a result, it provides important tools for maintaining sobriety.
By empowering those struggling with addiction like this, it is possible to work towards recovery. In some situations, CBT requires fewer sessions, according to the Mayo Clinic, than other forms of therapy. However, it must be done in an effective manner by trained professionals.
Why Does CBT Work Well in Some People?
The principles behind CBT all aim at changing the way a person thinks. These includes the belief that:
- Many psychological problems, including some forms of addiction, are due to unhelpful ways of thinking or faulty thinking patterns.
- Those problems are at least in part based on learned patterns of thought that lead to undesirable behavior.
- Those struggling with these problems can learn how to better cope with them, which in turn can reduce symptoms and allow for improved quality of life.
In addiction therapy, this process evolves over time. After detox, individuals often begin CBT as a tool for learning about themselves. Uncovering these thought patterns opens the door for the opportunity for recovery.
Strategies Employed in CBT
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is not a simple step-by-step process. Counselors work closely with individuals to determine their specific needs with a goal of developing strategies. This may include, for some people, learning to calm their mind and relax the body. Doing so can ease the stress on the brain. For others, it may involve role-playing exercises that demonstrate how to better respond to challenging situations.
How can Cognitive Behavioral Therapy help you?
- It may help you identify your emotions more fully and understand why you feel the way you do.
- It could enable you to better manage your mental health illness.
For some, it aids in preventing relapse by giving you tools to overcome your thought patterns before they lead to destructive behavior.
- It may enable better tools to handle underlying emotional trauma, such as from domestic violence or sexual abuse.
- It provides you with strategies for developing with stressful life scenarios, from day-to-day occurrences to significant events.
Many men and women can benefit from the use of CBT even if they believe they know why they suffer from substance abuse. Remember, this is not just for diagnosis of why you are using drugs and alcohol, but also for helping you prevent it from happening again.
Where Should You Start?
Enrolling in an effective drug and alcohol addiction center is the first step to recovery. At Victory Addiction Recovery Center, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is one form of treatment available. It is often used with inpatient counseling or outpatient programs to address your underlying mental health needs.
Your team will determine if CBT is a good option for your needs. You will be asked questions about your mental health as part of the intake process. Then, you will learn about stress management, relaxation, and coping mechanisms to use as you progress through your recovery journey.
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