What Is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?

Talking with CounslerCognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is treatment modality offered within most professional addiction treatment programs. As a research-based treatment, CBT is both problem-focused and goal-oriented to help recovering addicts change harmful thought patterns.

Understanding CBT

How is CBT effective? One of the most common traits in alcoholics and drug addicts is destructive thinking or thought patterns. Without gaining an understanding of these, it’s very difficult to overcome the grip of addiction. Understanding or “cognition” of thought patterns is necessary for healing and overcoming negative thoughts and behaviors.

With CBT, individuals work towards understanding patterns of behavior that lead to self-destructive actions and beliefs, as well as developing alternatives thinking processes that can be incorporated into everyday life.

How Is CBT Different Than Traditional Psychotherapy?

Unlike psychodynamic psychotherapy which is focused on working with a therapist to help recovery from a specific mental illness, CBT is problem-focused and goal-oriented to address the symptoms of mental illness. By exploring the thinking behind the self-destructive actions and beliefs, individuals with mental illness can alter thinking patterns to improve behaviors and coping skills.

Sitting and ThinkingNegative thinking is a key component of depression and anxiety, as well as addiction. With all three types of mental illness, destructive thoughts are at play causing a sense of powerlessness and a lack of control. CBT works to recognize dysfunctional thinking and alter behaviors as part of a treatment plan.

How CBT Fits In With Addiction Treatment

Cognitive behavioral therapy sessions can be relatively short, especially when compared with psychodynamic psychotherapy. Thus, it can be integrated into an addiction treatment program regardless if its 30 days, 90 days or longer. For many individuals entering treatment, there are underlying co-occurring mental health issues that can be helped by CBT. From the first days of treatment, individuals can start to work on recognizing negative thoughts, cognitive distortions and perceptions. From there, emphasis can be placed on psycho-education, skills training and cognitive restructuring.

The Benefits Of A Professional Treatment Program

One of the primary reasons why a professional addiction treatment program offers substantial benefits over going “cold turkey” is being able to access research-based treatment such as CBT that help support long-term recovery by changing negative thought patterns. Want to learn more about how a professional treatment program can help you or a loved one overcome addiction? Call Summit Estate now to speak with an addiction specialist