Cognitive behavioral therapy is a psychological treatment that has proven effective in treating drug or alcohol addiction.
Cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT helps each patient by emphasizing the individual’s ability to learn to be their own therapist. Individuals are given exercises in the session, homework outside of the session, and being helped to develop coping skills.
Everything an individual learns makes it possible to change their thinking, problematic emotions, and behavior. There is a significant emphasis on what is happening in the patient’s current life rather than what has led to their difficulties.
Overall, individuals are given the ability to solve problems, gain coping skills for future issues, and learn new tools to live a successful and sober life.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy helps an addict find connections between their thoughts, feelings, and actions, which increases their awareness of things in their lives that can impact their recovery.
In addition, it can help someone in recovery identify negative thoughts based on impulses that may come from self-doubt or fear. More importantly, individuals learn new positive behaviors that contribute to life-long sobriety.
CBT helps patients by providing the following:
The primary difference is that CBT offers a hands-on alternative to standard forms of therapy counselling. It gives the individual practical tools and life skills to succeed and maintain their sobriety. The therapy combines behavioral and cognitive theories of human behavior and has been the most successful in long-term residential drug rehab centers.
Research has shown that cognitive behavioral therapy has proven effective in treating drug or alcohol addiction. It is often combined with other treatment strategies as it involves several distinct interventions.
Studies show that CBT is effective as a single therapy as well as part of a combination of treatment strategies. Large-scale trials have demonstrated its effectiveness in treating alcohol or drug use disorders.
However, like any other form of therapy, it is not for everyone, as it may work well for some individuals but not others. Every individual deals with and recovers from addiction in different ways.
A significant benefit of CBT is the different techniques used to help each patient. It can work well when tailored to individual needs and used in combination with other therapies.
Common techniques include:
Thought Challenges—This technique helps an individual look at the whole situation and consider everything from multiple angles. The person begins to challenge themselves to look at the situation objectively.
Journalling—There are significant benefits to journaling, and writing down negative thoughts to replace them with positive ones is a practical approach. It helps a person look back at how their thought patterns have changed over time.
Relaxation Techniques—These techniques are different for each person, and it can involve listening to music, walking, hiking, gardening, or anything that reduces stress.
Guided Discovery—A therapist gathers information on your viewpoint while also asking questions that challenge that viewpoint. Overall, this process helps an individual consider different perspectives they may not have considered.
Cognitive Restructuring—This process helps you look at your worst-case scenario thoughts and reframe those thoughts into something that is productive and helps with sobriety.