Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Last Updated Dec 2, 2021
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Addiction Treatment
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is an evidence-based psychotherapy technique that helps recovering individuals overcome substance abuse. This is accomplished by changing the way an individual thinks and behaves. In addition to addiction treatment, CBT is also useful in managing a wide range of mental health problems that frequently co-occur with substance use disorders, including anxiety and depression.
The fundamental concept of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy is that a person’s thoughts, emotions, and actions are interconnected and that negative feelings can trap a person in a vicious cycle, leading to problems like addiction. CBT deals with a person’s current problems and does not focus on issues from the past. The idea is to provide people battling addiction a way to improve their state of mind on a daily basis.
Cognitive Behavioral therapists at Boca Recovery Center help recovering individuals deal with challenging and overwhelming problems in a positive way. This is accomplished by breaking the problem down into smaller parts. Individuals participating in CBT learn how negative thought patterns affect the way they feel and how changing them can improve their lives.
At Boca Recovery Center, we utilize Cognitive Behavioral Therapy as an effective adjunct to other research-based addiction treatments, such as detox and medication management. If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction and could benefit from learning practical CBT strategies, call us on (800) 516-4357 to find out more about our program.
In this article, we provide you with an overview of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, including what it is and how it works. We also tell you a little bit about what to expect in CBT. Last but not least, we outline some of the techniques used in CBT and its advantages and disadvantages.
What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?
Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy is a highly structured form of psychotherapy that helps people struggling with addiction. CBT encourages a change in unhealthy thoughts and behaviors that often drive people toward drugs and alcohol. CBT therapists help recovering individuals identify the behaviors they can change in their daily life to promote recovery from addiction. Recovering individuals are asked to practice these changes on a day-to-day basis and report how they got along at the next session.
During Cognitive Behavioral Therapy sessions at Boca Recovery Center, the therapist helps to break down the client’s problems into separate parts, such as thoughts, feelings, and actions. The therapist and client analyze each area to determine their effect on the client’s addiction.
The goal of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is for clients to develop skills to choose positive behaviors and thoughts. Recovering individuals are encouraged to apply these skills to daily life. This helps them manage the problems that have a negative impact on their life and lead to substance abuse. The skills learned during CBT can be practiced lifelong. The effects of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy last long after the course of treatment is over.
At Boca Recovery Center, CBT sessions are conducted by highly experienced therapists 2-4 times a month. The length of treatment varies with the severity of the client’s addiction but it can be anywhere from 5 to 20 sessions of 60 minutes each.
How does CBT work?
Cognitive-behavioral therapy is a research-based, result-oriented treatment with a practical approach to problem-solving. It addresses the root cause of addiction, i.e., unhealthy thinking patterns and behaviors. It is also useful in the treatment of mental health problems like post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, depression, eating disorders, and bipolar disorder. These mental health conditions often co-occur in people with substance use disorders. CBT addresses both problems simultaneously and treats the underlying reason for addiction.
At Boca Recovery Center, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is used to teach recovering individuals skills to handle emotions and actions that lead to substance abuse.
For example, many individuals are consumed by negative thoughts. These unhealthy thought patterns are impulsive or based on fear or self-doubt. Individuals try to mask these feelings with alcohol or illicit drugs. Over time, repeated use of illicit substances leads to addiction.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is based on the principle that thoughts and behaviors influence a person’s emotions and emotions influence behaviors. CBT works by increasing a person’s awareness of their thoughts, emotions, and actions as well as the consequences. This helps recovering individuals develop a better understanding of how the three are interconnected and how they led to substance use.
During CBT sessions, individuals are taught to modify negative emotions, thoughts, and behaviors. CBT exercises involve revisiting painful emotions and learning positive behaviors to replace them. The idea is to teach skills so that the recovering individual does not need to rely on alcohol or drugs as a coping mechanism. The goal is to help recovering individuals gain control over unwanted thoughts and emotions.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy techniques
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is very effective in addiction rehab. Therapists at Boca Recovery Center have received extensive training in CBT techniques to help clients discover the power of positive thoughts. CBT therapy addresses five common problems that affect addiction recovery:
- Negative emotions
- Generalizing negative thoughts as never-ending
- Thinking of each situation as good or bad and nothing in between
- Labeling positive thoughts as inconsequential
- Assuming certain thoughts are true without evidence to back it up
The CBT techniques used by therapists at Boca Recovery Center address these five problems. Recovering individuals learn to distinguish between thoughts and emotions. They become aware of how thoughts influence emotions and how this automatically affects their behavior. CBT therapists teach people with substance use disorders to critically evaluate their thoughts – are they based on evidence or are they an assumption? The goal is for recovering individuals to learn balanced thinking and critical evaluation of thought patterns.
Cognitive behavioral therapists at Boca Recovery Center help clients develop skills to identify and interrupt negative thoughts. Recovering individuals learn to anticipate triggers and develop the self-control to cope with them.
What to expect during CBT?
Here’s an overview of some of the exercises recovering individuals participate in as part of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for drug and alcohol rehab at Boca Recovery Center.
- Keep records of negative thoughts and emotions.
- Replace negative thoughts with positive ones.
- Recall memories that bring up strong emotions and revisit them with the therapist to reduce the anxiety associated with them.
- Perform healthy, pleasant activities in daily life to reduce negative thoughts and the use of drugs and alcohol.
The CBT therapists at Boca Recovery Center are teammates more than teachers. Clients are encouraged to frankly discuss irrational thoughts, negative emotions, and life stressors. Therapists help challenge these emotions and develop coping skills for daily use.
People struggling with substance abuse perform relaxation exercises and develop improved insight. They learn to be more assertive and to modify negative thinking patterns, with the ultimate goal of correcting negative behaviors.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
CBT has many advantages that can help people battling drug or alcohol addiction. One of the main features of CBT is that it does not focus on the past. Rather, it focuses on the recovering individual’s current problems. Therapists do not delve into the individual’s subconscious. Also, therapists do not passively listen to the client talking. CBT is more of a back-and-forth dialogue to solve problems. Another advantage is that Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a short-term treatment and can be completed relatively quickly. It is a highly structured form of psychotherapy that teaches useful practical tips that recovering individuals can apply to their everyday lives.
However, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is not without its drawbacks. The recovering individual needs to commit themselves to the process with full co-operation. Some individuals are unable to attend regular CBT sessions. Also, CBT may not address the needs of people with learning difficulties or complex mental health conditions because it involves control over emotions and anxieties. Lastly, CBT focuses on the individual and does not address the wider problems within the recovering individual’s family. Critics also point out that because CBT addresses only current problems, it does not get to the root cause of addiction, for example, abuse during childhood.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy at Boca Recovery Center
At Boca Recovery Center, we take a hands-on approach to addiction recovery using Cognitive Behavior Therapy. The goal is to have a meaningful impact on the client’s life with a relatively short-term course of therapy. CBT at Boca Recovery Center is adaptable to the client’s needs. It is goal-oriented and problem-focused. Our therapists teach recovering individuals useful, actionable strategies that bring about measurable results.
If you or a loved one needs Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for substance abuse, get in touch with us at Boca Recovery Center today on (800) 516-4357. Our advisors will answer your questions and give you all the information you need about Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for addiction recovery.