Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) makes individuals aware of attention and concentration problems. It improves their organization and time management. They can break down tasks easier to manage their daily lives. CBT builds confidence and controls impulsive behavior. Individuals gain confidence and can control impulsive and risky behaviors.
Types of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Evidence-based practices for addiction are beneficial because they provide a framework for treatment. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has studied, evaluated, and approved these practices. As a result, these practices have received scientific validation. These behavioral health options are proven to help individuals recover from addiction.
Typically, CBT will be administered in one of three settings: individual therapy, group therapy, or family/couples interventions. There are various methods in which CBT is utilized to address mental health concerns and addiction, including the following options.
This type of CBT focuses on what a person does that is right and works for a productive life. Our cognitive behavioral therapists take that information and build on those actions for each client. You will also use it to reframe or restructure their negative or distorted thoughts into more positive and realistic ones.
Using visualization and imagery techniques, you are taught to imagine and create positive mental images and experiences so that future outcomes have a different result. Visualizing positive scenarios and successful outcomes teaches you to enhance motivation, build resilience, and reduce anxiety or stress.
Positive CBT focuses on gratitude by learning to appreciate the positive aspects of life. Journaling can be a component of this. You take the time to write down positive experiences and situations that brought you joy. When you reflect on these, it builds a positive mindset. You will feel more empowered to participate in meaningful activities and those that bring you joy more often.
Trauma-Focused CBT (TF-CBT)
Because underlying trauma is often the cause of substance abuse, this form of CBT may be most sensitive and beneficial. TF-CBT begins with psychoeducation, where your therapist helps you and your family engage in talk therapy to understand the impact of trauma on emotions, thoughts, and behaviors. This education helps the family unit realize what you are going through and be more sensitive to your recovery needs.
Being open and sharing is critical to TF-CBT. Your therapist will walk you through uncovering your trauma and transcribing it. Doing so allows you to process the trauma and associated memories emotionally. Once you can target the negative thoughts and distorted memories related to trauma, you can start restructuring why you blame yourself and let go of any guilt you may be carrying.
TF-CBT is done gradually in a supportive environment. You won’t be expected to unpack your emotions and trauma in one session. It takes time to ensure your safety and comfort.
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
There are a couple of different ways ACT manifests regarding addiction. Therapists may ask clients to accept their thoughts and commit to acting in a way that aligns with their values. They may also ask clients to accept what they cannot control and commit to acting in a positive way that they can handle.
ACT combines mindfulness and acceptance strategies. The idea behind ACT is to focus on helping individuals develop mental and emotional flexibility and avoid making risky decisions.
This type of CBT calls on meditation to help clients consciously pay attention to their thoughts. Working with your therapist, you will work on positive goal setting. You will also participate in mindfulness practices that focus on the present moment. The techniques you learn to do this include mindful breathing, body scans, and mindful observation of thoughts and sensations. These practices promote present-moment awareness, reduce ruminating over past situations, and help you understand your thoughts and emotions without judgment.
What Happens During a Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Session?
There are many different reasons why someone might start using drugs or drinking alcohol in excess. Unfortunately, there is no one cause or solution. Someone’s genetics or environment may play a role, and underlying mental illnesses can lead to addiction. The reasons are endless since we are all unique. Because of this, CBT works to address a variety of different aspects of human cognition and behavior.
Some therapists may use CBT to help their clients address and manage certain emotions, deal with grief, and cope with those feelings in a healthier and more positive way than substance use.
There are a variety of different techniques that can be used to incorporate CBT into addiction treatment programs. These all depend on what works best for the client and their situation.
- Skill development
- Acknowledgment of negative thoughts
- Setting goals
- Relapse prevention
- Cognitive restructuring
- Behavior activation
- Exposure therapy
What does Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Treat?
Because CBT is so versatile, it can be used to help treat various conditions along with substance abuse. Since many people struggling with addiction also deal with different mental health conditions, CBT is one of the most effective dual diagnosis therapies.
Though most programs for mental illnesses include CBT to some degree, it is particularly beneficial in treating anxiety disorders, bipolar disorder, depression, panic attacks, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), phobias, and personality disorders.
Benefits of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive behavioral therapy is not a cure-all for substance abuse or any of the trauma or mental illnesses that cooccur. However, it provides many different benefits that can lead a person further into recovery. It can provide different skills and coping mechanisms for relapse prevention.
- Therapist support
- Increased self-esteem
- Increased relaxation
- Stress management
- Patient accountability
- Increased ability to adapt
- Coping skill development
- Better communication
- Anger management
- Relapse prevention
- Healthier thinking patterns
- Constructive behaviors
Does Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Really Work?
Cognitive therapy is considered an evidence-based therapy, meaning that it has been researched and is backed by science regarding proven effectiveness. CBT has been researched since the 1960s and is incorporated into a variety of different programs for addiction as well as mental illnesses.
The short answer is that cognitive behavioral therapy helps many people develop new coping skills and habits that aid in recovery. It is not a cure-all, though, meaning that recovery takes consistent work and a variety of other methods as well. Depending on specific conditions and history, certain therapies may be more effective than others. The best thing to do is talk with an experienced professional at our drug rehabs in Atlanta or Roswell, Georgia.
Contact Us to Get Started
We understand the transition from drug addiction and mental health disorders to recovery. Engaging in therapeutic treatments such as CBT can lead you to success and well-being. Now is the time to continue working on a life-long commitment to healthy living.
Meet with our recovery specialists by calling 770-299-1677 to begin your CBT treatments at one of our rehabilitation centers in Roswell or midtown Atlanta. We accept new clients and those completing one of our primary rehab programs.
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