Is CBT Beneficial During Addiction Treatment?

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a type of psychotherapy treatment that offers a hands-on, practical approach to problem-solving. We at Scottsdale Providence Recovery Center believe that our thoughts and beliefs shape our behaviors, and by using cognitive behavioral therapy techniques, we can change false beliefs and errors in thinking to positively affect behavior. Read on for more info on this super effective, evidence-based treatment…

CBT: What Is It?

CBT treatmentIn order to develop better emotional balance and have healthier interactions with both yourself and the outside environment, cognitive behavioral therapy focuses on assisting you in changing unhelpful or negative thought patterns.

The aim of this type of talk therapy is to identify beliefs that are not an accurate appraisal of reality since the assumption underpinning CBT is that the way we view and think about the world drives our behavior. Several techniques are employed to confront and alter less-than-useful thoughts after they have been identified. CBT can be quite effective in a short amount of time since it is a focused, results-oriented therapy.

CBT focuses on your current circumstances and how you perceive them, rather than your childhood and previous experiences. The objective is to identify any unreasonable thoughts or anxieties you may currently have and deal with them, replacing them with fresh and realistic perspectives on your situation or your behavior. Your decisions and behaviors will ultimately shift as a result of this change in how you see the world.

CBT treatment frequently includes practice and “homework,” such as being urged to pay attention to or even record your thoughts about specific scenarios that occur between sessions. The accuracy and value of these thoughts will subsequently be assessed during your treatment session. One of the factors contributing to CBT’s success is the concrete practice it provides along with the skills it teaches.

CBT and Addiction Treatment

So how does this modality complement addiction treatment? The focus of cognitive behavioral therapy is on how our beliefs influence specific behaviors, particularly conflicts between what we want to do or know we ought to do and what we actually do. Addiction is a prime example of a behavior we engage in despite knowing better or not wanting to. We continue to abuse substances despite knowing that it is unhealthy and dangerous to do so. These actions frequently have a variety of unfavorable outcomes as well, which cause even more regret. Nevertheless, it can be extremely difficult for those who are struggling with a substance use disorder to stop on their own.

A study that was published in Psychiatric Clinics of North America found that alcohol and drugs are strong behavioural reinforcers. People continue to use them because of the impacts they have, which include boosting social interactions and suppressing unpleasant and negative feelings. CBT uses a methodical approach to change these behaviors from ones that support abstinence to ones that do the opposite.

In cognitive behavioral therapy, the inaccurate perceptions and uncomfortable feelings that contribute to substance misuse are examined. In a session, you’ll concentrate on writing down your thoughts, feelings, and the events that bring them on. After that, you’ll examine the behaviors that follow them. You can try to replace your unpleasant behaviors’ underlying thoughts and feelings with fresh, accurate, and constructive ones after you’ve discovered what they are.

By deliberately viewing circumstances in more realistic ways that don’t result in negative ideas, feelings, or behaviors, over time, you will be able to alter your thoughts. CBT helps you to build the internal skills you need to train yourself not to repeat the deeply ingrained habits that have fueled your addiction. (Read a story on how CBT changed someones life here. )

Emotional control, interpersonal communication, organizational abilities, and problem-solving are also skills that can be developed with CBT. These skills will offer essential support as you learn to deal with life without using drugs or alcohol. Not only will you learn how to cope in situations where alcohol or drugs are present, but you’ll also work to repair relationships that were damaged or destroyed by your addiction. With a foundation in CBT, you’ll practice building social support and engaging in positive activities instead of your old, less successful ways of dealing with unpleasant situations and emotions.

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