Cognitive-behavioral therapy for addiction is a common method used in addiction treatment. It focuses on modifying a person’s thoughts and behaviors to promote sobriety and improve mental health—the cognitive-behavioral therapy framework positions thoughts and behaviors as essential to understanding a person’s mental health status.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy increases the quality of life by replacing faulty patterns of thinking or behaving with more helpful patterns that are grounded in reality.
What Is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)?
Cognitive-behavioral therapy, or CBT, is a type of therapeutic intervention that addresses the complex relationship between thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. This approach recognizes that those three elements combine in helpful or unhelpful ways.
How Does Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Work?
One of the biggest things that CBT helps with is the spontaneous negative thoughts that govern someone’s self-perception. These often rule how a person feels and are influential in terms of contributing to depression or anxiety. CBT is designed to challenge those negative thoughts by using a series of core techniques. A few of these are explored in detail below.
1. Identifying Negative Thoughts
The first step in CBT is simply identifying negative thoughts. It is possible that someone doesn’t even realize what negative thoughts they have that are holding them back. When a patient voices their inner monologue and self-story, the therapist can begin to help a person challenge those negative thoughts that hold them back.
2. Skill Development
CBT is skills-based and action-oriented. During a round of CBT, a client will develop life skills. This includes coping mechanisms for combating stress or other addiction triggers or interpersonal skills that can help repair important relationships.
Another aspect of CBT that makes it action-focused is the process of goal-setting. Participants are encouraged to regularly set SMART goals. That means goals are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based.
CBT helps people develop skills. It also emphasizes putting those skills into practice through problem-solving. Problem-solving in CBT often revolves around a key life stressor that is worsening mental health. The problem-solving process during CBT tends to involve the following steps:
- Identifying the core problem
- Generating a list of possible solutions
- Evaluating the pros and cons of each solution
- Selecting a resolution to try
- Implementing the solution
In the context of CBT, self-monitoring is essentially journaling or keeping a diary. It is an important component of CBT because of the focus on skill development and problem-solving. Self-monitoring boils down to tracking thoughts and behaviors in order to share with a therapist and compare against goals.
How Does Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Help Addiction?
CBT focuses on identifying and changing negative and dysfunctional thoughts, beliefs, and behaviors and can be extremely beneficial in addiction treatment. Here’s how CBT can help with addiction:
Identifying Triggers: CBT helps individuals recognize the situations, emotions, or thoughts that trigger their substance use. This awareness is crucial for developing strategies to avoid or cope with these triggers.
Changing Thought Patterns: People struggling with addiction often have negative or self-defeating thoughts that contribute to their substance use. CBT works to identify and challenge these harmful thought patterns, replacing them with more realistic and positive ones.
Developing Coping Skills: CBT teaches various coping strategies to deal with cravings, stress, and other triggers without resorting to substance use. These skills are vital for long-term recovery.
Addressing Underlying Issues: CBT can help uncover underlying psychological issues such as depression, anxiety, or trauma that may be contributing to the addiction. By addressing these issues, the therapy can reduce the reliance on substances as a form of self-medication.
Improving Self-Control and Delaying Gratification: CBT can enhance self-control by teaching techniques to delay gratification and resist impulsive behaviors related to substance use.
Relapse Prevention: CBT provides tools for identifying early warning signs of relapse and strategies to prevent it. This aspect of therapy is crucial for maintaining long-term sobriety.
Benefits of CBT for Addiction
For many people, a top benefit of CBT is that it is action-focused. During a round of CBT, people are equipped with tangible skills and coping mechanisms that they can put into action right away as a means of achieving their goals. CBT is also a short-term therapy. Many people experience improvements in just a month or two from receiving this therapy.
Another benefit of CBT is that it can be delivered virtually or in person. This makes it widely accessible since being able to visit a physical location for treatment is not necessary to experience high-quality CBT sessions.
Find Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Addiction in Athens, Georgia Today!
Are you looking for a CBT provider in Athens, GA? Serenity Grove has years of experience employing CBT as a means of treating mental health and substance abuse disorders. CBT is backed by decades of evidence and research that prove its effectiveness. Find out how CBT can benefit you today by calling 844.904.3485 or filling out our online contact form.