To better understand how individuals think, feel, and experience themselves and the environment they live in, cognitive behavioral therapy makes use of behaviorism and cognition theories. CBT is a form of talk therapy based on these psychological concepts.
How Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) Works
Behavioral and cognitive therapy looks at the relationship between these two factors. CBT therapists are trained to search for the ways in which their clients’ ideas and beliefs impact their addictive behavior when treating drug misuse and addiction.
When it comes to behaviorism, the focus is on what reinforces the behaviors or acts that a person engages in, whereas theories of cognition are concerned with people’s views – everything they see, hear and feel —as well as their thoughts and emotions.
It is our observations, ideas, emotions, and understanding that make up our cognition. This encompasses everything that enters our minds via our senses or how we think and feel about our previous experiences.
Therapy doesn’t only focus on the behavior of the client; it also examines the ideas, feelings, and perceptions that drive the client to act in a certain way.
Addiction is an excellent illustration of this type of contradictory behavior. Despite the fact that we are aware that abstaining from addictive behaviors and drugs is better for our health and well-being, we sometimes choose to do so. This has the potential to have extremely negative repercussions.
People suffering from addictions may be ashamed of their actions, but it can be difficult to quit doing them, especially when the person does not understand why they are doing so.
Addiction Treatment Using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Addiction is characterized by a person’s obsessive use of a substance or other behavior, even when the behavior has negative repercussions. While someone who is attempting to overcome addictive habits will frequently express a want to change — and they may be sincere in their desire — they will often find it exceedingly difficult to do so.
According to the cognitive-behavioral therapy method, addictive behaviors are the outcome of misguided thinking and related bad experiences.
Many of us have notions that are incorrect, unrealistic, or hard to live up to, which leads to us having thoughts about them. They can lead to feelings of anxiety and depression, as well as the use of alcohol and other substances.
With regard to addiction, CBT focuses on recording thoughts, feelings, and the circumstances that elicit those ideas and emotions. Once we grasp the underlying causes of our addictive behavior, we may begin to alter the automatic processes that hinder our efforts to modify our habits.
CBT helps patients identify recurring thoughts and emotional patterns. They can begin to improve their mindset by adopting a more realistic outlook that does not instantly trigger negative feelings and detrimental behavior patterns.
By treating ourselves for better habits, we may train our brains to link those healthier actions with more happy emotions over time, resulting in healthier behaviors being more habitual.
Treatment for Substance Abuse Using CBT
Substance abuse is defined as the use of a substance in a way that was not intended or in excess of the amount prescribed. Rehabilitation for substance abuse frequently includes some form of therapy, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, which is occasionally used in conjunction with medication.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy may be able to assist people in changing their substance use patterns. The reason for this is that CBT focuses on helping patients learn to identify and combat the negative, illogical thinking processes that contribute to substance use. CBT also teaches patients new coping strategies that they can use to handle stress, temptations, and relapses more effectively.
Effectiveness of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
A long line of research has established the efficacy of cognitive-behavioral therapy in treating a wide range of mental health issues including depression, anxiety, and even addiction.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy may be useful in teaching people improved coping skills, which may aid them in reducing their substance use. The advantages of CBT may remain long after therapy has ended, and it may help prevent a recurrence.
The so-called “third wave” of behavior therapy, which emphasizes mindfulness, acceptance, and being in the moment, is being developed and complemented by the CBT techniques that were widespread at the close of the twentieth century.
- Approaches like these can be used:
- Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT)
- Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT)
- Functional analytic psychotherapy
- Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy
Goal for CBT
The goal of cognitive behavioral therapy is to teach you how to recognize the ingrained thoughts and behaviors that lead to addiction and substance misuse. You may be able to counteract these negative ideas and modify your behavior if you learn to recognize them.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) also provides coping techniques that may be used to deal with daily challenges in a more productive manner. It can be used alone or with other drugs to treat addiction.