Cognitive-behavioral therapy for substance abuse treatment is one of the most commonly used therapeutic modalities right now. It is a form of talk therapy that looks at how your thoughts can influence your behaviors and how you can change your thoughts to change your life.
CBT focuses on your thought patterns and seeks to reframe negative and irrational thoughts into more positive and realistic ones. It is often used to treat illnesses like anxiety and depression but it can also be very useful in treating substance abuse issues too.
How does cognitive behavioral therapy for substance abuse addiction work?
CBT works by helping the patient to examine their thoughts and how they affect their behaviors. When it is used to treat an individual who is drug-addicted, the CBT therapist works with them to look at those thoughts that drive their addictive behavior.
A huge emphasis is placed on people’s perceptions and how they are not always as accurate as they might first think. Our thoughts and perceptions drive our emotions, which then drive our behaviors, but if our thoughts are faulty, this can lead to us going down the wrong path and carrying out actions that may actually be more harmful than we realize.
In CBT, the patient and therapist work to explore the complex relationships between thoughts, emotions, and behaviors, looking at the, often faulty, beliefs that underlie them and the steps that can be taken to transform them into something more positive.
CBT and addiction
Addiction is a difficult thing to overcome. In CBT, it is thought that addictive behaviors are a direct result of inaccurate and faulty thoughts which allow negative feelings to arise, which in turn lead to negative and unhealthy behaviors such as substance misuse, gambling, and overeating, for example.
In order to treat substance addictions, CBT practitioners will work with patients to record their thoughts and the feelings that come up as a result of them, as well as the negative behaviors that such thoughts and feelings trigger.
These thoughts and feelings will then be looked at in more detail. The therapist will work with the patient to identify thoughts that are inaccurate so that they can be reframed in a more positive light, cause far less mental and emotional distress and ultimately not trigger unhealthy behaviors like drug use, thus breaking the cycle and helping the patient towards sobriety.
Is cognitive behavioral therapy for substance abuse addiction treatment effective?
Yes, CBT has a pretty positive track record for helping individuals overcome substance abuse issues. There are several studies that demonstrate its efficacy when treating conditions including addiction, depression, OCD, and anxiety, amongst others.
One of the biggest benefits of CBT is that it helps to teach people healthy coping skills, which means that over time, and with a little practice, they can start to reduce their reliance on various substances to get them through difficult times in their lives. So once they are on the road to recovery, they are less likely to relapse.
Is CBT right for you?
If you want to learn about the negative beliefs you hold and how they can influence your feelings and behaviors, especially in regards to substance abuse, then cognitive behavioral therapy is one of the best modalities there is.
It will help you to identify negative beliefs and thoughts as soon as they come up, so you can take action. Reframe them in a more positive and realistic light, and avoid indulging in harmful behaviors. It will also help you to deal more effectively with the stress and strains of daily life so that you can lead a more happy and productive life without having to rely on drugs as you might have done in the past.
In order to be successful. You will need to fully engage with the process and be willing to put the techniques you learn therapeutically into your everyday life, but we will be here to support you every step of the way with that – you do not have to go through this on your own.
Talk to The Robert Alexander Center for Recovery
If you are ready to get onto the road to recovery, the experienced team here at The Robert Alexander Center for Recovery can help you on your journey. Whatever support you need, whether it is help to get you through the detoxification process or more information about cognitive behavioral therapy and its usefulness in treating substance abuse addiction you need, we are here to help and support you.