What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?
Cognitive behavioral therapy for addiction focuses on teaching individuals
how to change their negative thoughts, feelings, and behaviors into positive
thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Changing one’s negative thoughts
and feelings into positive ones will motivate recovering individuals to
partake in healthy activities. This will then help people to cope without
the use of substances.
Many people start abusing substances because they can’t handle their
internalized negative thoughts and feelings. In fact, many people allow
their internalized negative thoughts and feelings become so severe that
they turn into mental illness, which is often the catalyst for addiction.
Since cognitive behavioral therapy is an effective way to curb negative
thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, it’s a great tool to use when
treating both addiction and dual diagnosis disorders. This means that
individuals can also use cognitive behavioral therapy to treat mental illness.
Components of CBT for Addiction
There are two primary components of cognitive behavioral therapy for addiction:
functional analysis and skills training.
The functional analysis component of CBT for addiction identifies the causes
of the negative thoughts and feelings that trigger people’s desire
to use substances. During this component of CBT, therapists can help individuals in
addiction treatment see what circumstances and environments often cause them to think and
Once recovering individuals recognize the circumstances and environments
that make them think and feel negatively, therapists will then help come
up with ways to manage their negative thoughts and feelings when faced
with such circumstances and environments. This helps prepare individuals
in recovery to remain sober in situations that may spark negative thoughts
and emotions. These triggers can lead individuals to resort to substance
use. So, CBT strives to equip people with healthier coping mechanisms
to prevent relapse.
During the skills training component of CBT for addiction, individuals
in addiction treatment practice managing their triggers through the use
of positive coping mechanisms. Skills training is necessary during cognitive
behavioral therapy. This is because it often takes a long time for an
individual to develop a new habit. This is especially true if that individual
is trying to use that new habit to replace an addictive habit such as
Stages of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
There are four key stages of cognitive behavioral therapy. These stages
include the assessment stage, the cognitive stage, the behavior stage,
and the learning stage.
The Assessment Stage
During the assessment stage, therapists will ask individuals in addiction
treatment questions about their past substance abuse. These questions
can help therapists to learn information about what triggers a patient’s
desire to abuse substances. It’s also during the assessment stage
of CBT that therapists will start to develop treatment plans.
The Cognitive Stage
During the cognitive stage for CBT for addiction, therapists will work
with addiction treatment patients to figure out what negative thoughts,
feelings, and behaviors that they experience prior to feeling the need
to use substances. Also, during this stage of therapy, patients and their
therapists will start to come up with positive thoughts, feelings, and
behaviors to replace the negative ones.
The Behavior Stage
During the behavior stage, addiction treatment patients will practice their
positive coping skills. Addiction treatment patients should also use the
behavior stage of CBT for addiction to hone in on what positive coping
skills work best for them.
During the learning stage, addiction treatment patients will do more work
with their therapists. The purpose of this time is to ensure that addiction
treatment patients can cope with life in a positive manner without the
use of substances. Recovering individuals can also learn how to use their
coping skills in new challenges.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy vs. Dialectical Behavior Therapy
Another popular form of addiction therapy that people may confuse with
cognitive behavioral therapy for addiction is dialectical behavior therapy.
Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is therapy that helps people accept
their negative thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. In doing so, dialectical
behavior therapy helps patients stop self-sabotaging. That way, they can
more easily change their negative thoughts, feelings, and behaviors into
Cognitive behavioral therapy for addiction, on the other hand, focuses
solely on changing negative thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that lead
to substance abuse into positive ones. CBT primarily focuses on change
while DBT primarily focuses on self-acceptance.
Benefits of CBT for Addiction
There are many benefits of cognitive behavioral therapy for addiction.
Some of these benefits include:
Increases in Self-Esteem
When individuals receive cognitive behavioral therapy for addiction, they
improve the way that they speak, think, and act towards themselves in
the best way possible. Therefore, the self-esteem of cognitive behavioral
therapy patients naturally improves over time.
Arguably the most important benefit of CBT is its ability to help prevent
relapse. This form of therapy helps prevent relapse by helping individuals
in addiction recovery manage their triggers. Thus, instead of giving in
to triggers and exhibiting negative thoughts, feelings, and behaviors
that turn into substance abuse, individuals exhibit positive thoughts,
feelings, and behaviors.
Helps Build Better Relationships
People that suffer from addiction often develop unhealthy relationships
with their family members and friends. This is due to the fact that they
start to care more about using substances than they do their human relationships.
Before addicts know it, they lose the ability to effectively communicate
with others altogether.
By replacing their negative thoughts, feelings, and behaviors with positive
ones, individuals in addiction recovery start to connect with others again.
This, in turn, helps recovering individuals to rebuild their relationships.
Adds to Support Group
Through cognitive behavioral therapy for addiction, individuals in addiction
treatment can build relationships with their therapists and other individuals
in addiction treatment. That way, addiction treatment patients can support
Helps Establish Positive Behavior Patterns
The positive behavior patterns that individuals learn in CBT for addiction
can improve their overall lives long-term. This is because thinking positively
can cause people to stress less. This, in turn, can improve people’s
physical and mental health.
Attend Addiction Therapy and Treatment at Grace Land Recovery
If you have been suffering from addiction, please know that you don’t
have to struggle anymore. You can find freedom and healing today! The
help you need is only a phone call away. With help from professionals,
you can move forward in your recovery journey.
Grace Land Recovery offers various forms of individualized addiction therapy, cognitive behavioral
therapy being one of them. Therefore, you can trust that you’re
receiving the highest quality of care when attending CBT for addiction
at Grace Land Recovery.
To learn more about the other forms of addiction treatment and therapy
that Grace Land Recovery offers,
contact us today. Our staff is more than willing to answer any
questions that you may have.