Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Learn More About CBT for Addiction

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Addiction treatment programs primarily consist of various forms of addiction therapy. Arguably the most popular form of addiction therapy is cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT for addiction. As you seek to overcome substance abuse in your life, it may be helpful to learn more about this type of therapy. It’s important to gain information and guidance concerning the therapies and services that can help you. As a result, you will be able to move toward recovery more effectively.

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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.

Functional Analysis

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 feel negatively.

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.

Skills Training

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 substance use.

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.

Learning Stage

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 positive ones.

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.

Relapse Prevention

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 one another.

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.

How to Get the Most Out of CBT for Addiction

There are numerous things that a person can do to make the most out of CBT for addiction. We’ve described some of these things below.

Be Vulnerable and Honest With Your Therapist:

One thing that a person can do right off the bat to get the most out of CBT for addiction is to be vulnerable and honest with the therapist. Being open about your triggers and negative thoughts, feelings, and behaviors allows your therapist to come up with the most effective treatment plan for you.

Complete Assignments That Your Counselor Gives You: In between therapy sessions, it’s also important to complete any other assignment that your therapist gives you. A professional cognitive behavioral therapist will only give you assignments that are beneficial to you. This is especially the case if it’s a professional cognitive behavioral therapist for addiction. Therefore, do yourself a favor, and complete all the assignments that your therapist gives you. Doing so will make achieving sobriety much easier and attainable.

Follow Your Treatment Plan: It is necessary and important to follow the treatment plan as closely as possible. By closely following the treatment plan, you can definitely maximize the chance of the treatment plan working.

Be Patient: Even if you’re completing every assignment that your counselor gives you and following your treatment plan, it still may take some time before you see the results. This is especially true if you are receiving CBT to help treat a severe addiction. Therefore, it’s important to patiently wait for the results of cognitive behavioral therapy to kick in. With enough work, dedication, and patience, it eventually will.

Consult Your Therapist If The Treatment Plan Isn’t Working: If you’ve been patiently following your treatment plan and completing every assignment that your therapist has given you for a long period of time and things still aren’t changing for the better, tell your therapist. There may be adjustments to your treatment plan that your counselor can make to spark change in you.

Find Your Recovery

Our mission is to help individuals achieve sobriety by getting to the root of their addiction issues. We also aim to treat the minds, bodies, and souls of our patients.

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