Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a form of psychotherapy that has been demonstrated to be effective for a number of mental health issues including anxiety disorders, depression, alcohol and substance use disorders, eating disorders and severe mental illness. Many research studies suggest that CBT can lead to significant improvement in functioning and quality of life. Cognitive behavioral therapy has also been demonstrated to be as effective or more effective than other forms of psychotherapy or psychotropic pharmaceuticals.
The Effectiveness of CBT in Addiction Treatment
Since CBT has been successful in treating such things as major depression, PTSD, ADHD, panic disorders, anxiety, and eating disorders, its use in helping individuals overcome addiction has been growing for over 30 years. The Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs published an analysis of over 50 studies on CBT. It concluded that CBT treatment is an effective form of treatment for a variety of substance use disorders. Both the National Association of Cognitive Behavioral Therapists (NACBT) and National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) recommend CBT as a treatment for addiction. When individuals participate in CBT, they develop the ability to recognize situations in which they are most likely to be triggered to use alcohol or drugs and implement appropriate coping mechanisms for the resulting emotions and behaviors.
What to Expect From CBT
CBT treatment typically involves efforts to change thinking patterns. These strategies can include:
- Recognizing distortions in thinking that lead to negative consequences.
- Gaining a better understanding of the motivation and behaviors of others.
- Learning and implementing problem-solving skills to cope with challenging situations.
- Developing an improved sense of self-worth and confidence is one’s abilities.
Cognitive behavioral therapy treatment also involves efforts to change behavioral patterns. These strategies can include:
- Facing one’s fears instead of avoiding them.
- Utilizing role-playing to prepare for potentially challenging interactions with others.
- Learning methods to calm the mind and relax the body.
Not all cognitive behavioral therapy will use all of these strategies. Rather, the therapist and client work together, collaboratively, to develop an understanding of the problems and a treatment strategy.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy at Clearpoint
CBT for the treatment of addiction at Clearpoint places an emphasis on helping individuals learn, in a sense, how to be their own therapist. Through exercises in individual therapy sessions as well as homework, individuals are instructed to develop coping skills that help them to change their thinking, negative emotions, and behaviors.
Our clinicians tend to emphasize what is currently going on in the individual’s life, rather than past experiences that have led to their present challenges. Basic information about one’s history is necessary, but the primary focus is on moving forward to develop more effective ways of coping with life’s terms.
Getting Started with CBT
If you, or someone you love is dealing with substance abuse and co-occurring disorders, we can help. Our staff is equipped to facilitate assessment, treatment planning, and clinical recommendations. Since addiction and substance misuse are highly individualized diseases, treatment must also target the client’s specific needs.
When we discuss providing CBT for our clients, Clearpoint clinicians do so as part of their overall, individualized program of recovery. We provide a number of similar therapeutic techniques falling into the Cognitive Behavioral Therapy category, including Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), and other solution-focused therapy. To find out more about Cognitive Therapy, our admissions counselors are available to speak today.