What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?
July 26, 2019
In the world of addiction treatment, there are dozens upon dozens of different therapies that can be used to help treat those struggling with a substance use disorder. Some of these therapies are tried and true and have been utilized for decades. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is one of those therapies.
Since being first introduced in the 1960s by American psychiatrist Aaron Beck, cognitive behavioral therapy has helped change the lives of millions of people. It is a talk therapy that works by helping people to develop an awareness of their negative thinking patterns so that they can be challenged. By challenging negative thinking, individuals can then work to cope with and handle those thoughts in more positive, effective manner. This is why CBT can be found in nearly every addiction treatment center in the United States, as it can help address a number of issues.
The goal of cognitive behavioral therapy is to help individuals learn how to better mitigate and manage everyday stressors, as well as stressors that stem from more severe happenings in one’s life. By providing these skills to individuals with substance use disorders, therapists who provide cognitive behavioral therapy can help them both develop and maintain a sober lifestyle.
What Makes Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Effective?
Learning how to control behaviors is something that can help to lay a foundation for a successful life outside of substance abuse. Cognitive behavioral therapy does not require a great deal of time from a patient, as it is a form of therapeutic care that makes a major impact in a short span of time. Cognitive behavioral therapy is effective in helping you to:
● Learn how to cope with stress
● Identify problematic thoughts and behaviors
● Improve communication skills
● Address and treat trauma, including PTSD
● Manage physical pain or mental illness
● Develop tools to help treat symptoms of mental illness
● Find methods to manage powerful emotions
● Prevent relapse with both a substance use disorder and a mental illness
The effectiveness of cognitive behavioral therapy is so profound that it not only helps patients who have substance use disorders, but also helps address mental illnesses that commonly co-occur alongside of these disorders, including depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Who Can Benefit from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?
When people are in the thick of their substance abuse, everything about their actions and behavior can seem overwhelming and potentially hazardous. Those who make it to a point where they are willing to accept professional addiction treatment often continue to struggle with their behaviors and emotional responses because they either do not know any other way of functioning or are so accustomed to functioning in that way that attempting to live life any other way seems impossible. But when given the opportunity to participate in cognitive behavioral therapy, these individuals can develop more effective ways of functioning that support a healthy lifestyle.
Cognitive behavioral therapy is most beneficial for those who have:
● A substance use disorder
● A past history of trauma
● Mental illness such as anxiety, depression, or a personality disorder
● Anger management issues
Of course, these are not the only issues that cognitive behavioral therapy can address, as it is a therapy that is used for several different reasons. Most importantly, whatever condition cognitive behavioral therapy treats is highly likely to improve, which equals a sense of relief for individuals who might otherwise be struggling.
What to Expect in a Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Session
If you are going to begin cognitive behavioral therapy, you might be curious about what to expect. There are no fancy bells or whistles associated with CBT, rather a more traditional approach that is not typically intimidating to most.
Cognitive behavioral therapy will occur in a one-on-one setting between you and your counselor who will guide you through a number of steps to help achieve the goals of CBT. In general, these steps are as follows:
● Identify concerning issues that are occurring within your life
● Develop an awareness of your thoughts and emotions regarding these issues
● Determine thinking patterns that are negative or distorted
● Change negative and distorted thinking patterns
As mentioned before, cognitive behavioral therapy usually does not last for a long period of time, however that will depend on several factors unique to your situation, such as how fast you progress, what you are being treated for, and how severe your symptoms are. And, as with any other type of therapy, it is important to actively participate in your sessions, be as honest as possible with your therapist, and speak up if you feel like CBT is not working for you.
Get Help Now By Calling JourneyPure Franklin
You can’t just stop using drugs or alcohol and get on with life. It takes lots of work and dedication to recover from a substance use disorder and/or a mental illness that has impacted you in ways that have put strain on your everyday life. When a practice such as cognitive behavioral therapy is included in the process of recovery, however, life can become much more manageable and fast.
If you are struggling with the disease of addiction or a mental illness, do not ignore your needs. You are worthy of the appropriate treatment that can help you get back on your feet and better than before.
So, call JourneyPure Franklin right now. We are ready and able to help you accomplish your recovery goals and then some.
Michelle Rosenker is a content writer for JourneyPure where she gets to exercise her journalistic skills by working with different addiction treatment centers nationwide. She has 10 years of experience in the field of addiction treatment and mental health and has written content for some of the country’s most prominent treatment centers and behavioral hospitals. Through her writing, Michelle is proud to continually raise awareness about the disease of addiction and share hope for the future. She lives next to the ocean in Massachusetts with her husband, two young children, and faithful dog.