Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy also commonly abbreviated as CBT is one form of psychotherapy that modifies dysfunctional behaviors, thoughts, and emotions but treating issues and boosting happiness. CBT has been used since creation by Dr. Aaron T. Beck in the 1960’s. The modality is solution focused, and encourages individuals to change their destructive behavioral patterns in order to live a happy and healthy life.
Similar to a mindfulness approach, CBT is based on the idea that an individual’s perceptions and thoughts influence their behaviors. If thought patterns and reactions to these thought patterns are changed, then the outcome to these situations are able to change as well.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy can be used for all age groups, from children to mature adults.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy & Addiction Treatment
CBT is not only used in addiction treatment but also has been successful when dealing with a number of different mental health disorders including: anxiety, major depressive disorder, post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), eating disorders and more. CBT can be used on a one on one basis and also in group settings.
One of the main goals behind CBT for addiction is to change the way an individual thinks through effectively talking through problems and challenges. At The Beaches Treatment Center we encourage all of our clients to implement all the ideas they use in any of their therapeutic programs into day to day life. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is meant to be continuously used far after their addiction treatment program is complete. This therapeutic method teaches clients to find the connections between their actions, thoughts and feelings by showing them how this can impact their overall mood. We see great success in CBT when it comes to providing clients the tools they need for relapse prevention.
How Does CBT Work in Addiction Recovery?
By having a client take a look at their thoughts, feelings, and actions under the care of a primary therapist or group facilitator it gives the client to see sometimes they are not thinking in a logical or rational manner.
CBT was created to show individuals the power that thoughts have. If a client automatically turns to negative thoughts, it often comes from a misconception and feelings of fear and self-doubt. When these thoughts, feelings, and actions take over an individual’s mind- their only thought is to self-medicate to reduce the pain that is being associated with the feelings. This is how an addiction can form. In CBT the individual is taught to revisit the painful memory so that in time, it does not trigger those same negative thoughts. There are many new behaviors we teach our clients to encourage a logical and positive reaction to any of the negative thoughts, actions or behaviors. These are the tools they are able to bring with them as they continue life living clean and sober.
These are three main ideas that should be taken into consideration when trying to manage triggers. A trigger is a instance where the drug user experiences a craving, triggers can cause drug users or even recovering drug users to return to drug use after they have tried to get sober or have been sober. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is great for helping recovering addicts to work through their triggers by breaking down the situation and using logic.
Know the situation, thoughts, and feelings that cause the want to use drugs or alcohol.
Staying away from anything that could cause a return to use incident.
Use the techniques from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to ensure there is no temptation to turn to abuse of drugs or alcohol.
Another great idea that CBT teaches a client is communication skills. Verbalizing the emotions and reaction to feelings is a great coping mechanism for those who are suffering from negative thoughts.
All the practices associated with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy can be used during a recovering addiction time at The Beaches Treatment Center, during home-life, and also for the rest of their life. Once we teach clients this method, they can take it with them as they successfully integrate back into society. We see many aspects of our therapeutic programs here at The Beaches integrate aspects of CBT in other areas of healing.