Drug and alcohol addiction responds well to cognitive behavioral therapy. This approach is a form of behavioral treatment. You’d typically undergo CBT in one-on-one sessions with an addiction counselor. Here’s how it could help you reach your goal of sobriety.
How Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Works
At the heart of this treatment is the understanding that there’s dysfunction in your life. A therapist helps you to pinpoint it. Areas of examination include your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Because they each affect one another, it only takes one domain of dysfunction to cause problems.
For example, imagine that you completely misjudge a situation. This mistake now leads to your having negative feelings that aren’t necessary. You also act in a way that’s not in keeping with the reality of the situation. That said, misjudgment could happen for any number of reasons.
Maybe you had something similar happen to you in childhood. You might be relying on faulty third-party information. You have a false sense of self-worth that colors your thoughts. Many things can upset the triangle of thoughts, feelings, and actions.
Why You Can’t Pull Yourself up by Your Bootstraps
Many people dealing with addiction believe that they should be able to handle the issue by themselves. You may be one of them. However, this belies the disease model of addiction. Substance abuse isn’t a moral failing.
It’s not something that you can quit just with willpower. Cognitive behavioral therapy and similar modalities are treatments that help you overcome addiction. Professional intervention is a crucial element of getting sober. Since you learn what caused you to use in the first place, you can undo the dysfunction in your life.
How Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Fits in with Addiction Treatment
When you arrive at the rehab center, you meet with an intake counselor. This person designs a treatment protocol based on your needs. Possible modalities include:
- Detoxification, which allows you to withdraw from a drug safely and without pain
- Talk therapy that encourages the introduction of cognitive behavioral therapy
- Group therapy sessions, which provide opportunities to boost your self-esteem and learn from others
- Family therapy as a means of reconnecting with loved ones
- A holistic approach that might include experiential therapies such as yoga
If your therapist determines that you would benefit from cognitive behavioral therapy, most treatments will include it. You focus on negative pattern recognition and develop tools to make necessary changes. You might also dig a little deeper and find out why you developed a cognitive distortion in the first place.
In the process, you take what you learn to other treatments. A good example is family therapy. You may realize that dysfunction has changed dynamics in your interactions with loved ones. After undergoing sessions and recognizing the issues, you may use family therapy to address them in more detail.
Use What You Learn to Overcome Addiction
Cognitive behavioral therapy won’t fix your life, but it can help you make far-reaching changes. By recognizing areas of dysfunction, you can actively work on replacing them with positive thoughts and actions. Some are quick and easy to overcome.
Others may require additional therapeutic interventions. For example, dialectical behavior therapy is a good option when you’re dealing with overwhelming emotions. By doing this, you gradually minimize your reasons for using drugs or alcohol. It won’t happen overnight, but you can make significant progress in a 30 to 90-day span.
Find out how this treatment can help you recover today. At Woodlands Recovery Centers, therapists routinely work with people just like you. Call 855-752-3377 today to speak with an addiction specialist.