The way we perceive an event is usually decided based on the feelings and emotions that we experience during the event. This is was makes overcoming substance abuse so difficult for most people.
The activity of using is associated with relief, relaxation, joy, and euphoria. Those are powerful emotional associations. Through CBT or cognitive behavioral therapy sessions, the goal is to better understand these associations and create new thought patterns surrounding substance abuse.
CBT for substance abuse is a powerful therapeutic method that can help individuals manage their feelings and behaviors. CBT is used alongside many other forms of therapy and treatment types to help people overcome addiction and mental health issues.
At Legends Recovery Center in Cleveland, Ohio, we utilize various treatment programs in conjunction with types of therapy including CBT for substance abuse to help people manage their conditions effectively, and break the cycle of addiction.
What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?
CBT is a form of behavioral therapy that targets how your feelings and emotions affect your mood and determine your actions. The idea is literally within the name “cognitive-behavioral” meaning that your thoughts determine your behaviors, not vice versa. This form of therapy aims to change your line of thinking to ultimately cause more beneficial behaviors to occur.
A person’s thoughts and perceptions can shape how they see the world around them, and the way they feel the world subsequently sees them. Substance abuse disorders and mental health issues alter our thoughts and cause dysfunctional automatic thinking. CBT works to fix these negative thoughts and behaviors that follow to create a more positive change. Through CBT individuals can live more fulfilling, happier lives.
How Does Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Work?
Cognitive-behavioral therapy is a collaborative effort between the therapist and the patient. The therapist will help the patient to identify any negative or distorted thinking patterns and then challenge these thoughts. The therapist may also help the patient to develop new coping mechanisms for dealing with stressful situations.
As therapy progresses, your therapist may develop a list of things that need to continue to be worked on during sessions. Some thoughts will be more difficult to overcome than others and over time your therapist will be able to help you focus more and more on the most troubling thinking patterns. They will provide you with all the necessary tools to cope with traumatic memories and panicked thoughts.
CBT for Substance Abuse or Addiction
During an addiction treatment program, CBT is used to help people explore the consequences of continued alcohol abuse or drug abuse. Therapists will help individuals learn to recognize cravings or triggers. A therapist will also help in ranking those urges in terms of the overall risk posed, and in developing strategies to avoid high-risk situations. The ultimate goal is to alter the thought patterns that could lead someone to relapse.
As part of an extension of your therapy, you may be asked to complete homework assignments like journaling a record of your thoughts or finding ways to practice your newly formed coping skills.
It’s important to note that CBT is different from other forms of addiction treatment in that it helps people anticipate situations that could lead them to relapse. By being able to anticipate scenarios people are better prepared to recognize difficult situations and avoid them.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy is an effective treatment for substance use disorders. In one study, patients who received CBT were more likely to abstain from alcohol and other drugs than those who did not receive CBT. This suggests that over time, this form of therapy can alter how the brain reacts to cravings.
Therapists who utilize CBT have a specific set of techniques that can help individuals overcome substance abuse issues. These techniques include the following:
Thought Records or Journaling: This technique involves identifying and challenging negative thoughts that contribute to substance abuse. Therapists can then help individuals work through more challenging thoughts through a variety of tools.
Behavioral Experiments: In this technique, patients test out different behaviors to see how they affect their cravings and thoughts about substances.
Skill Building: This technique helps patients develop skills that can help them cope with cravings and triggers without using drugs or alcohol.
Imagery-Based Exposure: During this technique, people remember a memory that causes strong negative emotions. They recall every aspect of the memory including sights, sounds, feelings, and immediate impulses. Over time the memory will cause less and less anxiety.
Pleasant Activity Schedule: This technique helps individuals create regular lists of fun and healthy activities to break up their normal day-to-day routines to create positive emotions and memories.
CBT can be an effective treatment for substance abuse because it helps patients to identify and change the thoughts and behaviors that contribute to their addiction. It also teaches patients skills that they can use to cope with cravings and triggers.
If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse, please reach out for help.
Addiction treatment will often involve several forms of therapy and treatment types. It can also work in conjunction with medications as well. CBT works well as a therapeutic tool in addiction treatment programs because its focus is to help people better understand the behaviors that lead to addiction. This is extremely beneficial for relapse prevention planning as well.
It’s important to remember that while cognitive behavioral therapy is a valuable tool for addiction treatment it is only a portion of the program. Other forms of therapy like group and family therapy help individuals address other concerns and help rebuild relationships and cope with their thoughts of guilt and shame.
Many benefits of cognitive behavioral therapy include:
- CBT can be utilized in conjunction with other treatment and therapy types to create a more customized treatment plan.
- Techniques used can be individualized to meet your unique challenges in overcoming addiction.
- By reprocessing thoughts, you can remove the strength of urges and cravings making you less likely to relapse.
- CBT is a shorter form of therapy so it isn’t something that requires ongoing maintenance after treatment.
- CBT has been shown to improve the functionality of the brain providing evidence that people can substitute harmful thinking patterns with healthy ones.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy is an effective treatment for substance use disorders. CBT helps people learn how to identify and change the thought patterns and behaviors that lead to drug or alcohol abuse.
The goals of CBT for substance abuse are to help the person:
- Identify and avoid high-risk situations for drug or alcohol use
- Recognize and change thoughts and beliefs that lead to substance abuse
- Replace drug-using behaviors with healthy, positive ones
- Improve communication and coping skills to prevent relapse
- Helps individuals with mental health issues better understand their illness
Overall the goals are to improve overall self-awareness and the effects of thoughts on the actions we take daily. CBT provides individuals with a deeper understanding of how motivation towards particular behaviors develops and why. This builds effective problem-solving skills and should therefore enhance a person’s self-esteem and ability to overcome stressful circumstances.
What Other Types of Treatment and Therapy Can Supplement CBT?
Other standard forms of therapy like group and family therapy can help address other issues related to substance abuse. Addressing family relationship concerns and social fears can help people build more trust in the overall treatment process, thus making CBT more effective. In addition to those, other forms of therapy can supplement CBT.
This type of therapy was originally developed to treat borderline personality disorder but helps treat other conditions, including substance abuse. It focuses on helping people develop skills like mindfulness, emotion regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness.
This type of therapy is similar to CBT but focuses specifically on helping people process and make sense of trauma. It is an effective treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and can be helpful for people with substance abuse issues who have experienced trauma.
Also sometimes called motivational incentives, this approach uses rewards to help motivate people to change their behavior. It is an effective treatment for substance abuse, especially when used in combination with other approaches like CBT.
This approach helps to motivate people to change their behavior by increasing their insight into how their substance use is impacting their life and the lives of those around them. It is often used as part of treatment for substance abuse but can also be used on its own.
Support groups provide a space for people to share their experiences and learn from others who are going through similar challenges. They can be an effective complement to other forms of treatment for substance abuse.
How Long Do I Need CBT to Overcome Addiction?
The American Psychological Association research has estimated that roughly 50 percent of individuals see a large improvement after somewhere between 15-20 CBT sessions. These sessions usually last anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour. It should be noted that everyone is different and the presence of any underlying mental health conditions can affect this rate of success.
In most cases, therapists choose durations of 20 to 30 sessions for up to six months. This way people can test their newly learned skills and work on situations with therapists as they arise.
Does Insurance Cover CBT for Substance Abuse?
CBT is one of the most evidence-based practices for treating substance abuse and it is often covered by insurance. If you’re considering CBT to help with your addiction, call your insurance company to check on your coverage. You can also call the treatment facility of your choice to discuss how they use CBT for substance abuse and if your insurance provider is accepted.
You can also look for a therapist who specializes in CBT for substance abuse treatment. These therapists are more likely to have experience and be up-to-date on the latest research surrounding CBT for addiction treatment.
Contact Legends Recovery Today to Learn More About Cognitive Behavioral Therapy!
If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, cognitive-behavioral therapy may be an option worth considering. CBT is an effective treatment for substance abuse and can help people learn skills to abstain from substances and manage cravings.
Legends Recovery offers CBT for substance abuse as well as a variety of other treatment and therapy techniques. Our addiction treatment programs are customized to each individual. This ensures that their course of treatment will address their unique circumstances. Contact Legends Recovery today to learn more about our treatment process and how we use cognitive behavioral therapy!