Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is an evidence-based talk therapy often used to treat substance abuse, addiction, and co-occurring mental health disorders. Evidence-based means that CBT is clinically proven to be effective. Many traditional therapies rely on the therapist-patient relationship to uncover past events that might impact current behavior. However, CBT focuses on how changing current patterns of thinking can result in behavioral change.
In Harmony Hills’ cognitive-behavioral therapy program, clients work with therapists to develop the skills needed to become aware of distortions in thinking resulting in destructive behavior patterns. Reach out to a mental health professional to learn how CBT can help you or a loved one with addiction recovery by calling 855.494.0357.
How Is CBT Effective for Addiction Treatment?
CBT is based upon psychological theories of cognition and behaviorism. Theories of cognition center around a person’s thoughts, emotions, and perceptions, while behaviorism looks at what reinforces their actions and behaviors. Thus, the main goals of CBT are to help a person make connections between how their thoughts, emotions, and perceptions influence their behavior and change thinking patterns.
According to the CBT approach, addiction and other self-destructive behaviors result from inaccurate thoughts and ensuing negative feelings. In CBT for addiction, the therapist helps individuals identify these thoughts and feelings and replace them with healthier, more adaptive ones. Once a person begins to understand why they think or feel specific ways and how those thoughts and feelings led them to abuse drugs or alcohol, they become better equipped to overcome addiction.
At Harmony Hills, CBT is utilized in both individual and group therapy. In addition, CBT is a proven effective tool to help those suffering from addiction in the following ways:
- Learning techniques for coping with stressful situations
- Identifying ways to manage emotions
- Teaching effective communication skills
- Helping to dismiss inaccurate beliefs
- Learning skills to identify and manage triggers
- Developing self-esteem and confidence in one’s abilities
- Increasing understanding of the behavior of others
For CBT to be successful, you must be fully engaged in the process. Therefore, as well as exercises in sessions, your therapist will assign homework to do between sessions that allow you to practice your learning skills.
Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy Techniques
Because addiction affects everyone differently, successful recovery is contingent upon an individualized treatment plan. CBT utilizes many different techniques. For your therapist to know what will work best for your needs, it is crucial to be open and honest about your challenges.
At Harmony Hills, some of the CBT techniques your therapist might use include the following:
- Role-playing: Through role-playing, you can visualize and practice different ways of handling a particular situation. This helps improve problem-solving, social, and communication skills as well as confidence and self-esteem. Further, role-playing can help minimize irrational fears.
- Journaling and thought records: Journaling is an effective way not only to get in touch with your thoughts and feelings but to record your progress. One type of journaling exercise is to track your negative thoughts and come up with positive alternatives.
- Cognitive restructuring: This focuses on looking carefully at negative thought patterns and positively reframing them. Assuming that the worst will happen can become a self-fulfilling prophecy, but so can thinking that the best will happen.
- Behavioral experiments: These are planned activities to test the accuracy of negative beliefs about yourself, others, or the world. You will choose an activity, make a prediction about what will happen, and then review it afterward to see if the prediction was accurate.
As you grow and change in your recovery at Harmony Hills, you will work with your treatment team to adapt your goals to meet your evolving needs. While CBT techniques might focus on your communication skills at the beginning of treatment, they will shift to focus on other needs later, such as grief or trauma.
Contact Harmony Hills to Learn More About CBT for Addiction Recovery
CBT is well established as an effective treatment for addiction. At Harmony Hills, our cognitive-behavioral treatment program is designed to be individualized to meet your unique needs. To learn more about CBT, use our online form or call 855.494.0357. It only takes one call to change your future for the better.