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How Can Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Help Me Recover From Addiction?

cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)Millions of people in the United States live with substance abuse and addiction. These conditions are complex and tend to get worse over time. Living with a substance abuse disorder can negatively affect your physical and emotional health. It can drastically impact your quality of life by making it difficult to work, remain physically healthy, or maintain your relationships.

Addiction can be treated but never cured. Comprehensive treatment that addresses the physical, environmental, and psychological aspects of addiction can help people cope with the effects of addiction and work toward lifelong sobriety.

Counseling is one crucial aspect of effective addiction treatment. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is an effective form of therapy that is often used in addiction treatment. Understanding how this common addiction therapy approach is used can help you know what to expect during treatment.

If you or someone you love requires treatment, reach out to the caring specialists at Woburn Addiction Treatment for information on getting started.

What is Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)?

Cognitive-behavioral therapy is a form of mental health therapy used in various treatment programs and at all levels of care in addiction treatment. Trained therapists use CBT to help people identify thoughts, patterns, and beliefs that contribute to destructive behaviors. Used in the scope of addiction treatment, CBT allows people to understand their addiction and take effective steps toward recovery from it.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy is:[1]

  • Goal-oriented
  • Effective in a short period
  • Focused on changing behaviors
  • Used to help people identify destructive beliefs and behaviors related to their substance use

Addiction specialists often use CBT because it is effective in the time-limited addiction treatment setting. Participating in cognitive-behavioral therapy allows people to set sensible, measurable goals and work toward them. This form of therapy also helps people identify and change deeply-rooted beliefs and behaviors that have prevented them from moving past their addiction, even if the person is in treatment for only a short period.

Using Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) in Addiction Treatment Programs

Comprehensive treatment for addiction addresses all the causes of addiction. Instead of treating the physical aspect of substance abuse and addiction, effective treatment incorporates therapies to treat the whole person. People receive the treatment they need to safely overcome the physical aspects of addiction, the psychological treatment they need to identify the underlying causes of addiction, and the support they need to move forward in a healthy, sober lifestyle.

Therapy, including CBT, helps people learn about their addiction. It can help you think differently about your thoughts, beliefs, and behaviors contributing to addiction. It can also give you the coping skills to manage your reactions to challenges and healthily cope with your emotions.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy is an especially effective form of mental health therapy when used in addiction treatment. Participating in CBT allows people to gain better control over their reactions and behaviors. It gives people tools to better regulate their emotions and work toward healthy goals.[2]

Gaining control over your responses, beliefs, and behaviors can reduce your likelihood or relapse. Participating in CBT during addiction treatment will help you prepare for the lifelong process of addiction recovery.

What to Expect in Substance Abuse Treatment

Cognitive-behavioral therapy is only one aspect of treatment. Addiction treatment generally happens in progressive stages. First, addiction specialists or medical professionals evaluate what kind of treatment you require. Their assessment may include questions about your mental and physical health, substance use, and history of substance abuse treatment. With this information, your practitioner can recommend the level of care that will best meet your needs.

For many, the first step of any treatment plan is medically-supervised detox. During detox, medical and support staff monitor patients and treat them for uncomfortable or dangerous withdrawal symptoms. Treatment generally includes medications, emotional support, and comfort cares.

After completing detox, people move on to a treatment program. Comprehensive addiction treatment uses a combination of evidence-based treatments and holistic therapies, including:

  • Individual therapy–including cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • Group therapy
  • Education
  • Medications
  • Mental health and medical treatment
  • Holistic therapies–nutrition counseling, art and music therapy, yoga, exercise, and mindfulness practice
  • Family therapy

The length of time someone spends in treatment and their required level of care depends on the length and severity of their addiction, their treatment history, medical and mental health needs, and other personal factors.

Incorporating Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in Addiction Treatment and Aftercare

While participating in cognitive behavioral therapy in addiction treatment, patients work individually with a trained, licensed practitioner. During sessions, patients identify goals related to recovery and work with the therapist to build the skills they need to be successful. Patients may work with one counselor throughout their time in treatment or alternate between members of the treatment team.

Aftercare planning is the last stage of recovery. It includes continuing cognitive behavioral therapy in addiction treatment and beyond, building a supportive network of professionals and peers, and finding other meaningful ways of staying engaged in the recovery process. After rehab, patients are encouraged to apply the skills they learned in CBT to real-life situations. This can reduce the tendency for addictive behaviors, promote better decision-making, and prevent relapse.

Get Help Now

Woburn Wellness Addiction Treatment offers a person-centered program that fully recognizes and adheres to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration’s (SAMHSA) newly established definition that recovery is a process of change through which individuals improve their health and wellness, live a self-directed life, and strive to reach their full potential.

If you or someone you love require substance abuse treatment or support during recovery, contact the Woburn Wellness Addiction Treatment specialists today.

References:

  1. https://www.apa.org/ptsd-guideline/patients-and-families/cognitive-behavioral
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2897895/

Ready to Make a Change?

We know that overcoming addiction is not easy and requires courage to ask for help. At Woburn Wellness Addiction Treatment, our team of professionals has decades of combined experience in helping men, women, and families overcome substance abuse.

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