Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
As the number of individuals struggling with drug and alcohol dependency increases, people with addictions need to get practical ways to break their dependence on substances. Cognitive-behavioral therapy is one of the most helpful tools you can use to replace your substance use with healthy alternatives.
What Is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a term associated with a well-tested specialized type of psychotherapy proven useful for various psychiatric illnesses, including substance abuse. Regarding the theory behind CBT, an individual’s behaviors, feelings, and thoughts are very closely linked. CBT’s ultimate objective is to control and change related patterns of thinking, actions, and emotions.
The following strategies are adopted when it comes to treatment:
- Facing fears through, instead of avoiding them.
- Learning to calm one’s mind and relax one’s body.
- Replacing problematic behavior with a new healthier option.
- Using role-playing to prepare for potentially problematic interactions with others.
History of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy
Rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT) suggested that people could settle their deep-seated emotional and behavioral issues by changing their irrational beliefs to rational ones. Individuals could attain these changes by identifying their irrational thoughts and then testing them, hopefully disproving them in the real world.
In the late 1960s, the cognitive therapy system that would become part of the basis for today’s cognitive behavioral therapy was developed.
How Does Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Work?
Cognitive-behavioral therapy works by assisting individuals to become aware of their wrong negative thinking. Henceforth, they can change the thought patterns that underly their behavior. These changed thought patterns frequently to altered behavior. The reason for this is that changing their assumptions about the world enables them to see challenges from an objective viewpoint and helps them respond more appropriately to stressful situations.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy is different from other forms of “talk” therapy as it involves more than working through your feelings about your daily life and past experiences.
How Long Does Treatment Last?
Cognitive therapy tends to work over a limited number of sessions, frequently somewhere between five and 20. cognitive behavioral therapy is, therefore, a short-term rather than a long-term strategy. Several of the factors that assist establish the length of your treatment include the following:
- How rapidly you progress in treatment
- The type of disorder or situation you want to address with cognitive behavioral therapy
- The length of time your symptoms or condition has been going on
- The level of stress experienced daily
- The level of support received from support networks
- The severity of your symptoms
How Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Can Help with Addiction
Using cognitive behavioral therapy, one can manage your substance abuse by:
- Avoiding situations that might jump start your desire for substances
- Developing practical strategies for redirecting starting thoughts and replacing them with positive ones
- Exploring your behavioral and thought that lead to addictive actions
- Identifying harmful feelings and beliefs and looking for positive alternatives
- Recognizing day-to-day stressors and forming positive coping strategies to handle them
Who Can Benefit From CBT?
CBT is not only used to address trauma but also the following challenges:
- Anger management
- Emotion management
- Grief and loss
- Mental health disorders
- Ongoing emotional trauma as a result of violence or abuse
- Relational conflicts and miscommunications
- Stressful situations in life
Are There Any Side Effects?
Cognitive-behavioral therapy is free from side effects.