The human brain is the most complex biological structure in the universe. Our brains are made up of various sections that have different responsibilities to help us survive. Within these sections are billions of neurons that, if laid side-by-side, could reach the moon. Luckily, when it comes to addiction, CBT techniques help people by rewiring these neurons to promote healthy decisions.
Neurons in our brain communicate through electrical signals with an endless amount of possibilities. When someone is struggling with an addiction, neurotransmitters are wired in a unique way. In order to recover from addiction, it’s important for these neurotransmitters to fire in new, healthy ways. One way to manipulate their wiring is through the use of cognitive behavioral therapy.
Learn more about CBT techniques for treating addiction by calling us at 866.262.0531.
Understanding Neurons and CBT Techniques
Neurotransmitters secrete different chemicals when they fire, and dopamine is the neurotransmitter that causes addiction. If you’re struggling with an addiction, it’s because your dopamine is firing far too much when you use alcohol or drugs. The more this chemical floods the brain, the more the brain becomes dependent on it. The brain wants us to repeat actions that make dopamine flow, but it’s a problem when it comes to the fatal use of substances.
Our behaviors form around developing different habits, which create a habit loop. The three stages of this habit loop are:
A healthy form of this habit loop is when you get hungry (trigger), you eat (behavior) and are no longer hungry (reward). Even eating gives you a little dopamine because it’s the brain’s way of telling you to repeat the behavior next time. When it comes to drugs or alcohol, your trigger could be stress, anxiety, depression or anger. In order to rewire the brain, a treatment center uses CBT techniques to replace the old behaviors with new ones.
What are CBT Techniques?
CBT stands for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and it’s one of the most commonly used methods for sobriety. CBT is an evidence-based therapy, which means there is scientific proof that this method helps people overcome addiction. Only the best treatment centers use these techniques, and they have very good success rates. Before you go into treatment, it’s important to understand CBT to keep an open mind when receiving therapy.
Cognition means your thoughts, and often times your thoughts are what lead to different behaviors. CBT is a therapeutic technique used to help begin changing your thoughts as well as your behaviors. Over time, changing these thoughts and behaviors rewires the neurons in your brain. Every time you face a trigger and replace your old behavior with a new one, you’re rewiring the habit loop. This new habit will eventually become the norm and your old behavior will be replaced.
Behavioral therapy is all about changing your actions. There are many different types of behavioral therapies, but they all have the same goal in mind: to get you to do the things you need to do to stay sober. This can be anything from going to meetings to working on your recovery program every day. Behavioral therapies help you to develop new, healthy behaviors to replace your old ones.
Using Mindfulness with CBT Techniques
Mindfulness is often used in addiction treatment programs because it brings you more awareness. By slowing down and noticing what’s happening in each moment, you can identify your triggers. Once you can pause and recognize your trigger is arising, you then have the ability to change the next behavior. In conjunction with CBT, you will begin to see that you’re making much healthier choices.
Other treatment methods include:
- Trauma Therapy: A type of therapy used to treat addiction that focuses on the underlying causes of addiction, such as trauma or emotional distress.
- Life Skills: Teaches recovering individuals how to live without using drugs is one approach to addiction treatment. This may include things like cooking, budgeting, and job skills.
- 12-Step Programs: These offer support and guidance to people trying to overcome addiction.
Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy Program in Portland
Crestview Recovery provides addiction therapy services for anyone looking to make a change for the better. We use CBT, as well as a wide range of other techniques, to help you overcome your addiction to drugs or alcohol. We accept many different insurance policies, and we use the best treatment methods to ensure your success.
Find out more about our program by calling us today at 866.262.0531.
Since 2016, Dr. Merle Williamson, a graduate of Oregon Health Sciences University, has been the Medical Director at Crestview Recovery, bringing a rich background in addiction medicine from his time at Hazelden Treatment Center. He oversees outpatient drug and alcohol treatments, providing medical care, setting policies, detox protocols, and quality assurance measures. Before specializing in addiction medicine, he spent 25 years in anesthesiology, serving as Chair of Hospital Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee and Chief of Anesthesia at Kaiser Permanente. This experience gives him a unique perspective on treating prescription drug addiction.