One of the most common forms of addiction therapy that therapists use is cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT. This type of therapy at Crestview Recovery can go a long way in eliminating negative thinking and boosting positive thoughts and actions. Take a closer look at how CBT works, who can benefit from it and why it’s so helpful for those struggling with addiction and other mental health disorders.
Understanding Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy For Mental Health Treatment
Cognitive-behavioral therapy is a one-on-one form of psychotherapy conducted between a patient and a therapist in an individual therapy program. CBT is based on the concept that a person’s actions are greatly influenced by their personal thoughts and feelings. As a result, counselors use CBT to decrease negative thinking and increase positive thinking. This can lead to healthy changes.
CBT is most commonly used to treat anxiety and depression, but can be useful for treating other mental health conditions as well. It is a relatively short-term treatment, lasting an average of 12 to 20 weeks. CBT may be conducted in individual sessions or in group therapy sessions.
CBT is an evidence-based treatment. This means it has been shown to be effective in treating mental health conditions through research studies. A review of research studies on CBT for depression found that CBT is an effective treatment for adults, adolescents, and children.
There are two primary elements of CBT: Functional analysis and skills training.
What is Functional Analysis?
Functional analysis is an element of CBT that involves the examination of some of the causes and effects of negative thinking and behavior. A functional analysis allows a patient and therapist to target consequences by considering the chain of events that led to them. For example, some people might feel inadequate because of a childhood experience. Patients may also have a history of trauma or have an undiagnosed mental illness, among other catalysts for negative behavior. A functional analysis allows the therapist and client to identify the negative thinking and behaviors that lead to certain undesirable events.
Through functional analysis, patients and therapists at a holistic drug rehab therapy program can also pinpoint some of the specific feelings and triggers that lead to negative actions. Hearing negative feedback from family members, feeling tired or lonely all might cause patients to experience an increase in cravings and a desire to relapse.
The second element of cognitive-behavioral therapy is skills training. This places emphasis on unlearning old habits and picking up new, healthier routines. For example, let’s consider patients who might have turned to drugs as a way to cope with stress in the past. They might replace that bad habit with a healthier alternative like cooking and eating a healthy meal, exercising, or attending a support group at an addiction treatment program.
Therapists might also teach patients how to deal with triggers. This may include negative emotions or environmental cues, especially if they lead to drug use. This could involve developing a list of activities to do when cravings hit or coming up with a plan for how to say no to drugs if offered them.
The Goals of CBT in Portland, Oregon
The ultimate goal of cognitive-behavioral therapy in addiction treatment is to maintain sobriety and eliminate the risk of potential relapse. More specific goals include creating healthy habits, quieting or eliminating negative thoughts, and improving the coping skills of patients. In accomplishing these goals, patients will be better equipped to handle cravings and temptations and increase their chance of lifelong sobriety.
Developing coping skills is one of the most valuable goals of CBT. Patients who don’t have the proper coping skills have a higher chance of relapse. Every patient needs different coping mechanisms, and therapy is the best way to determine what those might be.
Another goal of CBT is to help patients develop positive associations with actions or things other than drug use. In turn, they can then pursue these sources of pleasure and foster positive thinking without addiction.
Eliminating the All-or-nothing Mentality
A significant danger in the fight against addiction and other mental health disorders is the all-or-nothing mentality. This is when patients see themselves and their recovery in black and white. No person is perfect all of the time, and small slip-ups don’t have to lead to a downward spiral.
All-or-nothing thoughts are a form of negative thinking with dire consequences. Some patients feel that they have to be perfect in order to lead a healthy life. When that happens, any mistakes they make cause them to feel like it’s no longer worth the fight.
Something as small as fighting with a family member or failing at a specific recovery goal can force patients to think that their journey to recovery is doomed. When this happens, relapse is likely. That’s why cognitive-behavioral therapy addresses negative thinking and tries to reframe mistakes as the small bumps in the road they really are.
At Crestview Recovery in Portland, Oregon, cognitive-behavioral therapy is just one therapy service we use in the fight against addiction and other mental health disorders:
- Dual diagnosis treatment
- Heroin addiction rehab
- Meth addiction rehab
- Alcohol addiction treatment
Call 866.262.0531 to explore the programs that can help you take back the life you deserve.
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.