What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?


Cognitive Behavioral brain

There are several approaches to healing from addiction, and they vary widely.  While some may choose art or interpersonal therapy to approach their issues, others may benefit more from cognitive behavioral therapy.  Addiction is a highly complex disease, and is often a symptom of something greater.  Many with underlying psychological issues such a depression, bipolar, and schizophrenia may develop various addictions in an attempt to self-medicate.  People who experienced some form of neglect or abuse as a child have a higher chance of developing addiction at some point in their lifetime.

Each year, over two million people attend a drug treatment facility, which is unfortunately only ten percent of those who need it.  One of the most widely used methods of treatment inside a rehabilitation facility is cognitive behavioral therapy.  Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a great approach to the disease of addiction because it allows the patient and therapist to work together towards a common goal.  It is a form of psychotherapy and has been shown to be highly effective.  CBT is different from psychodynamic therapy because both therapist and patient are exploring patterns which lead to self-destructive behaviors, and coming up with joint solutions.  

Sessions of cognitive behavioral therapy can be conducted in both an individual and group setting. Many treatment centers will have private sessions with a counselor, but also have daily or weekly sessions with a group of other patients.  Therapists will usually assign work to do outside of sessions to further identify issues which trouble the patient.  Exercises in a workbook can help a person with addiction pinpoint stressors they didn’t know bothered them.  Patients may be encouraged to journal openly about their days so they can recognize negative patterns and be able to change them.

Cognitive behavioral therapy was developed on the notion that behavior can be learned or unlearned.  Negative thinking can become a habit, but habits have the ability to be broken.  Unhealthy thinking and problematic behaviors can be changed through cognitive restructuring, which will ultimately provide the individual the capacity to make positive choices for their life.  A person with a drug or alcohol addiction typically has a very low self-image, which can result in their destruction.  After learning positive behaviors, they are able to feel good about themselves and are less inclined to use substances to numb their feelings.    

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is just one of the many evidence-based therapies we provide at Simple Recovery. A multi-faceted program ensures that each client receives an individualized treatment plan with customized care. Simple Recovery offers a multi-tiered program is designed to help your loved one find success on a new path in life through school, work, and meaningful volunteering. Structured for progress, clients at Simple Recovery transition seamlessly through each phase of their recovery. For information on our full continuum of care options for recovery from addiction and co-occurring mental health, call us today: 888-743-0490