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There are countless treatment options for anyone suffering from addiction, and different choices will be right depending on the individual. When you’re ready to get sober and finally leave addiction behind- tailoring a program that fits your specific needs, personality, and history is key to a successful recovery.

One popular form of treatment is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). The CBT approach differs from other styles of therapy in a lot of ways. If you’re trying to decide if CBT is a good addition to your treatment program-it’s helpful to understand what exactly you should expect from a course of CBT.

The CBT Style

CBT is typically a shorter term and goal-oriented approach to psychotherapy using a hands-on and “problem solving” like approach with the goal of changing overall thinking patterns. CBT therapists guide patients deep into their emotional psyche and try to reconfigure patterns of thought and what they are associated with. When you change your patterns, beliefs, and attitudes, you can change your behavior, life, and general way of being.

CBT generally takes about 5-10 months to solidify emotional changes, and after they are ingrained in your mind and thoughts, you can use the tools you learn for the rest of your life. The combination of psychotherapy and behavioral practice helps teach you ways in which you can direct thoughts to benefit your life, not complicate it.

CBT also teaches you how to cope with emotions when they are unavoidable- shorten the duration of negative emotions and turn them into positives/productive thoughts.

CBT has been practiced since the 1960’s when Aaron Beck introduced this style of therapy while studying internal dialogue and the effect it has on behavior. He found the important link between thought and feeling and the power of identifying them. CBT has been proven effective for over 50 years and some have recovered from different emotional issues from CBT alone.

How does CBT Start?

Beginning CBT treatment starts with an initial visit that could be generally understood as an assessment meeting. Your therapist will ask you a series of questions to help identify the specific thinking patterns that are considered detrimental to your recovery/overall being and try to understand how these patterns manifest. Based on the assessment, your therapist will determine if he/she is a good fit (as you will determine the same for them) and work out a plan for you.

After the initial visit, each session will consist of working on the problems you are trying to overcome and actively working on them. Unlike traditional talk therapy where you simply discuss your concerns, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy incorporates activities and learning exercises to help you actually see how it feels to do something differently.

Different sessions may be focused on different issues, but the entire process will train your system as a whole to navigate the mind toward beneficial thoughts and behaviors.

Typically sessions are structured in the form of an initial check-in, a review of homework/recommended exercises, targeting new items, and identifying what to work on for the following week.

Benefits of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy For Addiction

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy can give individuals a support network during their recovery process that offers a level of comfort and security needed during a difficult time. The positive encouragement and constant practice will help patients avoid relapse and gain the tools to stop bad behavior in its tracks. ‘

Addicts often have negative patterns that recur and fall in line with the patterns of addiction. Instead of dealing with emotions and regrets, they turn to drugs to numb the pain. CBT helps patients feel a relief of the negativity without substance.

Addicts also deal with severe self-esteem issues in many cases. Sometimes low self-esteem is the root of what prompted addiction. In any case, Cognitive behavioral therapy helps addicts improve their self-image and see their true worth and value. The confidence and self-worth CBT can manifest helps those in recovery feel more positive about their future, resist temptation and peer pressure, and teaches patience during the journey.

Is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Right For You?

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, learning to train your thoughts to manifest positive behavior could help guide you on your journey to sobriety. Our professionally trained staff offers Cognitive Behavioral Therapy plans for any treatment program. To speak to one of our representatives and learn more about our CBT program, call Rise today. Sobriety is possible.


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