As a component of your recovery, you may begin receiving individual counseling from a therapist using a technique called cognitive-behavioral therapy, or CBT, for short. In cognitive-behavioral therapy, you will learn personal skills to cope with life’s problems and challenges, without the use of drugs or alcohol. Unlike psychoanalysis, in which therapists look for unconscious meanings behind their patients’ behaviors, cognitive-behavioral therapy focuses on our problems and the actions we can take to solve them. By developing strategies to address your problems, you and your therapist will also work on your addiction issues. At the same time, you should experience relief from the symptoms of underlying conditions such as mild depression, anxiety, and stress. If you suffer from major depression, bipolar disorder, psychosis, or opioid addiction, among other conditions, your healthcare provider will likely prescribe medication as well.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Benefits
Cognitive-behavioral therapy can be extremely effective in treating a wide spectrum of mental health conditions, including post-traumatic stress disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, phobias, eating disorders, pain, insomnia, irrational anger, sexual dysfunction, and more. Cognitive-behavioral therapy can also lessen the symptoms of physical conditions such as chronic fatigue syndrome and irritable bowel syndrome. CBT seems to work for just about everything! Cognitive-behavioral therapy is based on the theory that thoughts, behaviors and emotions all influence each other. Further, CBT holds that the beliefs of all human beings fall into three categories: self, others, and future.
CBT works in stages so you can get the most effective treatment for you. The steps of therapy include:
- Identifying negative situations in your life: This can mean a number of things. Some people dealing with a mental health disorder, addiction, grief or a number of other issues. Identifying a problem is only the first step to solving it.
- Be more aware of your thoughts and emotions about problems: How you approach the problem can dictate the outcome. Your doctor will help you by having you share your initial feelings of the situation and keep them in mind as you work through them.
- Change negative thinking: One of the most important goals of CBT is to change a person’s way of thinking about situations. Negative thoughts are rarely helpful in times of crisis. It is important to focus on positives despite how hard this can be. Having helpful thoughts can make problems and situations much easier to address.
Process of CBT
The purpose of cognitive-behavioral therapy is not to diagnose conditions or diseases, but to look at the whole person and figure out which issues need to be addressed. Depending on your thoughts or behaviors, your therapist may introduce you to strategies such as positive self-talk, attention-diversion, journaling, mindfulness, and avoiding negative thinking or self-sabotage. The cognitive-behavioral assessment generally consists of four steps:
- Identifying behaviors.
- Deciding whether behaviors are excesses or deficits.
- Obtaining a baseline evaluation of behaviors, noting how often, how long and how intensely they occur.
- Working to lessen the frequency, duration, and intensity of excessive behaviors, while increasing deficit behaviors.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy is not a quick solution, however. You and your therapist must work as a team. In some cases, you must address emotional issues stemming from trauma or mood disorder before you can begin cognitive therapy.
Get Help From Oceanfront Recovery
Evidence based treatment programs like cognitive behavioral therapy are proven to provide life-changing treatment. In addition to CBT, we also offer a number of other therapy programs to help you overcome whatever you are going through. Some of these programs include:
Oceanfront Recovery is a men’s & women’s addiction treatment center providing residential treatment programs and exclusive executive programs. Call us today for information at 877.279.1777