There are many ways to approach addiction, and no one method will work for everyone. A widely used strategy called cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is one way to help people with substance use disorders to uncover and repair their unhelpful thoughts.
A cognitive-behavioral therapy program can help patients realize which thought patterns are causing the uncomfortable feelings that may have driven them to use in the first place and might cause them to relapse in the future. CBT can be very effective in helping to develop new patterns of thought and action that are more in line with recovery and staying healthy.
What Is Cognitive-behavioral Therapy?
CBT is a type of psychotherapy that aims to help individuals identify and modify negative patterns of thought and behavior. CBT bases treatment on the idea that our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are interconnected and that we can improve our emotional well-being and behavior by changing negative or unhealthy thinking patterns. Most CBT therapists will go through this process by saying that feelings create thoughts, and thoughts create actions or behaviors.
During CBT, a therapist works with the individual to identify negative thought patterns and behaviors and develop strategies to modify them. This may involve techniques such as breath work or meditation to identify negative thoughts and write them down to identify them. Next might come setting goals to replace them, like rephrasing the thoughts or finding ways to interrupt recurring negative thought patterns. CBT focuses on learning new coping skills to support growth and inner peace, an important journey for people in recovery.
How Does CBT Work?
One of the main goals of CBT is to help individuals become more aware of their thoughts and behaviors and how they may contribute to their problems. For example, if someone struggles with anxiety, they may have negative thoughts such as “I can’t do this” or “something bad is going to happen.” These thoughts can lead to avoidance behaviors and further increase anxiety. CBT helps individuals identify and challenge these negative thoughts and develop more realistic and helpful ways of thinking.
Some of the well-known benefits of CBT include the following:
- Help manage difficult emotions
- Increased self-esteem
- Better communication and relationships
- Healthier coping skills
- Lowered risk of relapse
CBT is a widely researched and evidence-based treatment and is effective for many mental health issues, such as anxiety, depression, and addiction. It has also effectively treated chronic pain and other physical health conditions.
People struggling with substance abuse can use the tools they learn in CBT to prevent becoming overwhelmed by negative thoughts or emotions, thus giving them a better chance of avoiding relapse. CBT can be conducted in individual or group settings and may be combined with other treatments, such as medication or support from a recovery community. It’s important to note that CBT is not a one-size-fits-all treatment, and the specific techniques and approaches used may vary depending on the individual and their needs.
Looking for More Information About CBT? Evoke Wellness Can Help
We at Evoke Wellness understand how our thoughts impact our lives. Because recovery is a lifetime commitment, it is almost certain that challenges will arise, and healthier coping strategies will be needed. Having a better awareness of one’s inner dialogue and the ability to change it can help to ease the emotional upheaval that often comes with a challenging life event, which for someone in recovery can mean the difference between sobriety and relapse.
We are proud to offer CBT services and many others that help those on the recovery journey. To learn more about how we can help, contact us at 866.931.9312 today.