Addiction is a condition that has a profound effect on whoever would be unfortunate enough to be afflicted by it. It inflicts massive changes in thinking and behavior, most of which are not for the better. This is why specific psychotherapy methods are used during the rehabilitation phase, as there is a need to fix the mental, emotional, and behavioral damage that addiction causes to the person.
One such type of addiction counseling is cognitive-behavioral therapy, or CBT, which functions both as the main form of treatment for specific conditions, such as substance abuse disorders, or as part of a combination of treatments for co-occurring conditions.
Therapists who suggest the use of CBT for substance abuse do so because there is a need to address specific thought and behavioral patterns that might hinder treatment, or might be the root cause of the addiction itself.
Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)?
American psychiatrist Aaron Beck is largely held to be the father of cognitive behavioral thinking from back in 1960, although there are many known precursors of some of its fundamental concepts, particularly in how logic could be used to identify and discard harmful thoughts and emotions.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy is academically defined as a psychosocial intervention intended to reduce or allay the symptoms of certain disorders, such as that depression, mental health disorders, and anxiety disorders. This form of psychotherapy focuses on identifying certain forms and patterns of thinking and behavior that lead to negative results.
The focus on identification is so that the person becomes fully aware of the destructive results of their thoughts and actions. It is believed that at some point, people who engage in substance abuse are aware of what they are doing, but are just incapable of ceasing their actions due to some need or urge. In other cases, certain conditions blind people to the destructive nature of their thoughts and actions, such as when people engage in substance abuse as a reaction to certain trauma.
Whatever the case might be, the focal point of this approach is to focus the attention of the person on what they are doing, so that they could see for themselves what they have been in denial of, or are not fully aware of as a result of their actions or thoughts. Once they have come to terms that there is something wrong with how they think or behave, adjustments to fix it could now be done, and so that they do not repeat the pattern moving forward.
The Cognitive Triangle Addressed in CBT?
Cognitive-behavioral therapy operates on three basic human characteristics, namely: thoughts, feelings, and behavior. These three elements influence the actions of people in every way conceivable, as one of these always turns out to be the driving force for the action.
When people commit crimes, one of the first things that investigators do is establish a motive for the action. When the crime is a repetitive action, it is often classified as a behavioral issue, with the person who committed it having either a belligerent nature or is prone to violence due to physical abuse experienced while young.
There are also incidents when the crime is deemed a crime of passion, as the perpetrator may have been moved to violence due to intense emotions, such as anger or jealousy. There are also cases wherein a person resorted to an action deemed as criminal to eliminate someone perceived to be a competitor or rival, in which case the line of thinking here is faulty, as resorting to a crime is never the way to compete with anyone.
These three elements are the strongest drivers for a person’s actions, often making them ignore such things as legality and possible harm to self or others. This is why cognitive-behavioral therapy operates to identify which of these drivers pushed the person into a harmful action, such as substance abuse so that it could be addressed directly.
What Are The Benefits of
CBT for Substance Abuse?
The primary benefit of anyone who receives cognitive-behavioral therapy is a better understanding of how their thoughts and behavior contribute to the negative aspects of their life. These thought and behavioral patterns may be largely the reason why they got into substance abuse or may have largely contributed to their susceptibility to it. CBT is also quite beneficial in some other aspects, including:
In many instances, harmful thoughts and behavior may come at a moment of intense emotion, such as anger, jealousy, or sadness. These thoughts and behavioral patterns may have manifested in the form of lashing out, and since it is one way of venting emotions, it might have felt like some sort of release at the time.
As the harmful thoughts and behavioral patterns felt like a release, the person might not have given it any more thought when the emotions passed. Unconsciously, however, they may have already created an association between feelings of release from intense emotions and harmful thoughts and behavioral patterns. These associations removed their ability to recognize the thought and behavioral patterns for what they are, and CBT for substance abuse seeks to correct that.
How Does A Person Find A CBT Therapist?
Finding the right form of therapy could be quite the task for anyone, as a multitude of counseling centers in operation everywhere offer different programs for treatment. It is important to find the appropriate type of therapy as some types might prove to be less effective in dealing with the problem. Here are some ways that might help in finding the best-suited facility offering CBT for substance abuse:
Health insurance providers have an updated directory listing of all the medical professionals and treatment facilities that they work with. A good fit could be found right within their network, as they also know the services offered by their various partners, as well as the kind of coverage that might come with the plans they offer.
Recovery Is In Reach:
CBT for Substance Abuse Can Help You Recover
We here at Focused Addiction Recovery know the only way to ensure true recovery from addiction is to address what risk factors are causing the root issues, and then be proactive in addressing them as a whole through methods such as CBT for substance abuse.
Let’s talk about your recovery today, and how we can help manifest the life you deserve, free from addiction.