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Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive-based therapy is a team effort whereby both
parties are active participants in the patient’s journey
towards achieving sustained sobriety. It is a form of
therapy that is widely used due to its success for
treating addiction.

What Is CBT

Although detox is a major component of overcoming addiction to drugs or alcohol, counseling and therapy are also critical when it comes to long-term recovery. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), which is designed to help patients identify negative thoughts, can prevent a resumption of old behavioral patterns that can potentially lead to a relapse. According to the National Institute of Health, it is not uncommon for individuals who struggle with substance abuse to have destructive, negative thoughts and to turn to drugs or alcohol as a means of coping with them. Because cognition plays an integral role in our wellbeing, changing these damaging thought patterns is key to long-term recovery success. In this article, we will take a closer look at cognitive behavioral therapy and how it benefits those seeking to overcome substance abuse.

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How Does CBT Work

As part of an individualized and comprehensive treatment plan, CBT aids patients in recognizing alternative and positive ways of thinking to help combat the stress in their lives that can lead to harmful behavior. It is worth noting that this form of therapy is not limited to substance abuse only; it has been shown to be an effective treatment modality for eating disorders and certain mental health disorders as well. Commonly referred to as a problem-focused and goal-oriented treatment, cognitive-based therapy offers the following benefits:

  • Enabling patients and therapists to work collectively to identify harmful thought patterns
  • Developing coping strategies to handle stress
  • Teaching patients useful skills that can be applied to their day to day lives
  • Identifies a nexus between negative thoughts and self-destructive actions

It is also worth noting that cognitive-based therapy sessions can be further augmented by encouraging patients to complete homework assignments in-between appointments with their counselors. One of the most commonly recommended assignments is the Dual Diagnosis Workbook, which consists of information related to addiction, psychiatric illness, and dual disorders.

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Although the average time required to achieve positive results is 16 weeks, some patients may need longer treatments, which can last for as long as 20 weeks. Some of the factors that determine how many sessions a patient may need include

  • Severity of symptoms
  • The stressors in their lives
  • Whether or not they have the support of friends and family
  • How long they have been struggling with addiction

All in all, the therapist will have to carefully evaluate all of these factors when outlining a treatment plan for the patient and how long those treatments will ultimately last. Of course, as the patient goes through therapy, the length of treatment can be shortened or extended to meet their individual needs.

In summation, cognitive behavioral therapy complements many of the treatment protocols already in place at most drug treatment facilities by helping patients remain drug-free once they have completed their drug recovery program. If you believe that you have a substance abuse problem, you’re encouraged to contact us today to take the first step towards recovery.

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