Drug and alcohol addiction treatment is provided in many different ways. Substance use disorder, its underlying causes, and the challenges that it poses can vary greatly from one person to the next. As such, people need access to a diverse range of options in rehab, and the ability to find treatment facilities and methodologies that are in line with their needs. With standard treatment plans, however, several forms of therapy can often be found.
This is certainly the case with cognitive behavioral therapy or CBT which aims to address some of the most common issues affecting those who suffer from addiction. If you or someone you love is soon to enter a drug and alcohol treatment center, CBT is a tool that’s likely to be used. CBT is designed to identify irrational and negative thinking patterns that impact how a person behaves and responds to outside influences. Through CBT, patients can learn how to cope with the stresses and challenges of life safely, healthfully, and completely free of substance use. Negative thinking patterns are often introduced and adopted early in life.
Due to this fact, most people hardly recognize themselves as having them. Internally talking down to and belittling themselves is simply accepted as normal behavior. Unfortunately, unhealthy and self-defeating thoughts always play a critical role in the formation of addiction. To effectively break the cycle of addiction, people most learn new ways of thinking, new ways of viewing themselves, and new behaviors. These improved abilities will replace their former patterns to both eliminate addictive actions and prevent relapse.
Why Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Is Such a Common Part of Addiction Treatment
People are most likely to commit to drug or alcohol treatment when they have reached their personal rock bottom. More often than not, this is a time of tremendous hopelessness and despair. In many instances, substance abuse has left newly entering patients in isolation by destroying their meaningful relationships and filling them with guilt, regret, and shame.
Although CBT is primarily meant to help people gradually rewrite how they see and value themselves, it starts by providing a critical network of support just when patients need it the most. Largely performed in a one-on-one counseling environment, CBT allows therapists to offer words of encouragement when patients lack motivation, and to act as sounding boards for their pain, frustrations, and fears. As trust is built and patients become more open about their beliefs, hopes, and past experiences, therapists learn more about the negative thinking patterns and self-views that drive their unhealthy choices and actions. If patients were verbally or physically abused as children, by friends, or in past romantic relationships, they will have often internalized the hurtful words and actions of others.
The distress, trauma, and bleak feelings from these experiences often lead to destructive behaviors that continually repeat. To cope with their anguish, people frequently use alcohol or drugs to numb or alter their feelings. Rebuilding confidence is an essential part of the healing process. Those who recognize themselves as having value and who have high levels of self-confidence are far less likely to engage in self-defeating behaviors than those who do not.
They are also less likely to be affected by peer pressure or to engage in unhealthy actions with the goal of being liked or accepted by others. CBT fosters improved self-esteem by helping people recognize their negative and irrational thinking as being baseless. Therapists repeatedly reinforce the self-worth of their patients until these individuals come to see themselves as being capable, valuable, and worthy of enjoying high-quality lives. Ultimately, these efforts can incite the desire to improve personal circumstances that is absolutely essential for success in addiction recovery.
Programs that include CBT as part of their standard treatment plans often:
- Experience consistently high rates of success
- Receive positive reviews for providing enjoyable treatment experiences
- Help patients achieve greater overall life qualities
Professionals providing CBT services know that it is not enough to simply eliminate negative thinking patterns and rebuild patients’ self-esteem. Defeatist thinking must be replaced with new, positive thought patterns and behaviors. Thus, people are additionally taught how to bolster and strengthen themselves with positive affirmations, and how to leverage healthy coping strategies when struggles arise. This gives them the tools they need to successfully confront and overcome temptations and cravings both during treatment and in the real world.
More often than not, CBT is an aspect of addiction treatment that’s gradually phased out as patients near the end of the rehab process. Similar forms of support can be obtained through ongoing relapse prevention programs, independent support groups, private counselors, and other sources post-treatment. If you’re looking for a drug and alcohol treatment center that offers cognitive behavioral therapy, we can help. Call us today at 833-680-0165.