The basis of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is fairly simple: end unwanted behaviors and replace them with solutions that are beneficial to the addict. Put effort into changing the way you think and reap the benefits of a healthy lifestyle. This can be incredibly beneficial to the addict, who is often stuck in a cycle of negativity, and as such, cannot see a way out of addiction. Once one can see past the cycle of negative thoughts, one can begin to use this recovery process to heal.
How does it work?
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy can be done in one on one sessions with a therapist, counselor, or psychiatrist, or done a group setting with a mental health professional facilitator and tends to be very therapeutic. While working with the professionals or peers one works to actively identify detrimental thought patterns and methods to replace them with alternate, positive thoughts. Research shows that CBT is an effective method to treat many illnesses, including addiction (1). This is especially true when used in conjunction with other substance abuse treatments.
CBT is thought to be so effective at treating substance abuse as it is known to be a great tool in treating other psychological disorders. Often times addicts have co-occurring illnesses with their addiction issues, such as PTSD, depression, anxiety, BPD, OCD, ADD, etc. By addressing the way the brain operates with such illnesses and diagnosis, we can find solutions to counteract the negative thoughts and replace them with solution oriented ideas.
Long Term Success
Used in conjunction with other methods of recovery and therapy, CBT has been found to prevent relapse successfully. It has been shown to be particularly effective for women who complete therapy. CBT success is thought to be based in the notion that negative ideas are replaced with positive thoughts, thus reducing the need for substance abuse to find happiness.
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The empirical status of cognitive-behavioral therapy: A review of meta-analyses, Andrew C Butler et al., Clinical Psychology Review, doi:10.1016/j.cpr.2005.07.003, January 2006.