What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?

Last Updated: Feb 24th 2020

Reviewed by Brittany Polansky

What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?

Various types of psychotherapy are central to addiction rehab. These take place between a therapist and a program participant. One type of therapy tackles inaccurate thinking and negative behavioral patterns. What is cognitive behavioral therapy and how can it help you to overcome addiction?

What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a talk therapy method that generally yields results quickly. Unlike analysis, which can take months, this framework allows a participant’s self-discoveries to begin at the first session. As a result, therapists like to incorporate the approach in addiction counseling. In simplest terms, it creates a triangular framework of feelings, thoughts, and behaviors.

Each of these angles affects the other two. If one operates with faulty data, it leads to inappropriate expressions of the other two. For example, a person mistakenly blames her or himself for a parent’s divorce. As a result, she or he will act and feel in ways that find their basis in this error.

During therapy, this program participant may recognize that the negative thought is not correct. She or he is now free to change the way she or he feels and acts when the topic comes up or the thought reappears. For the individual undergoing numerous emotional challenges, CBT is an excellent treatment option.

Why Rehab Focuses on Talk Therapy

Overcoming a physical addiction to alcohol or various drugs takes place at the detox level. What remains is a psychological dependence. That’s why it’s crucial for people struggling with substance abuse to seek out addiction therapy immediately after detox. Available programs include:

  • Inpatient (or residential) rehab that invites participants to live at the facility and take advantage of the amenities
  • Partial hospitalization that allows you to live at home but attend all classes, sessions, and groups throughout the day
  • Intensive outpatient programs work well for individuals with moderate addictions and a supportive home environment
  • Outpatient treatment, which offers a way to graduate from a more intensive model to one that allows more freedoms
  • Sober living facilities that provide a safety net in the form of transitional housing that lets you prepare for the return home

Within these settings, psychotherapy allows you to explore maladaptive patterns in your thoughts, feelings, or actions. As you learn about the reason for your addiction, you dismantle the patterns that would ordinarily cause you to use or drink. Doing so one pattern at a time, you succeed in exchanging automatic trigger responses for new ones. You try out your new response techniques in group addiction therapy settings as well as in the transitional living environment.

Are You Ready to Give Psychotherapy a Try for Addiction Recovery?

If you or a loved one suffers from an addiction problem, today’s a good day to turn things around. Don’t lose another night’s sleep. Friendly and knowledgeable therapists at 1st Step Behavioral Health are standing by to help you overcome your substance abuse. Call (866) 319-6126 right now to answer the most important question: what is cognitive behavioral therapy going to do for you?

Reviewed for Medical & Clinical Accuracy by Brittany Polansky

Brittany PolanskyBrittany has been working in behavioral health since 2012 and is a Primary Clinician at our facility. She is an LCSW and holds a master’s degree in social work. She has great experience with chemical dependency and co-occurring mental health diagnoses as well as various therapeutic techniques. Brittany is passionate about treating all clients with dignity and respect, and providing a safe environment where clients can begin their healing journey in recovery.