What is CBT Treatment?
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a form of psychotherapy that supports individuals to explore and identify how their thoughts, beliefs, and attitudes impact their emotions and behaviors. The American Psychological Association identifies that CBT Treatment is based on three core concepts including
- Psychological complications and issues are based on unhelpful or negative thinking and thought patterns
- There are components of psychological concerns that are based around learned patterns of behaviors
- Individuals that are facing psychological issues or concerns are able to treat symptoms or side effects from their presenting concerns through healthy coping strategies and emotional regulation management skills
Contact The Detox Center of Los Angeles today at (888) 346-4350 to learn how to access our addiction treatment programs.
With the support of CBT treatments, patients are able to develop the tools to identify unhelpful patterns of thinking and unhealthy behaviors. As you recognize these patterns of thinking and feeling, you will learn new methods of calming techniques and provide individuals with the self awareness to be able to identify early on when your emotions and thought patterns begin to shift to negative cycles.
CBT is a popular form of addiction treatment as it supports substance abusers to gain perspective on how your emotions, thoughts, and behaviors contribute to your addictive behaviors. Often, individuals will turn to substance abuse as a method to cope with unpleasant emotions or thoughts which can often lead to a path of substance abuse.CBT supports patients in learning coping strategies and methods to manage your emotions and triggers to ensure that you avoid any relapse behavior.
CBT is a unique form of psychotherapy as it places a focus on your current problems rather than focusing on the issues of the past. Patients will work with their CBT therapist to explore the presenting emotions and thoughts that have been surfacing in your life creating problems through a highly structured and goal focused therapy session. CBT sessions will often include various therapeutic activities and exercises that will support you in developing the tools and coping skills you need to successfully overcome your substance use disorder and treat any presenting co-occurring disorders.
How Does CBT Work?
CBT sessions can be conducted within a group therapy session format or through individual cbt therapy sessions. When you begin your therapy sessions, your therapist will work with you to explore your troubling emotions and thoughts that have influenced your current behaviors. As you begin to identify harmful thoughts or painful emotions that are arising, you will develop the skills to be able to distinguish between facts and harmful thoughts that are impeding your everyday living. Through certain CBT exercises, your therapist will support you in challenging any underlying assumptions or perceptions that have contributed to your unfavorable thought patterns and emotions. Allowing you to start shifting your thoughts and responses to ones that foster health, wellness, and sobriety.
CBT therapy sessions will often work with patients in identifying any fears that you may have and facing those challenges head on through exposure therapy while teaching calming techniques that will support you in managing any curve balls that life may throw your way. As you develop effective problem solving skills, you will begin to gain self confidence and self worth that will support you in achieving your goals of healing for addiction and managing any presenting mental health concerns.
For most individuals, the best way to learn new skills is by having hands-on experience and practice. CBT offers opportunities for patients to engage in various exercises that implement elements of role play and experiential learning that will help to strengthen your skill set to manage difficult emotions or challenges. CBT exercises can include the following:
- Setting SMART goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time limited
- Journaling- This process helps to safely write down your thoughts and feelings to better process and overcome any difficult feelings and thoughts
- Cognitive restructuring- Looking at cognitive distortions that impact your thoughts and exploring the root of those
- Therapist led questioning and discovery- Challenging the assumptions that you have and providing alternative ways of thinking and perceiving your interactions and feelings
- Self talk– This method supports patients in becoming accustomed to shifting your thoughts and self talk to ones that foster positive, healthy emotions and behaviors. As you feel negative thoughts or critical emotions arise, you will be encouraged to shift or challenge your thoughts to positive, constructive self talk
- Situation exposure- Identifying situations or things that can cause unpleasant or distressing emotions and thoughts. Once you write these down, you can begin to tackle slowly exposing yourself to these situations and experiences to help develop the tools to manage these setbacks in thinking and shifting your feelings, thoughts, and behaviors to constructive ones.
- Positive engagement and activities- Individuals are encouraged to find a positive activity or reward that they can give themselves each day to help boost your mood and increase positive thinking and emotions.
CBT sessions will often incorporate various forms of patient homework. This is not meant to feel like a punishment but rather encourages you to put what you have learned to use in order to become comfortable and confident in utilizing these newfound skills in distressing moments and situations.
How To Get The Most Out Of CBT Treatment
In order to get the most out of your CBT treatment to foster long term changes, there are 5 simple steps that you can take.
- Find a therapist that you trust and connect with- Your therapy process is unique to you and it is important that you find an appropriate therapist that you feel comfortable and confident with to discuss your thoughts and feelings with. When you find the right one whom you can trust, your therapeutic journey will enlightening and enjoyable
- Prepare for your session- Write notes about what you want to address within your session so that you can have an agenda in mind of areas of growth and healing you would like to target
- Be honest and clear about your goals for therapy- Your therapist is there to support you in your self identified process. Having open dialogue and purpose will help to inform your therapist about the appropriate treatments to use.
- Do your homework- Follow through on tasks and skills that your therapist will ask you to complete. This will further your development and personal growth to ensure that you can make long lasting changes
- Journal and reflect on your therapeutic journey throughout your CBT sessions- Taking the time to reflect on what you have learned and the progress you have made will help provide realizations and affirm the skills that are working within your life.
Healing the Root Causes of Addiction
CBT is a leading form of addiction treatment. Patients engaged in CBT through drug and alcohol rehab will be able to explore how your addiction is linked to your underlying emotions, thoughts, and behaviors. With the support of CBT sessions, patients are able to identify triggering emotions and unsettling thoughts or behaviors that contribute to your addictive behaviors. Patients will develop the coping skills and ability to be present in the moment when triggers arise and safely move through them without returning back to substance abuse. CBT helps patients walk away from a life of addiction and become confident in your ability to maintain a life of sober living.