Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a combination of talk therapy and behavioral therapy. As a psychosocial intervention, CBT focuses on challenging and changing thought patterns that hold us back from living a happy, healthy life. For many people in addiction recovery, negative thought patterns are what keep up in this harmful cycle of rumination, self-blame or self-pity, sadness, emptiness and more. The National Association of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapists lists several key components of CBT that are worth noting:
- CBT focuses on emotional responses and helps people find healthier alternatives
- It is often brief and time-limited, with relative goals in mind
- Collaboration between the therapist and client is emphasized
- Education is a key component to CBT, oftentimes with “homework” involved
- CBT is hands-on, meaning that the client is able to directly apply what they’ve learned in therapy to their daily life
There are many ways that CBT can aid those in recovery. For instance, a 2017 study published in the journal Europe PMC assessed 412 people working on smoking cessation; researchers found that CBT had similar positive effects to those who experienced mindfulness, with improvements related to emotions, cravings, dependence, withdrawal, self-efficacy and more. Very Well Mind indicates that CBT can be used for a variety of conditions, such as: anxiety, phobias, addictions, depression, eating disorders, panic attacks, anger and others.
Very Well Mind also highlights the fact that CBT often takes 12-16 sessions for a client to feel confident with the strategies learned, with a therapist working closely with the person to identify problematic thoughts, feelings and circumstances that are likely to lead to relapse. From there, insight is provided, and then clients spend several sessions working on applying healthy coping mechanisms to these types of instances in their daily lives. What is it that makes CBT so successful for so many people?
A lot of it has to do with education in addition to the ease of application throughout time in treatment. The concepts of CBT are easy to understand, but they take time and practice in implementing them. Once a person has worked diligently to put these coping skills to good use, however, the results are often transformational.
We believe in your ability to change. We know men struggling with addiction have the capacity to create transformative change in their lives, sustainably, building a sustainable sobriety and future. Call Tree House Recovery in Orange County, California today for information on our men’s addiction treatment programs: (855) 202-2138