How Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Helps with Addiction Recovery
The process of recovery for an addict can be a very complicated process. Thankfully, the use cognitive behavioral therapy has begun to rise and with it, an increase in long-term sobriety. Cognitive behavioral therapy can help with addiction recovery through many ways.
What Is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (or CBT) is a form of psychotherapy that puts an emphasis on the importance of thinking before acting in the addicts’ life. According to the NIDA, Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy began as a way to prevent a relapse in alcoholics, but grew to adapt for drugs as well and were strategies based on the idea that learning processes play a vital role in the evolvement of maladaptive behaviors.
Individuals who participated in this program would be taught how to identify and correct the compulsion to use by learning coping methods to help them in their everyday lives. With these lessons, it becomes easier for the individual to avoid situations and temptations that can lead to a relapse.
A Clearer Understanding
CBT helps recovering addicts identify potential triggers so they can learn how to avoid them.
According to the NCBI, most addicts are people who have come to believe that the substances have a more positive effect on their lives for the immediate satisfaction and disregard the negative consequences that occur during the course of their addiction.
Cognitive behavioral therapy was created to help professionals better understand why a person first chooses to use drugs or alcohol and what drives the compulsion to fuel the addiction. It is not so much about the physical dependence on the substances used, but more about the constant needs that make it mentally difficult to quit.
Without the strategies practiced by CBT, a relapse is far more likely but with it, patients can learn to replace their addictive tendencies with a better and healthier alternative.
The Key Components
When a patient enters into CBT, they will be introduced to the two main components of the program: functional analysis and skills training.
During a functional analysis, the therapist and patient will work to find out why the patient began to use drugs to begin with to help the patient understand the behaviors and choices to avoid in order, reducing the risk of a relapse.
It can also help to identify any potential triggers and situations so that he or she know what to avoid when they are back to their lives.
Skills training is the next step in the process that tells patients new, healthier habits to replace the older, more destructive ones. When the patient is back out into the world, they will be well equipped to remain sober. With these skills, the likelihood of a relapse is considerably reduced.
CBT is a short-term program that is not a never-ending process, but rather a tool that the patient can use to become sober. Because of this, CBT has been shown to be very effective for an alternative treatment method.
CBT is also very structured, as it has a specific agenda and concept that is used each session. In short, CBT is a way for the patient to tell their therapists their long-term goals and the therapist uses this information to help them obtain it.
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