Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is psychology’s most commonly used therapy. CBT is very effective when treating individuals with addiction, including adolescents and adults. CBT is a combination of cognitive therapy and behavioral therapy. That means it uses your mental awareness, which is your thoughts and emotions, in conjunction with learned behaviors. The idea is to form new ways of thinking about emotions and feelings through practicing new behaviors.
Therapists often use it as an alternative approach to medication for some clients. TRUE Addiction and Behavioral Health in Murfreesboro, TN, has trained clinicians who understand the ins and outs of the process. The Tennessee state government promotes programs and services for CBT therapy because of its proven effectiveness in treating mental health issues and substance use disorders.
Our CBT therapists help individuals become aware of attention and concentration problems. CBT also builds confidence and controls impulsive behavior. Individuals gain confidence and can control their thought patterns and emotions, which can lead to risky behavior patterns.
Types of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
You may be asking yourself, “What is cognitive behavioral therapy?” It is an evidence-based practice for addiction and is beneficial because it provides a treatment framework. Rather than being a short-term solution, CBT is a type of therapy that can be practiced well after treatment ends. This is what promotes long-term recovery.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has studied, evaluated, and approved these practices. As a result, these practices have received scientific validation. We administer CBT through individual, group, or family/couples interventions. These methods allow us to address mental health concerns and addiction through this treatment option.
This type of CBT focuses on what a person does that is right and works for a productive life. Our cognitive behavioral therapists take that information and build on those actions for each client. We also use it to reframe or restructure negative or distorted thoughts into more positive and realistic ones.
Positive CBT focuses on gratitude by learning to appreciate the positive aspects of life. Journaling can be a component of this. You take the time to write down positive experiences and situations that brought you joy. When you reflect on these, it builds a positive mindset.
You will feel more empowered to participate in meaningful activities and those that bring you joy more often.
Using visualization and imagery techniques, you are taught to imagine and create positive mental images and experiences so that future outcomes have different results. Visualizing optimistic scenarios and successful outcomes teaches you to enhance motivation, build resilience, and reduce anxiety or stress.
Trauma-Focused CBT (TF-CBT)
Underlying trauma is often the cause of substance abuse. Trauma-focused CBT (TF-CBT) is a bit more sensitive because the therapy technique has clients recall past trauma. Once our clients can openly discuss these situations, they begin to see the benefits of this therapeutic approach.
Whether individual, group, or family setting, our therapist helps you engage in talk therapy to understand the impact of trauma on emotions, thoughts, and behaviors. This process can help families understand what our clients are going through and be more sensitive to their recovery.
Once you can target the negative thoughts and distorted memories associated with trauma, you can start restructuring how you blame yourself and let go of any guilt you may carry. TF-CBT is done gradually in a supportive environment. You won’t be expected to unpack your emotions and trauma in one session. It takes time to ensure your safety and comfort.
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
There are a couple of different ways ACT is used regarding addiction. Therapists may ask clients to accept their thoughts and commit to acting in a way that aligns with their values. They may also ask clients to accept what they cannot control and commit to operating in a positive way that they can handle.
ACT combines mindfulness and acceptance strategies. The idea behind ACT is to focus on helping individuals develop mental and emotional flexibility and avoid making risky decisions.
Mindfulness CBT uses meditation to help clients consciously bring their attention to their thoughts. Working with our therapist, you will work on positive goal setting. You will also participate in mindfulness practices that focus on the present moment.
The techniques you learn from this form of CBT include mindful breathing, body scans, and mindful observation of thoughts and sensations. These practices promote present-moment awareness, reduce ruminating over past situations, and help you understand your thoughts and emotions without judgment.
How is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Different from Other Psychotherapies?
CBT is used so often because of clients’ active approach in therapy. Goal-setting, a form of self-help, gives our clients more accountability for their quality of life. CBT differs from other psychotherapies through its present-focused approach, structured sessions, emphasis on cognitive restructuring, and behavioral activation.
Because goals should be grounded within a specific period of time, therapists collaborate with clients, targeting current thoughts, emotions, and behaviors to facilitate positive change. CBT’s directive approach and homework assignments engage clients in the therapy process.
CBT offers practical strategies for addressing various psychological issues by challenging negative thinking patterns and promoting behavioral change. However, the choice of therapy depends on individual needs and preferences, with different approaches often integrated for tailored treatment designed by your mental health professional.
What Happens During a Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Session?
From exposure in social settings to peer pressure to abuse, there are many different reasons someone uses substances or starts drinking alcohol. Genetics and predisposition to certain behaviors or environments may also play a role. Underlying mental illnesses can lead to addiction as a means of coping with the stress of it. The reasons are endless and specific to each person. Because of this, CBT is a form of therapy that addresses various aspects of human cognition and behavior.
There are a variety of different techniques that can be used to incorporate CBT into addiction treatment programs. These all depend on what works best for the client and their situation.
- Skill development
- Acknowledgment of negative thoughts
- Setting goals
- Relapse prevention
- Cognitive restructuring
- Behavior activation
- Exposure therapy
What does Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Treat?
Because CBT is so versatile, this form of psychotherapy can help treat various conditions and substance abuse. Since many people struggling with addiction also deal with different mental health conditions, CBT is one of the most effective dual diagnosis therapies.
Though most programs for mental illnesses include CBT to some degree, it is particularly beneficial in treating the following:
- Anxiety Disorders
- Bipolar Disorder
- Panic Attacks
- Panic Disorder
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
- Personality Disorders
- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
- Eating Disorders
How Does CBT Help with Grief?
CBT helps with various emotions, and grief is one of them. Feelings of grief can include sadness, anger, guilt, and anxiety. CBT equips individuals with coping strategies to regulate and manage these emotions effectively. Techniques like emotion regulation skills, relaxation exercises, and mindfulness can help individuals navigate their emotional experiences more healthily and adaptively.
When grief occurs, it’s usually due to life changes and challenges. It’s a disruption in your daily pattern. CBT helps you adapt to these changes by addressing issues such as redefining personal identity, developing new routines, and finding meaning and purpose after loss.
The one thing you don’t want to do is run away from grief. That only makes your healing process longer. Instead, we teach you how to develop healthy coping skills to navigate it. This may involve gradually engaging with activities or reminders associated with the loss, expressing emotions, and seeking support from others.
Benefits of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive behavioral therapy is not a cure-all for co-occurring substance abuse, trauma, or mental illnesses. However, it provides many different benefits that can lead a person further into recovery. It can provide additional skills and coping mechanisms for relapse prevention.
- Therapist support
- Increased self-esteem
- Increased relaxation
- Stress management
- Patient accountability
- Increased ability to adapt
- Coping skill development
- Better communication
- Anger management
- Relapse prevention
- Healthier thinking patterns
- Constructive behaviors
Does Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Work?
Cognitive therapy is considered an evidence-based treatment, meaning that it has been researched and is backed by science regarding proven effectiveness. CBT has been studied since the 1960s and is incorporated into a variety of different programs for addiction as well as mental illnesses.
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) helps many people develop new coping skills and habits that assist in recovery. We do not promote CBT as a cure for mental illness, though, meaning that recovery takes consistent work and various other methods. Depending on specific conditions and history, certain therapies may be more effective than others. The best thing to do is talk with an experienced professional at our cognitive behavioral therapy center in Murfreesboro, TN.
Contact Us to Get Started
We understand the transition from drug addiction and mental health disorders to recovery. Engaging in treatments such as CBT can lead you to success and well-being. Now is the time to continue working on a life-long commitment to healthy living.
Please meet with our recovery specialists by calling us today to begin your CBT treatments. We accept new clients and those completing one of our primary rehab programs.