Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a form of mental health counseling pioneered by Dr. Aaron T. Beck in the 1960s. It is widely used to treat those suffering from addiction and substance-induced disorders.
It helps people control their thoughts and connect what they think, feel, and act upon to speed up their recovery. If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction recovery and wants to know more about CBT, read on our beginner’s guide.
How does CBT work?
One of the most prominent obstacles for those in rehab is succumbing to negative thoughts. The root cause of these thoughts is often anxiety and depression, which are common among addicts. CBT helps patients overcome negative thoughts by identifying the triggers and avoiding them. If patients can’t avoid them, CBT teaches them effective ways to cope.
Common CBT techniques
- Thought records:Under this technique, doctors help patients examine their negative thoughts and encourage them to find evidence against them. For example, you’re holding on to negative feedback given by your superior and using addictive substances to get over it. The therapist will help you see the other side and focus on that.
- Behavioral experiments:Here, doctors ask patients to act upon negative and positive thoughts and compare the differences to assess which is harmful and to what extent.
- Imagery based exposure:
Painful memories are the most common triggers among addicts, forcing them to seek solace in substance abuse. Doctors use imagery based exposure to help patients revisit those memories and make them familiar and less painful.
- Pleasant activity schedule:
Under this technique, doctors introduce healthy and fun activities into your day-to-day schedule to relieve stress and promote positivity. Such activities make your brain think positive thoughts and avoid substances.
Benefits of cognitive behavioral therapy
CBT has a positive impact on a patient’s mental and physical well-being. Some of its most significant benefits are:
- It helps you recover from trauma.
- It builds coping skills to minimize the impact of stress.
- It helps you handle negative emotions like fear, sorrow, and anger in a better way.
- It helps you overcome grief through productive means.
- It also helps ease specific mental illness symptoms and prevents relapse where medication isn’t possible.
- It is comparatively faster than other forms of therapy.
How long does CBT take to show results?
CBT has an intensive approach that allows it to give quicker results compared to other treatment plans. Still, it takes about 10 to 20 sessions, one each week. Your therapist will determine the treatment’s duration after understanding your specific circumstances. It includes the severity of your addiction and your recovery rate.
Are there any side effects of cognitive behavioral therapy?
There are no significant side effects of CBT. However, the patient may feel some anxiety and stress during the first few sessions as they move out of their comfort zone and start trying new things.
About Neuro Psychiatric Addiction Clinic
If you are looking for a rehab facility to get over substance abuse, please reach out to:
Neuro Psychiatric Addiction Clinic at our 24×7 helpline number (888) 574-3506. We will help you on your journey to recovery in the best way possible.