A rehab center can offer a range of counseling services to treat addiction. However, some therapies are more popular than others because of their effectiveness. CBT or cognitive behavioral therapy is just one of these counseling services.

CBT Overview

Man disturbed before participating in CBT cognitive behavioral therapyCognitive behavioral therapy is a structured, time-sensitive form of talk therapy that focuses on solving current issues. It also teaches people how to change flawed behaviors and thought patterns. This form of counseling has undergone scientific testing, and clinical trials have proven that it’s effective.

Compared to other types of talk therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy focuses more on the present than the past. While each session may last about one hour like other methods, there are usually fewer sessions overall. Also, this counseling method concentrates more on solving problems and developing skills that people can use even after treatment.

During the sessions, therapists take a very active role in helping people overcome problems. They work together to establish and achieve recovery goals. Part of this process includes therapists assigning homework between each session. It might consist of practicing specific skills, enjoying a hobby or writing in a journal.

The Theory

The underlying theory behind cognitive behavioral therapy is how people perceive situations affects their emotions. In turn, their emotions affect their behaviors.

For instance, let’s say that a company has a position open for a manager. Employees who think that they can’t achieve the promotion usually feel discouraged or sad. Because of that, they might give up on trying to be successful, which could negatively affect their finances. Stress to pay for necessities may build, and they could self-medicate to reduce that stress.

This example shows that the situation doesn’t directly impact how people feel. Instead, how they think influences their emotions and behaviors. Built around this theory, CBT aims to help people change the unhelpful thinking that triggers their drug use. When they alter their perspective, their mood and emotions improve, which promotes healthier behaviors.

The Components of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive behavioral therapy has two main components. These include identifying flawed beliefs and learning new behaviors.

Also called functional analysis, identifying negative thoughts is an essential stage during counseling. Therapists explain how people’s thoughts about situations affect their feelings and reactions. Although this part of the process may be a challenge, many people learn a lot about themselves.

Then, learning new behaviors starts with developing and practicing new skills. People can use these skills in real-life situations. For example, learning and practicing coping skills helps them deal with or avoid situations that trigger a relapse.

Different Techniques

CBT therapists can use several techniques during treatment depending on the client’s needs. Keeping records of thoughts is one that helps them examine their negative beliefs. Then, they can look for objective evidence that disproves those thoughts. The goal of this technique is to help develop more balanced thinking.

Imagery exposure involves people recalling memories that produce negative emotions. They identify every feeling, impulse, sight, sound and thought from that moment. Over time, they feel less anxiety when they recall the memories, which reduces their desire to self-medicate.

Behavioral experiments are another cognitive behavioral therapy technique. It involves comparing negative and positive thoughts to determine which is more effective at changing behaviors. While self-criticism pushes some people to improve, others need self-kindness to nudge them in the right direction. Experimenting with behaviors helps therapists and their patients find out what works best.

Planning fun activities that mix up daily or weekly routines can also aid CBT. The tasks are simple and easy to do, which encourages positive emotions. This could be something as simple as listening to a favorite song or artist for a few minutes instead of using drugs. The purpose is to reduce negative thoughts and cravings.

Addiction Counseling at Clear Life Recovery

Do you need help to overcome drug addiction? Are you ready to make the changes necessary to do so? Clear Life Recovery offers many addiction therapy services in Southern California. Aside from cognitive behavioral counseling, some of our services include:

During our addiction treatment programs, Clear Life Recovery emphasizes having a healthy mind and body. We also offer a range of outdoor activities, including beach outings. We provide services to practice jiu-jitsu and boxing too. Also, we have a chef who ensures that you get the healthy diet you need for recovery.

Don’t continue letting distorted thinking affect how you feel and act. Get cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) at Clear Life Recovery. Reach out to us at 866-261-7291 to learn more.