Cognitive Behavioral Therapy – Q&A

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy - Q&A
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When going through a treatment plan for a substance abuse disorder, many different types of therapies are used. Cognitive behavioral therapy is one treatment that is widely used with many patients. If you haven’t heard of it before or are unsure about what it entails, we’ll answer some frequently asked questions and let you know how you can take advantage of cognitive behavioral therapy in Scottsdale.

Let’s get started.

What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) aims to help people explore negative thought patterns, behaviors, and feelings to find healthier coping methods.[1] It is often considered the gold standard treatment option for many psychological concerns.

Unlike other therapies, cognitive behavioral therapy does not look at past trauma and experiences. Instead, it focuses on present-day problems occurring in someone’s life.

The American Psychological Association breaks down the core principles of cognitive behavioral therapy as:[2]

  • Psychological issues that are partly based on learned patterns of unhelpful behavior
  • Psychological problems that are based on faulty or unhelpful ways of thinking
  • People with psychological problems can learn how to cope better to relieve their symptoms and live healthier lives.

What are the Components of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?

Cognitive behavioral therapy has two main components. These are:

  • Identifying flawed beliefs (functional analysis)
  • Learning new behaviors

Identifying flawed beliefs is essential to the therapy process because people’s thoughts about situations affect their feelings and reactions. This is often challenging for many people, but they learn a lot about themselves in the end.

As people learn new behaviors, they begin to develop and practice new skills. These skills can be learned in real-life situations to help people cope and avoid scenarios that could trigger a relapse.

What are Some Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Techniques?

Cognitive behavioral therapy sessions can incorporate different techniques. Since everyone’s addiction is different, what works for one person, may not necessarily work for another.

Keeping Records of Thoughts

This helps people look at their negative beliefs. Through the process, they can look for objective evidence that can disprove these thoughts.

Imagery Exposure

By having people recall memories that produce negative emotions, they can identify the feelings, sights, and sounds from that moment. As time goes on, they can begin to feel less anxiety when they think about these memories. This can reduce their desire to lean on a substance.

Behavioral Experiments

Behavioral experiments involve comparing positive and negative thoughts to determine which is more effective at changing behaviors.

Planning Fun Activities

Some therapists plan fun activities as part of CBT. These make people happy and encourage positive emotions. The purpose is to reduce negative thoughts and cravings.

What Happens During CBT?

During cognitive behavioral therapy, patients are encouraged to look at their challenges and set short-term goals. During CBT, techniques are used to gradually adjust how you think, feel, and react to certain situations. These techniques can include:

  • Talking with therapists and peers
  • Visualization
  • Journaling
  • Brainstorming with others to solve problems
  • Mindfulness
  • Visualization
  • Reframing negative thoughts

People may try different avenues until they find the one that works for them. Some find a combination of methods that work best for them when receiving this therapy.

What are the Benefits of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?            

Research shows that people who undergo CBT can avoid relapsing. One study reported that approximately 60% of people treated for a substance use disorder with CBT could maintain their recovery for one year.[3]

CBT can be beneficial for people in several ways, including:

  • Helping them to identify self-destructive thoughts and actions
  • Learning new ways of thinking
  • Exploring ways to handle stress that don’t involve drugs and alcohol
  • Applying new skills

Besides these benefits, people often like CBT because it is adaptable. You can attend group sessions or individual sessions, depending on your preference. Any skills learned can be applied to daily life immediately. This helps people to gain control of situations quicker.

CBT can be used in combination with medication or by itself. Some people may only need CBT, while others may also require medication.

What can CBT be Used for Besides Substance Use Disorders?

In many cases, CBT is used to help with mental illness. People experiencing any of these conditions may benefit from CBT:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Eating disorders
  • Pain disorders
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Phobias

Many people who have a mental illness also experience a substance abuse disorder. Using CBT to treat both of these can be beneficial in preventing relapse.

CBT can also be used for people who are dealing with other issues in their lives, such as:

  • Grief
  • Chronic pain
  • Low self-esteem
  • Major life changes

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in Scottsdale at Clear Life Recovery

Clear Life Recovery offers cognitive behavioral therapy as part of its treatment for substance abuse disorders and other conditions. Our team is ready to help devise a plan that works for you as you start your journey to sobriety.

At Clear Life Recovery, we believe in treating the mind and the body. This is why we offer CBT as well as fitness therapy and nutrition therapy as well as cognitive behavioral therapy. Call us today or reach out online to learn more about CBT at Clear Life Recovery and our other programs.