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      Sober Nation

      Putting Recovery On The Map

      07-11-13 | By

      Can Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Help Me?

      Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a form of psychotherapy that can be used to treat a wide variety of disorders, including addiction. CBT is a popular type of individualized therapy for people who suffer from addiction, and it’s a model that’s been proven to be effective.

      There are many types of therapy that fall into the category of CBT, but they all have their roots in the principles and style of CBT. Here’s some information to help you understand what CBT is and how it might be able to help you.

      What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?

      CBT is therapy that focuses on how our thoughts influence our feelings and behaviors. For people with addiction, CBT addresses the thought process that leads to using drugs or alcohol. The idea is that nothing or no one else can make you feel a certain way or use; your own thoughts are responsible for the way you feel and if you choose to pick up drugs or alcohol.

      With CBT, therapists help clients take a close look at their own thought processes that lead to negative feelings and substance use. Clients work on identifying ways that their thoughts are distorted (called cognitive distortions) and identifying when they begin thinking that way. If they can recognize the cognitive distortions that lead to negative emotions and substance use, they can change the way they’re thinking in order to stop themselves before they pick up.

      How Does Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Work?

      cognitive behavioral therapyCBT is unique in that it has a definitive end. Other forms of therapy can be be on-going indefinitely, but CBT is meant to be comparatively brief. A therapist and client will set treatment goals that often take 12-16 weeks to meet, but it may be more or less, depending on the individual’s process. The therapist will meet with the client, usually on a weekly basis, to talk about what the client’s concerns are and how they want their lives to change.

      A therapist will ask a client a lot of questions to help the client take a closer look at their own thoughts and emotions, and they’ll learn how they can change their ways of looking at various situations and problems. Clients learn new techniques for reacting to different situations, and they learn new ways to think about problems and new behaviors to address those problems. CBT usually incorporates homework assignments for clients to study and practice the techniques they’re learning in between sessions.

      Can Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Help Me?

      If you’re recovering from a drug or alcohol addiction, it is very likely that CBT can help you, as long as you’re willing to give it a sincere try. Many addicts use drugs and alcohol because they have intense emotions (stress, anger, sadness, etc.) that they don’t know how to cope with. CBT helps addicts reevaluate their emotions and learn new ways of coping with them that don’t involve using drugs or alcohol. Addiction professionals often recommend CBT as a form of therapy for recovering addicts.


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