Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is one of the most utilized forms of therapy when working with those affected by substance abuse disorders.
The central principle of CBT states that an individual’s thoughts and feelings are interrelated and have a major influence on how an individual behaves. When an individual is able to learn how their thoughts influence their feelings and how their feelings dictate their behaviors, they are able to utilize CBT techniques to make changes.
In treating addiction, creating reasonable coping strategies is of the utmost importance. Therapists use CBT as a vehicle to identify current habits and to analyze triggers of specific behaviors. When individuals are presented with both the positive and negative consequences of their behaviors, they are better able to self-monitor their moods, cravings, and reactions.
Participants in CBT groups will develop a collection of skills and techniques to learn and recognize distorted thought patterns, identify their own automatic negative thoughts, and, through practice, counter these thoughts with more positive, realistic thoughts to decrease self-destructive feelings and behaviors. CBT offers the individual a deeper look into core beliefs about themselves, others, and the world. Understanding these core beliefs serves as the starting point to creating a new, more realistic, and positive framework for one’s life.