How Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) can help with Substance Abuse Recovery

How Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy can help with Substance Abuse Recovery
Picture of Medically Reviewed By: Dr. Joshua Yager M.D.

Medically Reviewed By: Dr. Joshua Yager M.D.

Dr. Joshua Yager is an Atlanta native, board-certified family practice physician who is dedicated to the health and wellbeing of his community.

Table of Contents

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a psychological therapy designed to treat problematic behavior patterns, thoughts, and emotional outbursts. It helps people deal with distressing circumstances and plays a significant role in treating patients who suffer from addiction or substance abuse. It also allows patients to address co-occurring disorders, including depression and anxiety. The therapy via evidence-based methods allows patients the opportunity to gain deep and meaningful insights into their inner self. Here’s how cognitive-behavioral therapy can help with substance abuse recovery: 

Cognitive-behavioral therapy techniques for Addiction Recovery:

Cognitive-behavioral therapists undertake specific methods to achieve and enhance substance abuse recovery in addicts. Following are some of the addiction recovery techniques of CBT:
  • Thought Records
Thought record is a tool used in cognitive-behavioral therapy to help patients recognize and transform fruitless behavior patterns. During the process, recovering individuals learn how to recognize their negative thoughts and find objective evidence that disproves them. It helps in dissecting the negative thoughts and transforming them into positive ones. 
  • Behavioral experiments
Some individuals respond better to self-compassion, while others to self-criticism. The behavioral methods of CBT help patients to identify how they best receive a particular piece of information. Such behavioral experiments help individuals fix their obstructive thoughts.
  • Imagery Based Exposure
The imagery-based exposure technique assists individuals in recalling a memory that generates negative thoughts. The process helps them note down every detail about the memory at that moment, including sound, sight, emotion, and impulse. Recollecting and accepting the happening of such painful memories helps reduce the uneasiness caused by them.
  • Pleasant activity schedule
Curating a schedule that keeps individuals occupied and charged up is one of the essential keys to achieving the best results from CBT. It helps patients develop a list of healthy and fun activities that encourage positive emotions and optimism in their daily lives. 

Phases of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy 

CBT involves a varied number of techniques and step-by-step procedures to help different patients. A typical CBT treatment undergoes the following three phases: Phase 1- Functional analysis Identification of negative thoughts, emotions, and behaviors is the first step of CBT treatment. Individuals dealing with substance abuse know their need to quit the addiction. However, they relapse due to a lack of acceptance. The analysis process helps them dig deeper and understand the core reason for their substance abuse and relapse cycle. Phase 2- Behavior analysis During this phase, the patients and therapists together identify the problematic behaviors. It helps them develop practical strategies to cope with negativity.  Phase 3- Prevention from relapse The final phase attempts to create strategies to prevent relapse. The recovering patients and therapists together analyze what triggers the relapse and devise an action plan accordingly. About us If you are looking for a way to start a better life, West Georgia Wellness Center is here for you. We aim to save lives by repairing the communities damaged by the dangerous obsession of substance abuse. We provide an array of counseling and treatment services in an interim residential setting. Our inpatient and outpatient drug and alcohol rehabilitation facility is a perfect place for recovery because of its soothing surroundings. To know more, contact us at 470-347-1705 or write to us at [email protected].

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