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Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

DreamLife Recovery combines holistic healing with various types of therapies to fit the individual needs of each client. The combination of these different methods helps heal the entire person, mind. body, and soul. One type of therapy used at DreamLife is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, or CBT.

What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?

CBT is a form of talk therapy that teaches someone to recognize negative thoughts and patterns and learn techniques to cope with difficulties. The idea behind CBT is that thoughts and viewpoints directly influence behavior, so if the patients way of thinking is changed, their behavior can change as well. CBT focuses on the present, where other forms of talk therapy may focus on the past. The past may be discussed, but it will not be the main focus of therapy sessions. During sessions, a client will learn to identify false, or negative thoughts and ideas that have lead to problematic behaviors. They learn to control their reactions and change their thought processes to improve their lives. Emotions, thoughts, and behaviors are changed once clients learn to recognize the negative, sometimes irrational, thoughts that may have led to substance abuse. People with certain mental health disorders also benefit from CBT. People suffering from conditions, such as anxiety, learn how to alter their negative self-talk that may be causing their stress. Irrational thought processes are challenged and forced to be evaluated in reality. This new evaluation method can help people reshape their negativity and prevent damaging behaviors that may have occurred as a result of those negative perceptions.

How is CBT Used in Rehab?

CBT is ideal for a drug and alcohol rehab setting because it does not take as many sessions to be effective as other forms of therapy. The amount of CBT sessions that a client may require is based on individual needs, but typically ranges from 5 -20 sessions. Lengths of stay in rehab is adapted for each client, making CBT ideal to teach them new methods of coping. Changing thought patterns and behaviors can assist people struggling with addiction find success on their journey to recovery. Guiding clients to realize the thoughts that drive their behaviors of drug or alcohol abuse, will allow them to make changes to help prevent relapses. CBT can also be used to help people with certain co-occurring disorders with addiction.

Clients learn to identify and anticipate situations that could lead to relapse. This allows skills, techniques, and coping mechanisms to be developed and applied to various situations outside of the therapy setting. People learn to avoid high-risk situations and self-monitor cravings and actions by recognizing their own patterns and applying their strategies. The benefits of CBT can be carried into life outside of rehab, providing clients with the tools needed to live life in sobriety.

What to Expect During Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Sessions

CBT can be done in individual or group therapy sessions. During your first few sessions, you and your therapist will work together to gather information and decide on the best course of action. Collaboratively, you will decide on the areas of concern to focus on to best help you change your negative thoughts and behavior. You may learn techniques that will allow you to relax, cope, manage stress, and express assertiveness during your sessions. CBT uses a goal-oriented method to focus on specific problems. This shows you how to recognize problematic thoughts and actions in order to change them in the future. According to the MayoClinic, this process typically involves the following four steps.

  1. Identify the problems and goals you want to focus on-This step allows you and your therapist to shape your therapy around the situations and problems you want to work on during CBT.
  2. Explore your thoughts and feelings about those problems-Understanding your own beliefs and thoughts towards these issues is a key component of CBT. You will explore how you think about it, what you tell yourself, and how you view yourself and others as a result.
  3. Identify patterns of negative thinking-Recognizing the negative thoughts that are contributing to your problems will allow you to make changes. When you are able to identify the possible mistakes you make in a situation, you can take steps to prevent the negative outcomes you’ve experienced in the past.
  4. Alter negative thinking-This is the hardest and biggest step in CBT. You have to change your patterns of thinking and perceptions to prevent negative responses and actions that may lead to relapse.

Are you a Candidate for CBT?

CBT can be beneficial for anybody looking to alter their way of thinking and change their behaviors to improve their quality of life. This form of talk therapy can be effective for many different conditions such as depression, anxiety, PTSD, OCD, eating disorders, sexual disorders, schizophrenia, and many others. Many of these conditions can be co-occurring with substance abuse disorders.

If you are willing to put in the effort for your cognitive behavioral therapy sessions, you will experience the benefits. Altering your behaviors and thought patterns can be difficult but will lead to a better life. To learn more about making the most out of your CBT sessions, click here.

CBT will help you learn to cope with situations and feelings that could put your sobriety in jeopardy. Skills and habits learned will help our clients reshape negative patterns into healthier thoughts and choices. DreamLife Recovery incorporates CBT into their individualized treatment plans. CBT is combined with other therapies and methods of healing to lead our clients to successful, sober lives. Fill out a form or call our admissions team now to get help for yourself or a loved one struggling with addiction.

Resources:
https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/basics/cognitive-behavioral-therapy
https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/principles-drug-addiction-treatment-research-based-guide-third-edition/evidence-based-approaches-to-drug-addiction-treatment/behavioral
https://americanaddictioncenters.org/cognitive-behavioral-therapy
https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/cognitive-behavioral-therapy/about/pac-20384610