The Importance of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in Rehab

Cognitive Behavioral therapy is a therapy that combines thinking therapy or the thought process and how a person acts or behaves. There is some behavior modification with this therapy that supports new ways of coping that can be learned with rewards and consequences. The use of new language, what we say to ourselves, has a major consequence on actions. CBT therapy is used in substance addiction treatment and recovery.

This process in rehab explores our own thoughts and the consequences they have on behavior. It focuses on changing negative thoughts that lead to negative behavior. When working on a project for work, a person often experiences delays and negative thought patterns. This can lead to failing to meet a deadline or quitting. CBT would challenge your thoughts and faulty logic making you stick with the task and finish the job.

The Basics of CBT

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is often given on an outpatient basis and using group therapy. Events that happen are discussed along with the thoughts that occur. Other group members give their reactions to the situation and their thoughts. Often emotions are identified that a person’s thoughts trigger like anger, frustration, or despair.

For example: a person wakes up late and ends up arriving late to work. His boss chews him out and he starts the day with anger and frustration. This leads to thoughts of going out to lunch with fellow workers to have a few drinks and talk.  If he is currently in therapy for substance abuse, this is not a good choice. The group will discuss this situation, thoughts, emotions and what this leads to. They will also discuss other ways of coping.

This event is discussed and thoughts are recorded along with emotions. Behavior choices are written down and the group and therapist explore the person’s thought process, emotions and behavioral choices. CBT therapy helps individuals identify negative thoughts and how these thought patterns play a role in addiction. It helps individuals learn new ways to break the cycle.

The Benefits of CBT

It provides a person with a support system during recovery. When the person struggles with a situation he can call someone in the group or attend a session that helps him discuss and resolve the issues. It keeps a person from relapsing into old negative behavior patterns.

The person learns to think more positively, leading to handling stressful situations in a better manner. CBT improves low self-esteem by reinforcing the idea that he or she deserve a good life. If the person does not have the desire to improve their life, the therapy will not work. The motivation has to come from the person along with the willingness to change.

Peer pressure is a problem for anyone with an addiction. The CBT group often has sessions where they practice saying no to alcohol or drugs with members. This prepares the person for the situation before it arises. With practice they learn to say no to activities or substances that lead to the addiction in real life situations.

This is a cost effective therapy and is most often on an outpatient basis, howver, it is an integral portion of an inpatient program. It is often covered by medical insurance plans. It does not work quickly, but takes time and effort. CBT gradually introduces a person to concepts that help them overcome addiction and they work at their own pace. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy has been proven to help recovering addicts make better decisions in life, keeping them on the path to enjoying an addiction-free lifestyle.