What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a therapeutic program that addresses mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, substance abuse, and other psychological disorders. The premise of the therapy is based on the assumption that cognitive activity or thoughts affect behavioral and emotional reactions. Basically, this means that how we think determines how we feel and behave. CBT can be provided through individual and group counseling sessions and teaches the addict awareness and positive management skills to alleviate negative reactions, including relapse, in stressful life situations. By recognizing situations in which the addict is most likely to use, cognitive behavior therapy programs help the addict view these situations in a clearer and more productive way. After thorough analysis and skills training, the therapy helps the addict to find ways of controlling thoughts and behaviors, more positively, in response to external circumstances and events. CBT is commonly used as a short term focused approach in outpatient drug treatment programs and is considered a self help support method but, is an essential therapy in any treatment for substance abuse. As the addict conditions themselves to rethink their perspectives and assume a more positive outlook, situations become more clear and the addict learns to cope more effectively to a wide range of problems.
Types of Drug Addiction Treated Using CBT
Alcohol and drug use can lead to a variety of mental health problems. Addicts are often bombarded with mental health disorders resulting directly from the abuse or from negative circumstances they have experienced because of the abuse. It is highly likely that the addict has experienced feelings of worthlessness, inability to cope, anxiety, depression, and other emotional distresses due to over generalization or magnification of negative issues. Cognitive behavior therapy is used in a wide array of substance abuse treatment programs that can address these psychological disorders as well as the addiction itself. The treatment can be administered in relation to specific abuses regarding any one drug or in regards to substance abuse in general. For instance, CBT therapy for alcohol may differ in the techniques being taught as compared to those specifics needed to be addressed for a heroin user. The programs can also be expanded to cover combined addictions and disorders.
Benefits of CBT in treating Drug Addiction
As a substance abuse therapy, CBT presents positive effects to change negative and maladaptive thinking into positive and more rational thinking. This gives the addict meaning and purpose to their lives including motivation for abstinence, coping skills, reinforcement contingencies, management of emotions, improved interpersonal skills, social supports, and positive affirmations of behaviors.