What Is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?

If you have ever done in-patient drug rehabilitation treatment, you have probably at least heard of cognitive behavioral therapy. But what is it really, and why does it seem to be part of the treatment of most addicts? Here is what you need to know and why you should give it a try with your therapist or addiction counselor.

What happens in cognitive behavioral therapy?

Cognitive behavioral therapy focuses on identifying the thoughts, experiences, and beliefs that shape your behaviors so that you can consciously change them. Often, CBT is paired with mindfulness therapy so that patients can identify when a problem is occurring.

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What Benefits Come from Counseling?

If you got sober by going to a rehab facility or some similar situation, you likely received support for physically detoxing from the drugs. Not only that, you probably received some type of counseling services. You might think those services were designed only to get you through rehab or meet court requirements, but there is actually an important purpose to addiction counseling.

You see, counseling isn’t just about kicking addition. It’s about understanding why the addiction exists in the first place. It is understanding and coping with triggers so that you don’t slip and end up back in rehab in another year or less. Counseling is about dealing with your past and learning how to move forward as a sober member of society.

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Cutting Ties: Why It’s Difficult and Why It’s Important

Have you heard the phrase, “Blood is thicker than water?” A lot of people throw that phrase around quite a bit. They use this as an explanation and reasoning for sticking with family no matter what they do, but psychologists are urging people to recognize that toxic people, even if they share your bloodline, should not be tolerated.

Why is it so hard to cut off friends you’ve had for years?

Often when we are friends with someone for a long time, we think of them as family, and it can be very difficult to cut off family. But you have to remember that your mental health and sobriety require you to remove stress and drama from your life. Regardless of how long you have known someone, if they are an addict or are otherwise toxic, you really have to walk away.

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Deciding When You Are Ready to Live on Your Own

The transition from rehab to the real world can be a rough one. When you are in rehab, you are under intense treatment that allows you to safely get through withdrawals and address triggers, but there is a big difference between having that structure and living in the real world. 

If you get through rehab and aren’t sure that you can stay sober on your own, you might opt for sober living. Sober living gives you the ability to leave rehab and still have some structure to your life. The group home setting allows you to focus on your treatment and sobriety while you get back on your feet. 

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Learning How to Cope with Triggers to Avoid Relapse

When you are in a drug rehab program, you aren’t living your normal daily life. That means that while you are working hard to get clean, you are nowhere near any of your usual triggers. The biggest challenge that any addict faces is leaving rehab and facing those triggers and cravings head on. This is not easy, and some people need some extra help, such as a sober living home. Here are some things you can do to cope better as you face these situations.

Acknowledge triggers. Don’t ignore them.

If you simply ignore your triggers and rely on willpower alone to keep you sober, you are not going to be sober for very long. All it will take is one really bad day for that trigger to lead to relapse. Instead, you need to acknowledge and embrace your triggers so that you can address them and eliminate them forever.

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Why You Have to Address Your Mental Health to Stay Sober

Getting and staying sober can be very difficult, especially if you have mental health issues to address. In order to stay sober, you need to address the problems that led to your substance abuse in the first place. For some people, that may be events that happened in their life, causing situational mental health or emotional problems. Other people may have a diagnosed or undiagnosed mental illness that must be treated in order for sobriety to stick.

Addressing your mental health helps you stay sober in several ways. First, when you get treatment for mental illness it can reduce your desire to escape from reality. As you feel more mentally present and emotionally stable, you will not have as much of a desire to use.

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The Importance of Mental Health Treatment for Sobriety

About half of all substance abusers also have a mental health disorder. That is a surprising statistic for many. It can help to know that you are not alone, but even addicts without a mental health disorder can benefit from mental health treatment. Here are some examples.

Coping with Trauma

Some people turn to drugs and alcohol to escape from trauma that they have experienced. Although you may not have a mental health disorder, you need to be able to address these issues. If you try to get sober without addressing the catalyst that led to addiction, you will likely be unsuccessful in the long run. Psychotherapy can be of great benefit in these situations.

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How Mental Illness and Addiction Are Connected

Have you recently been diagnosed with a mental illness? If so, you are not alone. About half of all adult addicts also have a mental health disorder. Even if you have not yet received a diagnosis, you could very well have an undiagnosed disorder.

There are different theories about why this is the case, and most of them have come to the same conclusion. For many people, their introduction to drugs was a direct response to mental health symptoms, even when people are not fully aware of it. You may think that drugs and alcohol make you feel better, but not really know why.

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Three Benefits of Meditation

There are many tools that you can use to help you stay sober. One of the best tools at your disposal is meditation. You can literally meditate at any time that you need to. You can meditate on breaks at work, in the middle of your day, while grocery shopping, or doing anything else that causes you anxiety and makes you want to go back to your old life. Here are some benefits of meditation.

Physical Benefits

There are many physical benefits to meditation. Meditation can help calm your mind and body. It can lower blood pressure, decrease headaches, and increase your energy level. Meditation can also increase your serotonin production, elevating your mood.

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