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.

The first step in CBT is to identify the memories, thoughts, images, or beliefs that affect behavior. This usually involves paying attention to triggers so that they can be addressed one by by one. Once the problems are identified, CBT makes you more aware of how all of these and your addiction are linked together. This allows you to resolve several issues with one therapy.

Why is CBT standard for addiction treatment?

Addiction treatment requires identifying triggers, avoiding those triggers, and having a plan for when those triggers happen. This is essentially the goal of CBT. Cognitive behavioral therapy aims to change behavior by becoming aware of it, what is causing it, and being able to self-analyze and self-correct. This is extremely important for maintaining sobriety because if you don’t cope with triggers head on, you are sure to fall to them in the future.

How long does cognitive behavioral therapy take?

Many people are able to benefit from six to eight weeks of cognitive behavioral therapy, and most of them are able to stay sober with the tools they learned while in therapy. However, CBT might take longer if you have other issues to cope with linked to addiction triggers, which may also require additional therapies.

If you want to stay sober but don’t know where to turn for help, we are here for you. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you get and stay sober.