Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is based on the concept that if a person changes his or her thought patterns, behaviors will change as well. An addiction to drugs or alcohol doesn’t develop in some type of vacuum; there is typically an underlying reason why a person turned to these substances.
Sometimes substance abuse can be a way of self-medicating a diagnosed or undiagnosed mental health disorder or emotions from a traumatic event in the past. CBT is used to change the negative ways of thinking and turns them into a more positive and useful pattern.
How CBT Helps With Addiction
Therapist Provides Support To The Client
As the client and therapist work together, the therapist is a source of encouragement while the individual is taking steps toward long-term sobriety. Without this regular source of support, a person may be tempted to fall back into his or her old ways.
Client Learns More Positive Thought Patterns
The goal of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is to challenge negative thought patterns to see whether they are valid and to replace them with more positive ones. This strategy can be used for situations that are going on in the present, as well as examining ones from the client’s past. Over time, the individual can develop a stronger self-esteem from having done the work of challenging the negative thoughts he or she has about himself and finding that they are not valid and should be discarded in favor of positive ones.
Therapy Can Be Structured To Move At Client’s Pace
CBT is a form of therapy which has the flexibility where the therapist and client can decide what types of issues they would like to focus on during their sessions. They can move at whatever pace the client feels comfortable with and can change priorities if their needs change during the therapy process.
Therapy Sessions Can Be Ended Gradually
The time between sessions can be slowly increased so that a client does not suddenly feel as though he or she is being “abandoned” by the therapist. The individual can be supported as the therapy sessions wind down and receive reassurance that he or she is ready to handle situations independently.
Begin Your Customized Treatment Plan
If you are looking for help for yourself or a loved one, Maryland Recovery is ready to provide support every step of the way. We offer proven and effective treatment that includes CBT among other therapies. Reach out and call us today to take the first step to a new life. We will create a customized treatment plan that focuses on you or your loved one’s personal needs and goals.
Dr. Bhalavat is Board Certified in General Psychiatry and Addiction Medicine, and provides inpatient evaluation and consultation services at the University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Medical Center, University of Maryland Harford Memorial Hospital, Maryland Recovery Partners, and Citizens Care & Rehabilitation Center. Dr. Bhalavat’s background includes treatment of depression, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia spectrum disorders, bipolar disorder, substance abuse and dementia.