Who Developed CBT and How?
In the 1960s, Dr. Aaron T. Beck was a psychiatrist at the University of Pennsylvania. He researched and practiced psychoanalysis. Dr. Beck tested his concepts of depression in several experiments. However, the findings were the opposite of his conjecture, leading to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy–CBT.
A Theory Is Born
Applying his findings, Dr. Beck looked for other ways to form concepts of depression. During his research, he discovered that depressed people have erratic negative thoughts, which he called automatic thoughts. He categorized these into negative thoughts about themselves, the world and the future.
When he started helping people identify and assess automatic thoughts, he found that they began to think more rationally. Dr. Beck discovered that changing their automatic thoughts made them feel and function better for the long term. These findings led to the theory that people’s thoughts affect their actions and emotions. CBT is advanced as a new theory of psychotherapy.
CBT Treats More Than Depression
Although Dr. Beck pioneered CBT to treat depression, it’s a beneficial treatment for many mental disorders. Some examples include anxiety, bipolar disorder, chronic fatigue or pain, posttraumatic stress disorder and sexual dysfunctions. However, its use as a drug abuse and addiction treatment is particularly valuable.
Using drugs damages every aspect of people’s lives from their family bonds to their careers. Those who suffer from addiction are unable to quit and recover on their own. Their lives are no longer theirs to control. CBT is often a vital part of addiction treatment to help people get and stay sober.
Techniques That Therapists Use Today
Cognitive behavior therapists use several techniques to help people overcome substance use problems. Contingency management is one that centers around giving people incentives for abstaining from drug use. The incentives could include drawing a prize or getting a special treat.
Motivational interviewing is a technique that targets hesitation to change behaviors toward drugs. The goal is to increase motivation to change and adhere to a plan to achieve that change. Another technique is relapse prevention, which teaches skills to help people avoid using drugs.
How Effective Is CBT?
More than 1,000 studies have proven that cognitive behavioral therapy is an effective treatment for various mental problems. Since addiction is a mental disease, this form of therapy is an effective treatment option. In fact, numerous large-scale reviews and trials support this claim.
One example is a PubMed Central publication of a meta-analytic review of 34 randomized controlled trials that involved 2,340 patients. It found that CBT has an overall moderate effect in treating drug problems. It has the largest effect on people who use marijuana, and a moderate effect on cocaine and opioid use.
There’s also evidence to support that CBT is effective in the long term. In a toxicology study, researchers found that 60 percent of patients who received cocaine treatment including CBT remained sober one year later.
Get the Appropriate Treatment for Your Drug Problem
Although CBT is an effective treatment for drug abuse and addiction, it’s not the first step toward recovery. Serenity House Detox & Recovery is a dedicated detox facility. We offer several programs and services to put you on the path to recovery, including:
- Alcohol detox
- Drug detox
- Group therapy
- Meditation therapy
- Personal therapy, including CBT
Jumpstart your addiction recovery with quality detox at Serenity House Detox & Recovery. Dial 866-294-5306 now to get the help you need.