Addiction is a mental disease that develops after a period of drug abuse. It’s incurable, so people with addiction have to manage it for the rest of their lives. Combining cognitive behavioral therapy with other evidence-based detox therapies prepares patients for rehab and life-long sobriety.

Understand Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Young man at sunset knowing that cognitive behavioral therapy CBT can change his thinkingAs a structured form of therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy involves solving problems and changing behaviors and thoughts. It focuses on current issues more than other therapies. During CBT sessions, patients learn skills that help them change bad behaviors and distorted thinking. They also use these skills to avoid triggers and relapse.

Scientists have conducted hundreds of tests and clinical trials on CBT. They’ve found that it’s one of the few therapies that’s effective for treating mental disorders such as drug addiction.

The Theory Behind CBT

The theory behind cognitive behavioral therapy is that people react to situations based on how they think. For instance, people view news stories in different ways. Stories that make some people turn the channel make others keep watching for more information. Rather than the actual stories affecting how they feel, it’s their thoughts that affect their emotions.

CBT helps people recognize negative thoughts and assess whether or not they’re realistic. Patients also learn how to change their thought process, which leads to changes in their behaviors. Once they develop more constructive thinking, their behavior becomes more constructive.

CBT Session Structure

Unlike other therapies in which patients talk about what’s on their minds, cognitive behavioral therapy sessions have a structure. In the first CBT session, patients usually describe specific problems. Their therapists also help them set goals to work toward. These problems and goals become the basis for the therapy sessions to follow.

At the beginning of a normal session, the therapists and patients talk about the results of the previous session. They also discuss progress with homework and the main topics to focus on for the week. Then, they plan more homework for the next session.

The homework between sessions is an essential part of CBT. The therapists base their assignments on their patients’ needs. Keeping a diary of situations that make them feel depressed or anxious is one example. Exercising when a certain situation arises is another.

The structure ensures that patients get the most out of the limited length of each session. The therapists start off actively leading the sessions. As the patients make progress, they take more of a leading role.

CBT Elements That Work

One of the reasons that CBT works so well in addiction treatment is because it teaches coping skills to people with addiction. Those with anxiety, for example, can learn how to avoid anxious situations. They can also learn to confront their fears gradually so that they can cope with those circumstances instead of drinking or taking drugs.

Coping skills can lead to lasting positive changes in attitudes and behaviors. They can teach people how to keep their thoughts from making them too emotional. Eventually, they come to understand that thoughts are nothing more than thoughts.

Another reason that CBT works is that it teaches problem-solving. Anxious people, for instance, might remain in a boring job because they’re afraid of change. They may lack the confidence to experience new things. CBT can teach them a new approach to eliminate the emotional disturbance that holds them back.

Serenity House Detox & Recovery Offers CBT for Many Addictions

If you or someone you know has drug abuse problems or addiction, detox is available at Serenity House Detox & Recovery. Our programs offer the first step toward recovery and create a strong foundation for rehab. We provide treatment for several types of addiction, including heroin and cocaine addiction. Along with cognitive behavioral therapy, we offer other therapies such as:

Stop letting addiction ruin your life and the lives of those around you. Go to detox in Fort Lauderdale and Jupiter, Florida, at Serenity House Detox & Recovery. Dial 866-294-5306 today to begin your journey to sober recovery.