Reviewing CBT

Reviewing CBT

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a form of psychotherapy that has proven highly effective treatment for the following disorders:

  • Substance abuse and addiction
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Depression
  • Borderline personality disorder
  • Anger-management problems
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Posttraumatic stress disorder
  • Eating disorders
  • Process addictions

The name “CBT” is a form of talk therapy that blends two schools of thought. First, cognitive therapy focuses on understanding and mindfulness while behavioral therapy focuses on identifying destructive behaviors and finding alternatives to those choices. CBT, then, blends those two traditions, but it is now considered an umbrella term for the following types of therapy:

  • Dialectical behavior therapy
  • Acceptance and commitment therapy
  • Reality therapy/choice theory
  • Eye movement and desensitization reprocessing
  • Multimodal therapy

Although each of these therapeutic techniques operates under similar principles, each involves unique techniques to reduce the client’s symptoms. By incorporating multiple disciplines and techniques, CBT has greatly influenced mental health treatment, and it is currently among the most respected treatment methods for addiction and the co-occurring disorders that feed it. In other words, you can recover your health from almost whatever ails you if you seek CBT.

Basic Elements of CBT

The heart of CBT is thoughtful conversations between the patient and a specially trained therapist. These conversations aim to accomplish the following goals:

  • Identify problematic behaviors
  • Explore possible causes or triggers for those behaviors
  • Identify the duration, frequency and intensity of behaviors (establish a baseline for behavior)
  • Develop a plan to decrease the frequency or intensity of those behaviors

Sessions are led by the therapist so she can help the patient identify problematic behaviors and then choose acceptable ways of correcting it. As a result, CBT focuses on problems to encourage healthy action. Whereas traditional psychoanalysis strives to find the purpose or meaning behind problematic behaviors, CBT is oriented around identifying the problem and then fixing it.

The six steps of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy are as follows:

  • Psychological assessment (diagnosis)
  • Reconceptualization (cognitive phase)
  • Skills acquisition
  • Skills consolidation and application training
  • Generalization (maintenance)
  • Post-treatment assessment

The counseling process is collaborative, results oriented and positive. It is important for the therapist to build trust and respect with the client, but it is also critical for the patient to be invested and engaged with the treatment. As some results can be experienced in a relatively short of amount of time, many people find themselves fully engaged in the process from the first session. On the other hand, although there are many advantages to engaging the treatment individually or in a group with a CBT therapist, new computer-based CBT programs are becoming popular. You can find the setting that best suits your needs.

How CBT Impacts Substance Abuse and Addiction

Today’s most effective addiction treatment individualizes its care for each client’s unique needs, so the first step of any good rehab program is to diagnose the patient’s mental health. This step is vital, as it aims to identify not only the disorder someone wants to address, such as substance abuse, but also any co-occurring disorders that may perpetuate that disorder, such as a mental health problem. For instance, a drug addict may suffer from an anxiety disorder that he medicates with alcohol, but another person may suffer from a borderline personality disorder that she medicates with marijuana. The treatment for these addicts will be similar, but also different.

Once a thorough diagnosis is accomplished, the attending doctor or therapist can determine which type of therapy might address the specific issues that the addict faces. CBT or one of its subset therapies are often chosen as a first attempt at treatment. Some aspects of the therapy will be applied in private counseling while others may be more effective if undertaken in a group setting. However, CBT has clear goals for addiction treatment, and they are as follows:

  • Understand what is causing you to use drugs or alcohol compulsively
  • Explore better ways of addressing your underlying issues
  • Learn new ways to cope with pain, stress or anxiety
  • Increase the mindfulness you have regarding your emotions

With the right help, you can break marijuana addiction and the problems that fuel it.

Is CBT Right For You?

CBT can empower you and address certain conditions better than others. Only a mental health professional can help you decide which type of treatment is right for you, so, if you would like to speak to someone about the particulars of CBT and whether or not it might help you, then please call our toll-free helpline right now. Our admissions coordinators are standing by 24 hours a day with free, confidential help. They can connect you with the most effective CBT programs and even process financial concerns, insurance coverage and transportation assistance. In short, our staff offers the help you need, whenever you decide to call. If even after trying to quit several times you find that you cannot get a handle on your drug abuse, or if another psychological issue is destroying your quality of life, then call right now to get and stay well.