Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Recovery

Cognitive behavioral therapy, commonly known as CBT, is one of the most used forms of behavioral therapy. It combines aspects of both cognitive therapy and behavioral therapy, and it has been shown to be very effective for helping people who are dealing with drug or alcohol dependence. It was first used to treat individuals who were in treatment for alcohol dependence and was found to prevent relapse.

Read on to learn more about cognitive behavioral therapy, how it’s used, and how to find treatment if you’re struggling with substance use or co-occurring disorders.

What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?

cognitive behavioral therapy

The main focus of cognitive behavioral therapy is to help individuals identify, understand, and change certain thoughts and behaviors, such as those related to drug and alcohol use. CBT focuses on what individuals are feeling at that point in time, instead of potential causes of their substance use.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse states that this type of evidence-based therapy can help individuals with drug or alcohol dependency recognize which situations put them at the highest risk for using substances, avoid those situations if possible, and cope with the behavior or behaviors that are related to their substance use.

What to Expect in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Individuals can receive CBT in different settings, such as in individual therapy, group therapy, and family therapy, depending on their preferences, needs, and the recommendation of their therapist or doctor. This type of therapy is done mostly on an outpatient basis, as this helps individuals better incorporate what they have learned into their daily lives. Therapists may provide homework regardless of the setting, so individuals can apply skills learned to their lives outside of treatment. This helps individuals become more involved in the treatment process.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is usually a short-term treatment. Individuals can expect to attend anywhere from 12 to 16 sessions. This length of time, although brief, is often sufficient to provide individuals with skills that will be used well after their course of treatment has ended. It can also be used in preparation for a longer-term treatment plan.

When individuals have completed their cognitive behavioral therapy treatment, they will, along with the therapist, reexamine their treatment plan to determine which goals they were able to meet. This also provides individuals with an idea of which goals were not met so they may decide whether or not to seek further assistance for those issues.

Some therapists will offer booster or refresher sessions, in which individuals can meet with the therapist to discuss any issues that may have come up after their final session. This is beneficial, as it can assist the individual in handling the issue appropriately before it has a chance to escalate.

Interventions Used in CBT

There are six primary interventions that therapists use in cognitive behavioral therapy that are unique to the substance abuse setting and required to be used in this context:

  • Functional analysis of the individual’s substance use.
  • Training on an individual basis regarding how to manage cravings, solve problems, plan for emergencies, manage thoughts related to drug or alcohol use, build refusal skills, and recognize decisions that may seem irrelevant.
  • Examination of an individual’s cognitive processes, thoughts, feelings, and emotions as related to substance use.
  • Identifying and discussing high-risk situations, both in the past and future.
  • Encouragement and review of the individual’s use of skills implementation outside of sessions.
  • Practicing skills within sessions.

There are other interventions that can be used, but are not required, such as:

  • Monitoring the individual’s drug or alcohol use.
  • Supporting the individual’s efforts to maintain sobriety.
  • Including the individual’s support system or loved ones as needed.

These interventions can be helpful if, for example, individuals experience a relapse while in treatment.

Who Benefits from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?

Not everyone will benefit from CBT. During the initial assessment, therapists who are skilled in this type of therapy will be able to determine whether or not CBT is appropriate for the individual. Oftentimes, cognitive behavioral therapy is used as part of a larger care plan that also employs the use of other treatments.

CBT can be beneficial for individuals who struggle with a ride range of mental health disorders, including:

  • Depression.
  • Anxiety.
  • Bipolar disorder.
  • Schizophrenia.
  • Substance use disorder.

Co-Occurring Disorder Treatment Near Tampa, FL

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction to drugs or alcohol or co-occurring disorders, we can help. At our inpatient Florida rehab center we help people find hope and healing from co-occurring and substance use disorders. Our team of addiction specialists, therapists, and medical professionals are ready to help you overcome addiction find long-term recovery.

Call our helpful admissions navigators at today to learn more about addiction treatment in Tampa, FL. They can tell you more about our different levels of care, help you verify your insurance coverage, and even let you know about other ways to cover the cost of rehab.

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