Cognitive behavioral therapy or CBT is a kind of psychotherapy required for the treatment of various mental health problems such as mood disorders, substance use disorders, anxiety disorders, etc. CBT emphasizes bringing change in negative thought patterns of change behaviors and also the development and implementation of solid coping skills in one’s life.
CBT has now become one of the leading interventions for addiction treatment, and it involves elements of both cognitive and behavioral therapy to assist patients in becoming addiction-free. With a vast amount of pragmatic support, CBT has been widely accepted as a proof-based methodology for the establishment of behavioral change.
In this article, we will learn what CBT is, which principle underlies cognitive therapy, and what its necessity is in addiction treatment.
About cognitive behavioral therapy
Cognitive behavioral therapy is a behavioral therapy for those people who are struggling because of various mental health conditions. It mainly puts focus on your understanding or how your thinking can affect your mood and not vice versa. CBT is a goal-based therapy that addresses various cognitive issues like dysfunctional automatic thoughts, cognitive distortions, and underlying beliefs. Primarily, the therapists who make use of CBT personalize the therapy as per the specified requirements of every patient.
Which principle underlies cognitive therapy?
The essential principles of cognitive therapy are
- Psychological thinking is mainly based on imperfect ways of thinking
- Psychological disorder also depends on negative behavior patterns
- People with psychological disorders can acquire better methods of coping, relieve their symptoms, and create good changes in their lives.
A therapist can also assist clients by making use of role-playing methods for the development of a plan for dealing with difficult situations that arrive in the future. Like for instance, an advantages and disadvantages list of reactions to several situations can assist people in getting a clear understanding of how thoughts and actions can make things worse or better. It is vital to play out such scenarios in therapies before they are required to draw on them in their life.
Challenges in life are different for different people, so it depends on the therapist and the patient to create a treatment strategy for addressing the patient’s requirements. What works for one person might be different from the other person. When a professional therapist offers CBT, it assists clients in taking control of their cognition and creating healthy ways of thinking, emoting, and behaving independently. Both the client and the therapist will work in collaboration to develop strategies for not only having a solid awareness of negative thoughts and beliefs but also for learning how to solve problems and change behaviors. In simple words, CBT is a solution-based therapy that focuses less on the past and more on the present.
Cognitive behavioral therapy goals
The goal of CBT mainly includes the development of a strong awareness of an individual’s misguided pattern of thinking that creates problems in life and re-evaluating such kind of thinking in light of realities. CBT also inspires people to understand their behavior and make use of realistic problem-solving methods for solving issues. Because of this, this must build up the confidence of a person in their abilities to manage stressful situations.
The other goal of CBT is to assist people in learning how to calm down their minds and body and start to face their fears rather than avoid them. CBT is one of the empowering tools that helps people realize that they can easily manage their emotions and the varied situations that they face all through their lives in a healthy manner.
Advantages of cognitive behavioral therapy
CBT is a practical, goal-based therapy and is a collaborative effort between the patients and the medicine that helps in bringing improvement in various aspects of life. Treatment is based on an individual, which is different for different people. It helps in the treatment of anxiety, ADHD, and depression. It is also a short-term therapy with mainly weekly sessions that lasts for 2-3 months. Here are some of the other benefits of cognitive behavioral therapy:
- CBT can be combined with other types of therapies to create a personalized treatment plan.
- It can be customized to meet your unique requirements
- Results in enhanced mood
- Assist a person in stopping substance misuse by eliminating the power behind their urges, triggers, and cravings.
- Enhance brain functioning, thereby proving that you can unlearn harmful patterns.
- It might assist you in staying sober after leaving treatment.
Different techniques of cognitive behavioral therapy
One of the significant benefits of CBT is you can see changes right away and make use of these skills for the rest of your life. You can work with your therapist on different techniques that work best for you and your unique situations. The methods can be used for the treatment of addiction. Here are some of the standard techniques that are used in CBT:
- Journaling: It involves writing down all negative thoughts that might get in between the therapy sessions and how you can replace them with positive ones. It helps in looking back and seeing how all thought patterns are changing with time.
- Challenges with thoughts: Here, you need to see the entire situation and then consider it from various angles. Rather than assuming your ideas are correct, you can challenge yourself to look at any case accurately.
- Relaxation methods: This looks different for all. It can be listening to music, taking a bath, or gardening. This is helpful when you have a stressor that is causing you to have some cravings. It involves exercises like deep breathing that can be done anywhere.
- Guided findings: In this technique, the therapist will collect information from you depending on your viewpoint and then ask questions that challenge your view. This helps you consider varied perspectives that you might not have thought before.
- Cognitive restructuring: You need to see your thoughts, like thinking about any worst-case scenario or any either-or thinking. Then, the therapist will assist you in reframing such thoughts into something very productive and healthy.
Cognitive behavioral therapy is a way for restructuring negative thoughts and behaviors into positive ones. It’s like changing the way you are feeling or acting towards something by altering how you are thinking about any situation. When the matter is about addiction, CBT assists you in taking steps to reframe your case to avoid triggers. Look for a therapist who is highly skilled in CBT, and you can take steps to apply those skills that you learn for upcoming situations.