How Does Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Work?

One of the reasons an addict may be reluctant to enter a rehab facility is because they have a friend of a friend who’s tried rehab before but didn’t get clean. Maybe they themselves have even enrolled in a program once only to fall off the wagon again.

These unsuccessful stints at rehab facilities were likely lacking cognitive behavioral therapy. Without knowing why the addict is abusing alcohol or drugs in the first place, it’s hard to create a lasting change. With cognitive behavioral therapy, that change is possible, especially in conjunction with the rest of a rehab program.

What Is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?

Cognitive behavioral therapy is a branch of psychotherapy that, in addition, to being used for alcohol and drug rehab, may also be used to treat symptoms of depression. During the therapy sessions, the patient will learn to undo the damaging views and thoughts that have infiltrated their minds.

How Does It Work?

At a rehab facility, the addict will sit down with a licensed therapist. They will likely chat about their history, their addiction, and what brought them here today. In the follow-up sessions, the therapist will discuss roadblocks that are hindering the patient. By setting small goals each appointment or so, the patient will gradually relearn how to view themselves and the world around them in a more positive light.

This therapy will also give the patient the keys to work through feelings of depression and anxiety, which often go hand-in-hand with alcohol or drug addiction.

How Is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Beneficial?

Cognitive behavioral therapy can be advantageous in many ways, especially for those with substance abuse problems:

The skills the patient obtains are applicable even once they leave the rehab facility and go back home.

The patient can get to the root of their addiction, discovering which life-changing event (perhaps a dissolution of a marriage, a loss, or financial troubles) changed their worldview and then gradually reshape that worldview.

The therapist can discuss the lines of thoughts that may have fueled to the patient’s addiction as well as other reckless behaviors and then reverse these.

When combined with experiential therapy, which involves light exercise in the outdoors, nutritious eating, and other holistic care, an addict may be able to finally see the changing results they’ve wanted.

It can be discouraging to try rehab over and over again without results. Before enrolling in yet another 12-step program, which is heavy on victim-blaming over everything else, try a program with cognitive behavioral therapy as part of treatment. It is possible to reshape one’s worldview and achieve sobriety.

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