Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a general term for a variety of structured talk therapy programs. A mental health counselor guides you in uncovering and uprooting negative reasoning to help you perceive and respond to situations in a positive manner. CBT is a beneficial tool used alone or with other therapies to treat mental health conditions including addiction and co-occurring disorders. Explore the benefits of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for addiction at Crest View Recovery Center in Asheville, NC.
Purpose of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy at Crest View Recovery Center in Asheville, NC
CBT treatment focuses on efforts to adopt new ways of thinking. Strategies are designed to show individuals how to evaluate mental misrepresentations and achieve a clearer understanding of their motivations and behaviors and that of others. This therapy fosters a higher level of self-confidence in the ability to deal successfully with difficult situations.
Core Concepts of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
CBT is based on several principles that teach people to anticipate challenges and cultivate self-control with coping strategies. The therapy encourages self-contemplation and self-monitoring to determine and diffuse triggers for negative behaviors. Ultimately, individuals learn to recognize cravings or temptations and avoid high-risk situations for relapse.
One of the main theories behind CBT is that what happens to us is not what upsets us, but the meanings we assign to those events do. Negative thinking inhibits us from seeing or doing whatever conflicts with what we have already accepted as truth. We persist in established thought patterns and resist learning new ones. However, CBT does not assume that people deliberately choose addictive behaviors; it surmises that flawing thinking may drive such actions.
Focusing on Thinking Patterns
The brain’s cognitive functions have more to do with how we think than what we know. Cognition includes factors such as our perceptions, memory, concentration, and understanding of language. Cognitive functions directly influence behaviors.
For instance, a person with addiction may think, “I don’t feel like myself without getting high. I can’t relate to people on my own.” Consequently, this person acts on this belief and seeks for their substance of choice. The individual then experiences guilt over falling to temptation, spending money, and falling short on paying bills. He or she sees the substance of choice as a temporary reprieve from the guilt. The underlying thought of needing a substance often feeds harmful choices that fuel more negative thoughts.
The primary assumptions of CBT are that:
- Psychological problems largely stem from faulty thinking about ourselves, others, and the world around us.
- Irrational perspectives arise because of cognitive distortions from inaccurately processing information or through cognitive deficiencies from a lack of planning.
- Our interactions are based on our beliefs about ourselves, others, and the world.
- Incorrect mental perspectives can lead to unreasonable emotions and behaviors.
- People with psychological issues can learn more beneficial means of coping with negative thoughts and habits to reduce unproductive inclinations.
- We can control how we think, feel and act even if our circumstances do not change.
The Rise of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Albert Ellis developed Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) in the 1950s. He held that we all believe certain assumptions about ourselves and the world that guide us through life and influence our reactions to situations. REBT was designed to help people analyze their beliefs and shift from irrational to more realistic, positive perspectives.
As Dr. Aaron Beck was performing psychoanalysis in the 1960s, he observed that his patients had an inner dialogue within their minds. They would verbalize only a small portion of this self-talk, though. Beck discovered a strong connection between these internal thoughts and feelings.
Beck defined emotion-laden thoughts as “automatic thoughts”. He learned that people are not always conscious of their thoughts but could learn to pinpoint and discuss them. If a patient was feeling anxious, his or her thoughts were typically negative and unrealistic. The psychiatrist concluded that identifying these feelings was essential to help the client understand and overcome difficulties.
The emphasis on thought patterns influenced Beck to call his new protocol “cognitive therapy”. Today, mental health experts have enhanced Beck’s concept with behavioral techniques and now call it cognitive behavioral therapy. CBT has been employed in a wide range of scenarios with substantial empirical evidence of its effectiveness.
Cognitive behavioral therapy is an umbrella term for varying combinations of cognitive and behavioral aspects. In addition to REBT and cognitive therapy, other approaches included Rational Behavior Therapy, Dialectic Behavior Therapy, and Rational Living Therapy.
Who Can Benefit from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?
CBT has demonstrated effectiveness for a vast range of issues including marital problems, anxiety, depression, severe mental illness, and substance abuse disorders. Many studies suggest that this treatment is as effective or more effective than psychiatric medications or other forms of psychological therapy. However, it is most beneficial when combined with other treatments in some cases.
People who can articulate their particular issues often do well with CBT because it is problem and goal-oriented. The treatment is especially effective for those who are looking for a more practical program. Some long-standing or severely disabling problems will likely require more than short-term therapy, but people with these issues can still benefit from learning CBT concepts.
CBT is a popular form of psychotherapy because it works so quickly and typically requires fewer sessions than other treatments. For instance, psychoanalysis may take years. It is useful in addressing many kinds of emotional concerns and can help you:
- Control symptoms and avoid a relapse of mental illness symptoms
- Treat mental illness when medications aren’t a viable option
- Learn how to manage emotions
- Learn communication skills and resolve conflicts
- Cope with grief and loss
- Cope with illness and chronic symptoms
- Overcome emotional trauma
- Overcome harmful habits
How Does CBT Work at Crest View Recovery Center?
The structure of cognitive behavioral therapy sets it apart from other kinds of psychotherapies. At our facility in North Carolina, our cognitive therapist utilizes an evaluation process to help you outline your specific concerns and set goals. The concerns could include addiction, poor sleeping, an unfulfilling relationship, or a combination of problems. Your therapist takes these issues and goals and plans future sessions.
Next, the therapist may assign homework tasks such as keeping a thought journal. This is meant to help you face and challenge irrational beliefs on your own. Once you have disproven faulty thoughts, it is easier for you to displace them yourself. Homework helps keep you involved in your healing process as opposed to being focused only during sessions.
We at Crest View Recovery Center let you practice coping and life skills through our innovative reality-based therapy model. We re-create realistic living environments and take you off-site for supervised activities. Our team guides you in living an addiction-free life in the real world. We don’t tell you what to do; rather, we advise on how to think.
While some information about your history plays a part in your CBT treatment, we focus on what is happening in your life right now. We may also incorporate role-playing that trains you to foresee and deal with potential difficulties. We want to help you move forward from your present condition and establish more useful ways of coping with life after rehab.
Why Is CBT So Structured?
CBT’s structure facilitates the efficient use of your time in therapy. It also ensures that your treatment priorities get attended to and that you and your therapist develop new assignments that build on each session. While the therapist is mainly responsible for structuring the sessions at the outset, you will take on more responsibility as you progress. When you and your therapist agree to end formal treatment, you will hopefully feel confident to continue on your own.
CBT is generally a short-term program of five to 20 sessions, running an average of 16 sessions. You and your therapist can determine how many sessions you need based on several factors. The type of disorder you are dealing with, the severity of symptoms, your progress in recovery, and the extent of support from loved ones will all play into the length and intensity of your CBT treatment.
Does CBT Work with Dual Diagnosis at Crest View Recovery Center?
Cognitive behavioral therapy imparts remarkable benefits for both addiction recovery and treatment of mental illness. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that more than 50% of individuals with SUD have another concurrent mental illness. Some experts believe that certain drugs, such as marijuana and cocaine, may cause mental problems to develop. It is also possible that mental disorders may be a gateway to substance misuse as individuals attempt to self-medicate. Addiction shares similar risk factors, such as trauma and stress, with many psychological issues.
Alcohol and drugs alter the way neurotransmitters in the brain function and how the neurons interpret them. Illicit substances can distort your perception of reality to the point that your behavior becomes dangerous. As addictions develop, the mind’s cognition irrationally dictates that the substance of choice makes life better.
At Crest View Recovery Center, we use CBT to help you uncover automatic, addiction-related thought patterns and teach you to replace them with helpful ones. CBT may also improve mental health conditions such as:
- Eating disorders
- Sleep disorders
- Sexual disorders
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
If you believe that you or a loved one may have a co-occurring mental condition with addiction, you should seek out dual diagnosis treatment. Begin addiction treatment at a licensed detox facility that utilizes a trauma-informed approach. This kind of specialized care offers you the care and opportunity to overcome addiction and improve your mental health. Contact us at CVRC today for information about our dual diagnosis programs.
How Safe is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Addiction Rehab?
CBT is considered a safe, non-medical treatment. However, you can expect to be emotionally uncomfortable as you explore painful emotions and experiences. This may drain you physically. Some types of CBT will put you in situations you would normally avoid, such as going out with a group if you are usually socially isolated.
At CVRC, your needs are always our priority. Your therapist will help alleviate any risks and teach you how to manage fears and negative feelings. Our goal is to provide the most effective treatment methods that will help you achieve and maintain a successful recovery. You deserve freedom from addiction and mental anguish, and we are here to help you obtain it.
Getting the Most Out of CBT at Crest View Recovery Center in Asheville, NC
Like all therapies, CBT may not work for everyone. However, there are ways that you can maximize what you learn from it and incorporate into your daily life. Here are some steps you can take:
- Be an active participant with your therapist.
- Be consistent with your homework assignments.
- Practice honesty and share your hesitancy to share certain things.
- Be present at all your sessions and follow the treatment plan.
- Give yourself grace as you work through difficult emotions you may have suppressed up to this point; be patient with yourself.
- Be truthful if you feel that this therapy is not working for you and give your therapist a chance to adjust your shared plans.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Addiction in Asheville, NC
Cognitive behavioral therapy is based on the evidence-backed premise that most emotional and behavioral responses are learned and can be unlearned. It is just one of many treatment options that we offer at Crest View Recovery Center in beautiful Asheville, NC. Addiction is a treatable disease, so there is hope for you.
Get the help you need now at Crest View Recovery Center. With our guidance and care, you will be empowered to live sober, healthier, and emotionally stronger than ever. Let us help you take charge of your thoughts and change your life with CBT or one of our other scientifically-supported therapies at CVRC. Contact us today to begin your journey to recovery.