Addiction Treatment: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Written by: Peter Dimaira Created May 31 2017
Written by: Peter Dimaira Created May 31 2017
(CBT) Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a very well know and established form of psychotherapy which has been scientifically tested for the effectiveness of treatment a vast array of disorders including addiction and alcoholism.
What makes CBT different from other psychotherapy is:
With CBT therapy, you learn how to identify different thoughts you have that are distorted and may harm your day-to-day life functions. With Cognitive Behavioral Therapy you learn how to change your own behavior patterns by implementing positive actions of behavior and practicing the implementation on a day-to-day basis to develop a healthy pattern to overcome the old patterns.
One of the very first goals of CBT is to identify the ways drinking and drugging have been reinforced in your daily life. You’re taught to be conscious of the behaviors both positive (social experiences) and the negative (escaping emotions) reinforcing your reasoning for using alcohol or drugs.
The next step is to improve the reinforcements for not drinking and drugging (providing rewards for yourself for not drinking and drugging) or developing coping skills to deal with emotions from stress induced life experiences.
The relapse prevention aspect of CBT involves identification of triggers and the development of a plan for the anticipation and addressing of potential relapses in the futures of the persons recovery.
Cognitive behavioral therapy is in large part very structures and will last about 1 hour. A therapist will likely spend the first minutes of every session establishing what will discussed over the course of the following hour. This is the patients opportunity to identify topics they would like to discuss during that days therapy appointment.
Most of the sessions in CBT are focused on discussions about the patients mood and present difficulties of the day or week.
One of the larger components of treatment is homework. You’re expected to work on exercises outside of each session. The therapist will work closely with the patient on the exercises given to complete.
Most patients can expect a 1 hour session, weekly for approximately 16 weeks.
One of the ways CBT differs from other psychotherapy’s is its time-limited nature. In fact, most individuals can be expecting weekly treatment sessions for no more than 3 months. Individual sessions usually last about one hour unless otherwise deemed necessary.
Some Data pulled from the web suggests that the use of Naltrexone with cognitive behavioral therapy for treating addiction over mono-therapy.3 However, other studies have weighed against the combo citing no added benefit.4
There is more necessary research to be done on this subject to identify the ideal combo of treatments for managing drug addiction and alcoholism. Some other examples of treatments that may be used in combination with CBT include:
CBT is also frequently used in Medically Assisted Treatment
Even though cognitive behavioral therapy focuses on current events and has a problem focus, it’s ideal for the treatment of people who have dual diagnosis (a substance abuse disorder and mental health disorder).
In Fact, many recommend cognitive behavioral therapy for dual diagnosis and co-occurring disorder approaches. It been known to help individuals develop strong coping skills for managing their substance abuse and their mental/behavioral health issues.3,4
While CBT has been established as an effective therapy for a wide range of disorders, it isn’t for everyone. Specifically, it’s been recommended that individuals with more sever disorders seek a more intensive treatment before starting cognitive behavioral therapy sessions.
If you would like to learn more about cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) or locate a therapist in your area, you can visit these sites to learn more about availability and information:
If You’re looking for a program that uses cognitive behavioral therapy or other types of behavioral therapy’s contact Bright Futures Treatment Center 844-207-7772 to speak with an admissions specialist.
 Compton WM, Thomas YF, Stinson FS, Grant BF. Prevalence, correlates, disability, and comorbidity of DSM-IV drug abuse and dependence in the United States: Results from the national epidemiologic survey on alcohol and related conditions. Arch Gen Psychiatry 2007;64:566-576.
 Hasin DS, Stinson FS, Ogburn E, Grant BF. Prevalence, correlates, disability, and comorbidity of DSM-IV alcohol abuse and dependence in the united states: Results from the national epidemiologic survey on alcohol and related conditions. Arch Gen Psychiatry 2007;64:830-842.
 Dutra L, Stathopoulou G, Basden SL, Leyro TM, Powers MB, Otto MW. A meta-analytic review of psychosocial interventions for substance use disorders. Am J Psychiatry 2008;165:179-187.
 Magill M, Ray LA. Cognitive-behavioral treatment with adult alcohol and illicit drug users: A meta- analysis of randomized controlled trials. J Stud Alcohol Drugs 2009;70:516-527.