Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

In individual therapy sessions, many counselors take the approach of using cognitive behavioral therapy to help patients change the way they think about themselves and the world so that they can change their feelings as well. Cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT, is a practical type of therapy that centers on the idea that thoughts can influence a person’s emotions and behaviors. It is often used to treat issues of depression or anxiety but it can be very effective for patients who are recovering from addiction. CBT allows patients to solve their problems more actively by examining how their negative thoughts affect them and cause them to act in unhealthy ways. It can put the power back into the individual’s hands when they realize that their depression or anxiety is not caused by external things but by their own mental state. Cognitive behavioral therapy can help people realize that many of their most negative thoughts and beliefs are untrue and unnecessary which works to alleviate much of their pain and stress.

How Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Works

When a patient is involved in cognitive behavioral therapy they can learn to change their thinking and see the connection between these thoughts and how they feel. A therapist using CBT is more focused on resolving problems and helping the patient reach milestones of improvement and progress. Someone with issues of depression might have certain beliefs that continually contribute to their emotional state such as believing they are worthless or there is no hope for the future. Their therapist can help them challenge these irrational beliefs and find evidence that their negative thoughts are not based in reality. When a patient is able to change these beliefs they will start to alter their thinking patterns into something more positive. Once their beliefs and thoughts have changed it will influence how they feel and will work to prevent them from engaging in self-destructive behaviors like substance abuse.

Addiction and CBT

Cognitive behavioral therapy tends to be effective because it gives patients the skills to start solving problems on their own. They can learn strategies to help them combat the type of thinking patterns that ultimately lead to substance abuse. What makes CBT useful in treating addiction is that it can be a more active approach to helping patients feel better within a certain timeline. It does not have to be ongoing and can achieve results quickly enough so that people can have the ability to resolve emotional issues independently. Patients will leave their therapy treatment with the tools to fight the type of depression or anxiety issues that have caused them to become addicted.

Cognitive behavioral therapy is an approach to treatment that boosts self-esteem, reduces dishonesty and gives people a sense of control over their lives. These benefits are all crucial factors in preventing relapse and helping patients maintain their sobriety for the long-term. Each person in recovery requires individual attention to help them address their personal and emotional issues. At Dr. Paul’s By The Sea, our therapists utilize the approach of cognitive behavioral therapy because of the benefits that it can have in changing patient’s attitudes, thoughts and feelings to help them become more positive and better equipped to face life’s challenges.