It’s not possible to give someone who suffers from addiction a couple of aspirins and hope the problem goes away. In fact, addiction is a severe problem that requires serious drug abuse treatment methodologies. For decades, the addiction treatment community relied upon what we could call traditional treatment methods. However, the data came back, making it clear such methods are ineffective. For this reason, evidence-based approaches, such as a cognitive behavioral therapy program (CBT), are increasing in importance. For those who don’t know about evidence-based theories, let’s examine CBT more closely.
How Does a Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Program Work for Treating Addictions?
As addiction treatment specialists in Texas, we have treated a lot of clients. Therefore, we can say for certain addictions do not occur without cause. There’s always an underlying personal issue that’s driving the client’s need to self-medicate. It might be an emotional issue or some form of psychological issues, but something is driving the addiction.
In many cases, we note the client has a preponderance of negative thoughts and feelings. If those thoughts and feelings become overwhelming, they can create harmful behaviors like substance abuse. In our CBT program in Texas, we have seen this to be true many times.
A cognitive behavioral therapy program specifically addresses the connection between the client’s thoughts and behaviors. The theory behind this program is that if we make the client aware of their thought patterns, then they can change them. If they can change them, they can subsequently stop or prevent their addictive behavior. As an evidence based therapy, we know this theory has been tested and recorded for publication.
CBT Texas Techniques
When it comes to implementing a Cognitive Behavioral Therapy program, the therapist has several good treatment options available. Remember, the therapist is dealing with a client’s negative thoughts or what experts call cognitive distortions. For example, cognitive distortions can encompass:
- All-or-nothing thinking with a leaning towards the negative
- Mental filters for dwelling on the negative aspects of something
- Over-generalization of negative occurrences
- Jumping to negative conclusions
- Discounting the relevance of positive thoughts
Clearly, someone who thinks in these ways would likely be vulnerable to harmful personal behaviors like substance abuse.
To counteract these thoughts, various CBT techniques seem to be very useful in addiction treatment programs. Remember, the specific goal of a Cognitive Behavioral Therapy program is to help the client recognize these thought patterns so they can change them. It’s also crucial for the therapist to be wary of potential co-occurring disorders. A co-existing disorder is present if the client’s addiction is somehow tied to a psychological or mental disorder.
As for specific CBT techniques a therapist might employ, here’s five of them worth mentioning:
- Relaxation exercises to diminish stress and anxiety
- Assertiveness training to help with controlling oneself
- Communication exercises to improve communication and leadership abilities
- Self-monitoring exercises to improve self-awareness
- Cognitive restructuring exercises for changing thoughts
Diversity in Treatment at The Right Step
In each of our Texas facilities, we put a lot of emphasis on evidence based therapies. We do this because the data suggests these methods are more effective than traditional counseling measures. That’s good enough for us because we believe our clients deserve the best care possible. Of course, we also offer other treatment options because no two clients are the same. We need the flexibility of more options to help us create custom treatment programs for each client. Our menu of services includes:
- In-house medically-monitored detox
- Inpatient and outpatient treatment options
- The aforementioned evidence based therapies
- Motivational interviewing
- 12 Step program
- Aftercare programs
Wasting time with addiction is a waste of valuable time in your life. Eventually, you’ll need to get help or risk serious repercussions. At The Right Step, we can offer you a wide range of treatment options with a Cognitive Behavioral Therapy program as one of those options. At this point, give us a call at [direct], and let’s get you started on your recovery.