Beginning Within The Brain: CBT For Addiction Treatment
When you decide to seek treatment for substance misuse or addiction, you need to know that many different treatment therapies can make a difference. One therapy is called cognitive-behavioral therapy. It's known as CBT for short, and it's a therapy that focuses on cognition and behaviorism. Because both of those concepts revolve around modifying behaviors and thoughts once you understand yourself better, CBT for addiction treatment is a popular and effective therapy.
What Is CBT Exactly?
Theories of cognition focus on understanding yourself and how others think, feel and interact with the world around you. It's a focus on reactions—what you see, hear, feel, and think, as well as how your emotions play into those reactions. Behaviorism focuses on how we can control or modify our thoughts to have different behaviors. CBT for addiction treatment uses both concepts to look at not just changing your addictive behaviors, but why you have them in the first place and how you can ensure that they don't come back and plague you in your sobriety. CBT for addiction places a high priority on changing your thinking and your behaviors to prevent addictive situations.
How Does CBT For Addiction Treatment Work?
CBT looks at the relationship we have between our thoughts, our feelings, and our behaviors. When we have underlying beliefs/values that conflict with what we want to or know we should do, we may be led to make poor choices. You may know that avoiding unhealthy and/or illegal substances is wiser and safer, but you choose to engage anyway. CBT analyzes the 'why' of making those choices, despite the 'knowing' of what may be better for you. In essence, CBT looks at why you may choose to continue to engage in unsafe or unwise practices despite not necessarily wanting to.
When we use CBT for addiction treatment, we not only look at the thoughts and behaviors that occur when what you see, feel, hear or think comes into play, but we also look at the conflict that may come as a result. Generally speaking, when you struggle with addiction, you struggle with negative thinking. This may lead you to believe you're not worthy enough to recover, or you don't deserve a better life. You may also believe what others have possibly said about you—that you'll never change and there's no point in trying. Despite the conflict you might have because you suffer from addiction's damaging consequences, you may choose to continue to engage in misuse because you believe you can't choose better behavior.
Breaking the Cycle with CBT
Sometimes, you may not even know why you engage in practices you know are bad for you. CBT allows you to explore the deeper triggers and beliefs that may guide you into those poor choices.
When you participate in cognitive behavioral therapy for addiction, you'll take a look at the thoughts and beliefs you have about yourself and others. Often, this deeper look at how your perceptions lead to dangerous behaviors reveals inaccurate and negative thoughts you've heaped on yourself. As you consistently look at these thoughts and feelings that trigger you to make poor choices within the boundaries of CBT, you're able to see how you're actually sabotaging your own success.
That realization allows you to then begin looking at how you can change those thoughts and beliefs and make wiser, healthier choices instead.
Does CBT For Addiction Treatment Work?
Studies continue to show CBT's efficacy for addiction treatment, particularly when combined with mindfulness and functional analytic psychotherapy.  As you continually assess your thought patterns and feelings and analyze their effects on your choices, CBT leads you to change your thoughts to more realistic ones that don't automatically default to negatives.
CBT involves rewarding yourself by replacing harmful behaviors with healthier ones (which leads to healthier and happier consequences). Over time, healthier behavior choices become the ones that your body craves automatically. CBT has an excellent track record for creating such thought patterns. It is highly effective in treating depression, anxiety, and other behavioral conditions as well.
Change Your Thinking At Spring Gardens Recovery
We know the struggle against negative thoughts can be challenging, and that's why we work alongside you as you battle them. At Spring Gardens Recovery, we believe in holistic healing that includes pet therapy, massage, music therapy, meditation, yoga, and more. With CBT for addiction treatment, we work with you to get to the root of your motivational thoughts. Our goal is to help you work toward healthier thoughts that lead you back to a life of sobriety. If you're ready to make the change from stinking thinking to positive action, contact us today.
Samantha Nettleton, CCTP, CMHIMP is the Chief Operating Officer and Clinical Director for Spring Gardens Recovery. After completing and receiving her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Human Services (Concentrations in Mental Health & Addiction Counseling), she became licensed for the State of Florida as a Mental Health Counselor. She has also been a recovery coach since 2012. Samantha specializes in Trauma, Personality Disorders, Substance Abuse, Process Addictions, and Other Mental Health Disorders.