There are countless numbers of different psychological treatments. However, only some therapies, like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), have demonstrated repeated clinical success over multiple decades. Since it’s introduction in the 1960s, CBT has become one of the most popular forms of therapy in the world. Originally designed to treat clinical depression, CBT’s success has made it useful in treating several other mental disorders including eating disorders, OCD, and drug addiction.
At Discovery Transitions in Los Angeles, California, our certified counselors and staff successfully apply the principles of CBT to all patients to help them deal with difficult emotions, strengthen relapse prevention, and learn to correct past behaviors that lead to addiction like alcoholism or drug addiction. CBT is founded on the idea that changing the way you think will change your outcomes. In addition, research suggests CBT leads to a happy life of sobriety.
History of CBT and How it Helps Addiction
CBT is a primary treatment method for addiction. It also treats co-occurring disorders like:
- Attention Deficit Disorder
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
The Development of CBT
CBT was first developed in the 1960s by the University of Pennsylvania Psychiatrist Dr. Aaron Beck to help treat the thought processes behind major depression. When Beck began his research, psychiatry was dominated by Freud’s psychoanalytic theories that mental disorders are caused by the subconscious. In psychoanalytic theory, feelings, urges, and desires are discussed during talk therapy as treatment.
Beck found one major flaw in psychoanalysis to treat depression – everything about it is wrong. During the research, Beck found that depression rose not from the subconscious, but on dysfunctional thought patterns and negative emotions.
According to Beck, depressed patients tended to fixate on negative thought patterns and had great trouble replacing them with more positive thinking. Instead of straight-talk therapy, Beck encouraged his patients to recognize those negative thoughts while they’re happening and how to replace them with constructive beliefs. After several sessions, Beck noticed his patients participating in this new therapy felt better, functioned better, had fewer episodes of major depression, and were able to view the world differently.
The term CBT comes from Beck’s process of recognizing negative thought patterns (cognitive factor) and converting them to new more constructive thoughts and actions (the behavior.)
CBT in Addiction Treatment
Since its inception, CBT has grown to treat several types of mental health issues including substance abuse treatment. Since CBT is based on the belief that the individual has the power to make positive changes in their life, it can be used to empower patients using these methods:
- Gives the sufferer simple effective tools to change their negative thought patterns
- Helps strengthen confidence and sense of self-determination
- Helps visualize the future with a positive attitude instead of fear
- Can help sufferer develop stronger and more trusting relationships
- Teaches practical approaches for relapse prevention
- Helps teach the importance and fun of sober activities over substance abuse
Principles of CBT
According to the principles of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, triggers don’t cause relapse and other issues, but the way an addict or alcoholic responds to triggers does. Patients at Discovery Transitions can use these principles to help address risky situations. Even when the going gets rough CBT can teach you to:
- Talk yourself through the negative consequences of drug use
- Help you find sober activities to replace drug use
- Help find holistic and safe ways to manage stress and cravings
- Learn to communicate your needs to others and reach out when you’re feeling vulnerable
- Learn how to avoid situations and people that could lead users back to drug use
With the skills learned in CBT, you can strengthen your communication skills, learn how to ask for help, and learn to flip negative thoughts to create a healthier and improved you.
How Discovery Transitions Applies CBT
CBT is incredibly versatile. In addition to treating numerous drug addiction and mental health issues, CBT can be woven into several types of therapy like family counseling, relapse prevention, one-on-one counseling, and group therapy. Because CBT focuses on practical ways to fix everyday negativity and thoughts, most undergoing CBT therapy will see immediate changes.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is useful in many different functions for addiction treatment. The tools taught during CBT are applied to keeping a job, managing finances, and other daily tasks and stressors.
We use CBT at Discovery Transitions because it works. There have been countless clinical studies that demonstrate CBT’s ability to drastically increase a person’s chance of making it through long-term recovery. CBT can help change your mindset from “I’m worthless, I might as well do drugs,” to “I’m a worthwhile person, and don’t need the negativity that drug abuse brings.”
Starting a CBT Journey at Discovery Transitions
We use Cognitive Behavioral Therapy every day to give our patients a new lease on life and we can do the same for you no matter what type of mental hang-ups or substance abuse disorders you suffer from. Call Discovery Transitions today to speak with a representative and see how CBT can help with your substance abuse treatment. We are based in the Los Angeles area, call us today and begin your journey in recovery.