Here at Mountainview Recovery, we work to offer patients effective, evidence-driven therapy opportunities. This is why we implement cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) into each of our treatment program outlines. With this model of therapy, individuals can work to address the underlying causes of addiction as they relate to developed behavioral patterns. This way, behavioral patterns can be adjusted to reflect a healthier lifestyle in recovery.
So, what is cognitive behavioral therapy and how can it help those in treatment? Basically, the goal of this type of therapy model is to address both cognition and behavior as they relate to one another. The idea is that changing self-harming thought patterns can result in behaviors that can better promote health. Thus, helping individuals to better manage moods and emotions throughout recovery. Additionally, rather than the narrative model of client speaking to a therapist, cognitive behavioral sessions are more tuned to skill development. So, during sessions, individuals are prompted to develop coping mechanisms that can help them to establish healthier thought and behavior patterns. This way, they can utilize these new skills to help with relapse triggers or negative emotions once treatment concludes.
The way we think has a lot to do with how we act. During active addiction, individuals often develop self-harming thought patterns that result in self-harming behaviors, i.e. drug abuse. During CBT, the goal is to identify these self-harming thought patterns (cognition) so the resulting behaviors change as well. So, rather than just addressing a drug addict’s behavior, this model of therapy looks at a person’s way of thinking. The results of these changed thought patterns can bring about substantial changes to behaviors.
While CBT therapy is used in a number of settings, it is commonly utilized by addiction specialists. This is because it can bring about a number of benefits to these individuals including:
Individuals struggling with mental health disorders often develop negative thought patterns that result in self-harming behaviors. These negative thought patterns can also go by the term “cognitive distortions”. Individuals living with substance abuse disorder will display a number of thought patterns or cognitive distortions. Confronting these distortions is a major aspect of CBT sessions. These distortions may include:
Blaming: One of the most commonly identified thought patterns of an addict, this is when someone doesn’t take responsibility for their own actions. They may think their addiction is the result of someone else’s behaviors. For example, when a person says they’re displaying addictive behaviors because their parents drank.
Emotional Reasoning: Believing that current emotions are how things are. For example, if a recovering individual feels worthless because of a past of drug abuse, then they must be worthless.
Jumping to Conclusions: Thinking that people are feeling a certain way because of their actions. For example, believing that someone has ill feelings toward you because of something they may have said without asking the individual if it’s the truth.
Magnifying: Exaggerating the negatives of a specific circumstance to fit a specific narrative. For example, believing that tragedy may not have taken place if certain things were said or done.
Minimizing: Under-exaggerating the importance of specific circumstances or situations. For example, undermining one’s own achievements or positive qualities.
If you recognize any of these cognitive distortions and abuse drugs as a way of coping, you may be able to benefit from CBT sessions. During treatment at Mountainview Recovery, we use CBT as a way to address and change negative thought patterns to help individuals gain the healthy coping methods they need to remain sober. With dedication and the right help in your corner, you can change negative thought patterns and develop healthy coping skills. And, establish lasting and long-term recovery from addiction. To learn more about treatment opportunities and therapies here at our North Carolina facility, contact us today!