Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Substance Abuse
Treating substance abuse and addiction requires individuals to reflect and change the way they think about themselves, their relationships, and their life.
At Amethyst Recovery Center in Port St. Lucie, Florida, we offer many addiction therapy services, including cognitive-behavioral therapy to help you deal with the mental effects of substance use and develop healthy thought processes. We believe this level of care provides the best outcomes and helps people who come to us achieve happier lives and long-lasting recovery.
What is Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)?
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a type of psychotherapy that focuses on identifying negative thought patterns and behaviors and replacing them with positive ones. This goal-oriented approach emphasizes the connection between thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. The goal of CBT is to help develop skills to cope with and overcome problems by changing negative thoughts and behavior patterns to positive thoughts and behaviors.
CBT is used to treat a variety of mental health conditions, including substance use disorders. When people become dependent on a substance, they often develop maladaptive thinking patterns which contribute to continuing and worsening substance use. The use of CBT in addiction treatment helps create effective techniques for coping. It also reduces the risk of relapse.
Benefits of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Substance Abuse
The main benefit of cognitive-behavioral therapy for substance abuse is that it works to treat addiction and prevent relapse. Other benefits include:
- Teaches how to modify negative thoughts: This challenges thoughts that contribute to drug and alcohol use. Changing these thoughts strengthens recovery and reduces the risk of relapse.
- Develops effective coping techniques: This helps manage cravings to use substances. CBT teaches ways to distract from urges to drink or use drugs.
- Addresses co-occurring mental health conditions: It’s not uncommon for mental health issues to coincide with substance abuse, but CBT can treat other mental health conditions while treating addiction. Addressing an individual’s addiction and mental health issues at the same time proves to be more effective in treating each.
- Builds problem-solving skills: These are important for managing situations in life after treatment. The ability to find solutions helps navigate social situations, stress, and other issues without turning to drugs or alcohol.
- Encourages self-reflection: This is important because it encourages individuals to take an active role in their recovery and develop a stronger sense of responsibility.
- Adapts to individual needs: Since CBT is flexible, it’s a great treatment option for any individual, and can meet their unique needs and goals for recovery.
Everyone’s recovery is different but the goal of treatment is the same; overcoming addiction and developing skills to live a sober life. Our approach involves medical detox, inpatient rehab, and a variety of therapies to resolve the individual’s substance abuse problem at its root. CBT offers many personal benefits and helps us reach our goal to empower anyone who comes to Amethyst Recovery to free themselves from addiction.
What Does Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy Treat?
Cognitive-behavioral therapy treats a wide range of mental health conditions. There’s a strong correlation between addiction and mental health. So it’s important to find a treatment center that understands the link. Since mental health relies heavily on thought patterns and beliefs an individual has, CBT can be used to treat many emotional and mental problems. We offer dual-diagnosis at Amethyst, which helps treat co-occurring disorders, such as substance use disorder and other mental health disorders.
Common psychiatric disorders that CBT is effective in treating include:
- Bipolar Disorder
- Substance use disorders
- Eating disorders
How Does CBT Work?
Cognitive-behavioral therapy is a collaborative approach that works by encouraging the individual’s participation in treatment. A CBT therapist works with their client to develop a personalized treatment plan and provides support and guidance throughout the entire process.
CBT follows some basic steps, including; assessment, education, identification, behavior modification, and practice. In the first session, a therapist and their client identify the problem and discuss goals for treatment.
A CBT therapist asks questions about the individual’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors to have a better understanding of the problem. Then they teach their client about the connection between thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, including how these contribute to the issue the client is experiencing. After this, therapy focuses on identifying negative thought patterns and modifying them to develop positive coping strategies.
The CBT process relies on the individual’s participation in their healing, so the last step is practicing what is taught in therapy. Individuals learn to recognize when their thoughts are negative and may contribute to an issue and can perform new behaviors to challenge those thoughts until the negative ones are gone or less frequently occurring. It’s essential to apply the lessons of therapy in everyday life so that positive thought patterns and modified behaviors become more instinctual.
Goals of CBT
The ultimate goal of CBT is for the individual receiving treatment to understand their way of thinking and behaving and use this to change maladaptive cognitive and behavioral patterns. CBT provides all the training and tools needed to challenge thought processes and adapt behavior.
In addiction treatment, CBT can help individuals:
- Identify triggers and high-risk situations for substance use
- Develop coping strategies to manage cravings and urges to use drugs or alcohol
- Learn how to manage negative emotions without turning to substances
- Develop skills to improve communication and relationships with others
- Address any underlying mental health conditions that may be contributing to their addiction
Cognitive behavioral therapists use special techniques to treat individuals in addiction recovery. These techniques include exercises that can be used long after treatment to manage maladaptive thoughts and behaviors in everyday circumstances. Therapists use these techniques to modify an individual’s brain and make it a natural response to think and behave in a positive way that supports their recovery.
Here are examples of CBT techniques that substance abuse treatment may include:
- Thought records: For this exercise individuals challenge their negative thoughts and look for evidence that may support or disprove thought thoughts. Doing this helps them recognize truths about themselves. Often the thought record exercise also creates a better balance between critical thoughts and positive ones.
- Behavioral experiments: This technique uses the contrast between negative and positive thoughts to determine which is most effective for changing behavior. Everyone is different, so this exercise helps recognize what will work best for the individual; reinforcement or criticism. Some respond better to self-criticism than to self-kindness.
- Activity schedule: In this exercise, an individual creates a list with their therapist of fun activities that they can perform throughout the week. These activities provide a break from routine and encourage positive emotions and behavior. This is also an easy practice to replicate outside of therapy and use in everyday life.
- Imagery-based exposure: This exercise uses a negative memory associated with an individual’s substance use and requires them to remember details of the sight, sounds, emotions, and thoughts in the memory. Revisiting a memory and being exposed to the way it made them feel can help reduce anxiety. This exercise may also help identify better-coping strategies.
Is Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Substance Abuse Covered By Insurance
CBT is psychotherapy and will be covered by insurance if the plan covers psychotherapy or behavioral medicine. Health insurance often covers at least a few visits with a therapist and group therapy. The level of coverage depends on the individual’s plan and insurance provider.
How To Pay For Substance Abuse Treatment
The cost of treatment can be a barrier to recovery, but the good news is that health insurance typically covers rehab–either fully or partially. Substance use can result in serious health problems so health insurance plans often include coverage for addiction treatment.
Rehab centers typically offer payment plans so that treatment doesn’t create a large financial burden. People can also get personal loans if needed to pay for treatment.
Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Substance Abuse at Amethyst Recovery Can Help
At Amethyst Recovery we know that everyone’s struggle with substance abuse is different and their treatment should be too. That’s why we offer levels of care with many treatment options so you can customize your care.
Our behavioral therapies are evidence-based approaches for treating substance use disorders. This includes CBT. Cognitive-behavioral therapy pairs well with our treatments such as medical detox, and inpatient rehab. It also supports the work you do in other programs such as the 12 Steps, group, and family therapy.
If you want to change your life and get sober, you can do it with the help of our team at our luxury rehab facility. Call us today to learn more about how we will help you achieve lasting sobriety.
Whether you or your family member is struggling with addiction, you are not alone in this journey. Explore our expansive addiction resources, including our guides for teens, parents, and spouses, as well as relatable recovery stories from Amethyst Alumni.
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