Since the first behavioral therapies were developed early in the last century, psychologists have understood that negative, unhealthy, or destructive behaviors can be changed by shifting the thoughts, beliefs, and emotions that underlie human behavior. Behavioral therapy was originally developed for mental health diagnoses, but it has been established as being highly effective for addiction as well. When there are co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders, behavioral therapies are also highly productive approaches. One of the most common behavioral therapies used in addiction treatment is cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT).
If you are thinking about starting your recovery and interested in learning about the benefits of behavioral therapy, the cognitive-behavioral therapy program at Pennsylvania Adult & Teen Challenge (PAATC), and how CBT for addiction can change your life, reach out today to speak to one of our knowledgeable staff members. We can be reached at 844.442.8673 or by simply completing this online form.
What is CBT for Addiction?
CBT counselors help people struggling with addiction by guiding them to recognize how their thoughts directly affect their actions. Most of the time, thoughts are automatic. They are based on beliefs people have about the world and themselves. If your self-belief is one of unworthiness, your actions will reflect that belief. If you believe yourself to be unworthy, act out of that sense, and feel the grief, anguish, and self-hatred that can arise from such a feeling, your chances of turning to a substance increase. Using drugs or alcohol is common as a way to self-medicate and numb these negative emotions.
Behavioral therapies like CBT are also highly effective when there are co-occurring mental health and substance use diagnoses. Whether it’s depression, anxiety, PTSD, bipolar disorder, or any other mental health challenge that has led to or been amplified by addiction, behavioral therapies really work.
There are so many ways that people develop negative or even destructive beliefs about themselves. Childhood experiences such as abuse or neglect, attachment disorders, or even a severe, undiagnosed learning disability can lead to harmful underlying systems of belief that can derail your self-esteem and ability to find balance and wellness.
Some of the beliefs that often underlie poor self-image, mental health challenges, and addiction include:
- No one cares about or supports me
- I’m too needy/damaged/crazy to be happy/fulfilled/okay
- I’m never going to be a success
- No one can ever love me
- I am dumb and have no skills; no wonder I can’t get a job
- Other people/bad luck are keeping me down
- My life is hopeless
- I don’t deserve any better than this
- I will always be a target and a victim
In cognitive-behavioral therapy and other behavioral therapies, these underlying beliefs are examined, understood, and then shifted into something entirely new and supportive of healthy behaviors.
Five Benefits of Behavioral Therapy
Behavioral therapies such as CBT benefit people who struggle with addiction in many ways. For example, behavioral therapy can help people:
- Believe that recovery is possible
- Recognize and avoid triggers such as places, people, and situations associated with drug or alcohol use
- Emotionally self-regulate by identifying the causes of strong emotions and learning skills to cope with stress while staying in control while
- Establish new ways of communicating with loved ones, from a place of strength and honesty
- Achieve lasting sobriety outcomes
Cognitive-behavioral therapy, as well as other behavioral treatment modalities, are evidence-based and established as a best practice for addiction treatment. CBT can be a true game-changer in your quest for sobriety and mental health.
CBT for Addiction at PAATC
If there is anything that is stopping you from seeking help for addiction, let PAATC help you sort through your conflicting thoughts and confusing emotions. With behavioral therapies, you can learn to love and accept yourself and walk the path of recovery with confidence. Call today to discuss the benefits of behavioral therapy and how it can help you on your recovery journey. Our number is 844.442.8673. Our online form is another easy way to connect.