I believe recovery from substance abuse starts with compassion and understanding. Addiction is an ugly disease and it affects more than just the individual, it affects family and loved ones as well. Just being abstinent from a mind-altering substance is not enough to change a person’s life around from the destructiveness of addiction. Changing thought patterns, behaviors and developing new coping strategies are also key components for a life in recovery.
Cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT, is a short-term therapy technique that can help people find new ways to behave by changing their thought patterns.
Engaging with CBT can help people reduce stress, cope with complicated relationships, deal with grief, and face many other common life challenges. CBT works on the basis that the way we think and interpret life’s events affects how we behave and, ultimately, how we feel. Studies have shown that it is useful in many situations. More specifically, CBT is a problem-specific, goal-oriented approach that needs the individual’s active involvement to succeed. It focuses on their present-day challenges, thoughts, and behaviors. It is also time-limited, meaning the person knows when a course will end, and they have some idea what to expect. Often, a course will consist of 20 one-to-one sessions, but this is not always the case. It can also take the form of either individual or group sessions.
CBT is a collaborative therapy, requiring the individual and counselor to work together. CBT is a form of psychotherapy that focuses on how a person’s thoughts, beliefs, and attitudes affect their feelings and behaviors. The APA note that CBT is based on a number of beliefs, including the following:
Unhelpful ways that people think can lead to psychological problems.
Practitioners base CBT on the theory that problems arise from the meanings people give to events, as well as the events themselves. Unhelpful thoughts can make it difficult for a person to function confidently in different situations.
CBT can have a positive impact on how people feel and act and equip them with coping strategies that help them deal with challenges.