kathy ireland® Recovery Centers

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

A meta-analysis review published in Cognitive Therapy and Research describes cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) as “arguably the most widely studied form of psychotherapy.” Decades of research show that CBT is a highly effective method for treating various conditions, including substance use disorders (SUDs) and dual diagnoses.

Therapists use cognitive behavioral therapy for individual and group therapy when treating individuals recovering from a SUD. Cognitive-behavioral therapy usually takes less time to show positive results when compared to other forms of talk therapy. CBT is highly effective in treating common co-occurring disorders, including the following:

  • Some forms of SUD
  • Anxiety and panic disorders
  • Depression
  • Somatoform disorders
  • Personality disorders
  • Stress management

The efficiency of CBT makes it ideal for short-term treatments like detox and withdrawal stabilization programs. CBT therapists work under the assumption that the majority of maladaptive behaviors have a cognitive source that can be identified and altered to create healthy changes to behaviors and thought patterns.

How We Use CBT to Help You

The versatility of CBT makes it an excellent tool for rehabilitation because everyone comes into treatment with varying symptoms, mindsets, and behavioral issues. Cognitive-behavioral therapy can provide stress reduction and assist with increasing self-awareness and self-efficacy. The more you understand the reasons behind your thoughts and actions, the easier it will be to replace them with healthier alternatives. CBT is used in all of our facilities to assist our clients with the following:

  • Gaining insight into aspects of mental health
  • Exploring and practicing healthy coping mechanisms
  • Learning essential skills to aid with emotion processing
  • Increasing resiliency and self-awareness

Not everyone will respond to CBT the same way. For some substance use disorders, like opioid use disorder (OUD), we may suggest motivational interviewing (MI), contingency management (CM), or other psychotherapies. However, the vast majority of individuals will benefit from CBT as a form of therapy. Some demographics are more likely to respond positively to CBT. For example, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs states that “Veterans who complete CBT-SUD [Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Substance Use Disorder] often find they are better at: managing cravings and urges to use; feel more skilled at solving problems; and feel more committed to making and maintaining changes in substance use.”

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Combining Therapy Methods for SUD Treatment

The Psychiatric Clinics of North America published work stating that CBT has often been proven effective as a combination treatment for substance use disorders. We use CBT together with other traditional and alternative therapies to provide relief and support during the recovery process. Our clinical team often use both group and individual therapy sessions that include aspects of cognitive-behavioral therapy.

Sometimes cognitive behavioral therapy is used to treat mood disorders when prescription medications could potentially cause complications with recovery. Some of our locations offer prescription medication for symptoms like depression alongside CBT to enhance the effects of the therapy.

How We Use CBT in Group and Individual Therapy

CBT is a form of talk therapy that facilitates quick and effective changes by rooting out the causes of unwanted thought patterns and replacing them with healthier ones. A paper written by researchers at Boston University stated that “CBT for substance use disorders includes several distinct interventions, either combined or used in isolation, many of which can be administered in both individual and group formats.” The advantages of using cognitive-behavioral therapy include greater self-awareness and increased confidence in mental and physical recovery. The different forms of CBT include numerous activities that can be done by a group or in one-on-one sessions. For example, groups that include CBT often incorporate:

  • Exercises including active roleplay
  • Modeling or demonstrations
  • Peer discussions

Individual CBT may also feature similar activities alongside various “homework” assignments from the therapist, including journaling or trying out new ways of thinking about specific topics. In both individual and group therapy, the goal of CBT is to provide you with hope, motivation, and the necessary skills to cope with cravings and uncomfortable symptoms.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

How CBT Can Improve Your Treatment Outcome

A paper published in the British Journal of Clinical Psychology stated that “self-report studies show that negative emotional states and ineffective use of emotion regulation strategies are key maintaining factors of substance use disorders (SUDs).” CBT provides one way to lower the risk of relapse or returning to old behavioral patterns by providing information and tools necessary to process and regulate emotions.

The outcome of programs aimed toward treating SUDs relies heavily on how you process past, present, and potential future circumstances surrounding addiction and recovery. Some of the benefits of cognitive behavioral therapy include:

  • Increased self-esteem
  • A better understanding of SUDs and mental health symptoms
  • Decreased risk of developing anxiety or depression
  • Lower stress levels
  • Non-judgemental encouragement and hope for positive change

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy and Aftercare Services

Although CBT is often used for shorter periods with excellent results, some individuals may need to continue attending cognitive-behavioral therapy or other forms of talk therapy after completing our program. Transitioning to different levels of care can destabilize some individuals, and we want to ensure that every client feels safe and comfortable through each step of the recovery process. Your case manager will provide you with resources to additional programs or local doctor and therapist offices where you can continue to get psychological treatment if needed.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is an efficient and effective tool for facilitating healthy changes in individuals receiving treatment for substance use disorders (SUDs).

All kathy ireland® Recovery Centers locations offer the choice of CBT and we often use it in combination with other therapeutic tools. To learn more about our services or specific treatments, please reach out to by calling us today: (603) 619-1132.

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