Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) for addiction is a very common treatment. CBT is one of the most common forms of therapy that rehab centers provide. Unless you ask for an alternative or holistic form of therapy, you’ll probably receive CBT in rehab.
But does CBT actually work for addiction? Many recovering addicts have had mixed results. In this article we’ll explore the use of cognitive-behavioral therapy for addiction.
What Is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?
CBT is a form of talk therapy. This type of therapy remains popular after more than a century of use. As the name implies, CBT is a cognitive, or mental, practice.
The goal of CBT is to identify problem behaviors and their causes. By figuring out what causes unhealthy behavior patterns, you develop the ability to change these behaviors.
Does Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Addiction Work?
CBT is a very popular form of therapy at rehab centers. It allows recovering drug users to understand their behaviors and their causes. They learn to understand why they began using drugs in the first place.
Once they understand the original, underlying cause of their addiction, they develop the ability to move forward. Understanding the root cause is the first step. After this, drug users move forward by adjusting behaviors.
- Many drug users find that their substance abuse stems from an emotional or mental health problem.
- CBT helps drug users identify issues like trauma, emotional repression, depression, and anxiety.
- Once these issues are identified, therapists help drug users chip away at these mental health problems.
- As the mental health issues are eliminated, most people find drugs much less tempting.
The process of CBT is similar for most people, though the content and individual experience differ greatly from person to person.
Does CBT Always Work?
CBT is not flawless, though it does often work.
One issue that many people find with CBT is the fact that it only addresses the mental aspect of addiction. This is especially important for trauma-based addiction.
Research reveals that the mind is not the only place to store trauma. The body also holds onto trauma. CBT does not address the physical, or somatic, aspects of trauma.
For this, many people prefer to use holistic treatments like somato-emotional repatterning or biofeedback. These therapies engage both the mind and body, allowing the recovering drug user to pinpoint the physical and mental components of their addictions.
Many believe that CBT combined with holistic treatments is the most effective way to treat addiction. Holistic treatments help to engage the mind and body while CBT helps to reprogram the mind and develop new behaviors.
CBT is also useful for helping people develop healthier coping mechanisms. Additionally, they can learn to manage emotional triggers.
CBT is a useful form of therapy that helps many drug users on the road to recovery. It is most effective for helping drug users identify unhealthy behavior patterns and change them into more productive behaviors.
If you or a loved one are struggling with an addiction, don’t hesitate to seek a therapist.