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Those looking for non 12-step addiction treatment online have undoubtedly found information about cognitive behavioral therapy for addiction. What is cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and how can it help people struggling with substance abuse? The idea behind this method of psychiatric treatment is that overcoming problems with addiction and avoiding relapse involves more than simply abstaining from drugs. Sobriety is a process of identifying your triggers and barriers and changing your thoughts before you find yourself deep inside old unhealthy behaviors.
thinking through what we are doing instead of doing things on ‘auto-pilot’
Before you understand why many non 12-step treatment centers are adamant about using CBT, you need the definition. This form of therapy underlines the importance of making active decisions based on how we feel and not making automated decisions, which means thinking through what we are doing instead of doing things on autopilot.
CBT is a short-term approach that focuses on recognizing specific patterns of behavior and situations. Once a person begins to slow down and think before they act, they can start understanding why they are likely to engage in certain behaviors. When people are capable of identifying problematic situations, they are then able to avoid them altogether or deal with them appropriately if avoidance is not an option.
Cognitive behavioral therapy is not an easily identifiable distinct therapeutic technique. Instead, CBT has become an overarching term for a number of comparable therapies. These include:
When applied correctly with proper supervision, and a counselor who can convey the importance of identifying problems before they arise, it has proven to be very promising for treatment approaches like drug and alcohol rehabilitation.
Cognitive behavioral therapy goes beyond the concept of drug abuse, and aims to get to the underlying cause of why someone initially began to abuse alcohol or drugs. What is the cause that drove this person to this behavior? One of the major differences between traditional recovery concepts and non 12-step addiction recovery is how it looks at addiction as a serious problem that is the result of underlying issues. It means that the addict in recovery has to make changes in his or her life and understand how to exchange the destructive behavior for positive behavior in the future.
The two components that comprise cognitive behavioral therapy are, skills training and functional analysis.
Skills training – During skills training the individual begins unlearning old destructive behaviors that led to addiction. It is not just about avoiding destructive behaviors, but also about finding new, healthy ways to replace them. Some interpersonal and intrapersonal factors that may cause someone to struggle with addiction include:
Functional analysis – During this time, the individual works with his or her counselor to identify any feelings, thoughts and circumstances they experienced before, during, or after he or she abused drugs or alcohol. By focusing on the build-up and aftermath instead of just looking at the actual use alone, it helps the person understand their choices and risky behavior. This will help prevent a relapse once the person leaves drug or alcohol rehabilitation. This type of functional analysis is essential, especially early on in recovery when a relapse can occur rather quickly. It also helps them understand why they turned to drug abuse in the first place. Again, this is an essential part of non 12-step recovery; helping people understand their triggers and root causes can be liberating.
When using CBT as part of a non 12-step drug rehab program, there are a few factors that set it apart from other programs.
Cognitive behavioral therapy used for addiction is and evidence-based treatment that can help people overcome substance abuse. If you or someone you know struggles with dependence issues, CBT could be the necessary part of the puzzle to recover from dependence. If you want to know more about this treatment method or alternative recovery options, we can help. Call our professional counselors today and get started on the right path.