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What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)?

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Washington State drug rehab facilities use a variety of treatments to help patients overcome addiction. There may be medication to combat some of the physical effects of the disease. There are also a number of different therapeutic modalities that can help people get well. One of those treatments is cognitive behavioral therapy.

Cognitive behavioral therapy, better known as CBT, is an effective addiction treatment. This article explains what CBT is and how it works in Washington State drug rehab.

What is CBT?

CBT is a short-term, goal-oriented psychotherapy treatment that takes a hands-on, practical approach to problem-solving. The theory is that your actions up to and including drug abuse are learned behaviors. While drug abuse also has a genetic and physical component, CBT espouses that drug addiction is also a behavior, and behaviors can be changed.

CBT is a process of first identifying what thinking, feelings, and decisions led to the addictive behavior. It teaches you to recognize these attitudes when they occur. Then the therapy seeks to replace those behaviors with more positive actions that lead you away from the addiction instead of toward it.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse suggests that CBT was developed originally to work with alcohol abuse patients. CBT became an effective treatment for these disorders. Later, the therapy was applied to cocaine addicts with a high measure of success. The Institute suggests that the therapy works to “correct problematic behaviors by applying a range of different skills that can be used to stop drug abuse and to address a range of other problems that often co-occur with it.”

CBT focuses on negative thought patterns or dysfunctional assumptions that lead to problematic behaviors. It tackles automatic thought patterns or the “voice in your head” that tells you that you are no good, or not worth anything, or any other criticisms that happen in your internal dialogues and lead you to self-harm. These thoughts are going on constantly and are sometimes hard to articulate and respond to. CBT works to ferret out these negative thoughts and confront them, then change the addiction-seeking behaviors that are the result.

CBT works as a therapeutic approach in Washington State drug rehab because it seeks to help you understand the underlying causes of your addictive behaviors while applying behavioral changes that help you self-monitor situations that lead to drug abuse. The therapy retrains your behavior patterns in order to break old habits – in this case, the cycle of addiction.

This therapeutic approach combines traditional psychotherapy, which focuses on thoughts and feelings, along with behavioral therapy, which changes how you act. This therapy is effective for complex substance abuse issues because it is rooted in science, medicine, and a deep understanding of how emotions affect behavior.

If you or any of your loved ones are struggling with addiction, Washington State drug rehab may be the first step toward confronting the inner turmoil that led to the abuse of drugs or alcohol. To learn more about admissions, contact us today!

Medical Disclaimer: The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.