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Utilizing CBT Techniques for Addiction

two woman sit outside and are discussing how cbt techniques have helped them in their addiction journey

Treating addiction requires using the best evidence-based therapies that can help you understand what’s led to the addiction and how to start healing. One of those therapies can be cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), which is a proven effective treatment for addiction and mental health issues. Evoke Wellness at Waltham offers cognitive-behavioral therapy in Waltham, MA, to help you address the challenges you face. Contact us today by calling 866.276.1920. We are here to support you in your recovery.

Understanding Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy 

Cognitive-behavioral therapy is a goal-oriented and structured type of talk therapy. Mental health professionals rely on it for the treatment of all manner of conditions, including addiction. It’s one of the most commonly used therapeutic strategies.

CBT has several core principles that guide patients into understanding where the problem lies:

  • Psychological issues are partly based on problematic patterns of thinking
  • Psychological issues are partly based on problematic core beliefs
  • Psychological issues are partly based on patterns of unhelpful behavior
  • People struggling with mental health concerns can find better ways to cope

When you participate in this type of behavioral therapy for addiction, you get a chance to recognize your negative thought patterns so that you can start making changes to the way you think. You can also learn how your thoughts impact your moods and then your actions. Most of the time, CBT takes place under a limited number of sessions. It relies on a question-and-answer format that allows your therapist to help you gain new perspectives.

Behavioral Therapy for Addiction: CBT Techniques

Automatic negative thoughts can be at the root of many psychological issues, including addiction. With CBT, you can learn to dismiss insecurities and false beliefs that might have led to substance use. You also gain new self-help tools to manage your mood better.

CBT offers the chance to learn how to manage triggers. First, it teaches you how to recognize those triggers so you know what could lead you to use drugs or alcohol. You then learn how to remove yourself from triggering situations. It’s possible to use CBT to alleviate thoughts and emotions that lead to substance abuse.

CBT Techniques

During addiction treatment, you can be exposed to a few different types of exercises and techniques. One of these is to keep thought records. Thought records allow you to examine negative thought patterns while looking for evidence that proves or disproves those thoughts. The aim of thought records is to help make your thoughts less harsh.

CBT techniques also include imagery-based exposure. In this kind of exercise, you have to think of a memory that calls up very powerful negative emotions. You can then focus on every sight, sound, and thought that you had during that moment. By visiting painful memories regularly, you can start experiencing less anxiety from them.

Behavioral experiments allow you to contrast negative thoughts with positive ones to test which one helps you change your behavior most effectively. For instance, some people respond better to self-criticism, while others do better with self-kindness.

CBT also teaches you how to put together a pleasant activity schedule. This schedule should include activities that you enjoy doing that you spread out across the week to break up your daily routines. The activities have to be simple and encourage positive emotions.

Call Evoke Wellness at Waltham Today to Begin Addiction Treatment

Negative thought patterns can impact your mood and your actions, making it more likely that you turn to drugs or alcohol to manage uncomfortable and distressing emotions.

If you’re battling a substance use disorder, the team at Evoke Wellness at Waltham offers a range of treatment programs that can help you address the underlying cause of the addiction. This will help you get on the path to sobriety. Reach out to us at Evoke Wellness at Waltham by calling 866.276.1920 or contacting us online with any of your questions.