Think back to a time when you got a bad grade on a test or received a poor review at work. Whatever the cause was, there’s a certain chill that comes over you once you see the grade or hear the bad news for the first time. Your thoughts start to swirl, and you’re thrown into a state of panic.
Am I going to fail this class? How is this going to impact my graduation? Will I get fired from my job?
These thoughts begin to snowball and soon, you’re left with an overwhelming amount of negative thoughts and feelings about your performance, talents and abilities. This is what is known as a negative automatic thought process.
And unfortunately, this is something that people suffering from addiction often have to deal with. Left unchecked, negative automatic thought processes can fuel addiction and mental health disorders. But that’s where cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for addiction comes into play.
In this post, you’ll learn more about CBT for addiction and the benefits it can provide for those seeking recovery.
What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?
CBT is an approach that helps people identify the negative thought patterns like the ones we mentioned above. From there, CBT works to replace the negative thoughts with new ones that can help foster positive improvement. Unlike some other forms of therapy, CBT takes a more collaborative approach.
The first step of CBT for addiction is to identify the negative thought patterns that influenced your substance abuse. Once you know your triggers, CBT clinicians can help you find a healthier ways to process those thoughts without turning to destructive behaviors like drinking or getting high. The goal of CBT for substance abuse is to help you find more positive ways to cope with your triggers.
4 Benefits of CBT for Substance Abuse
1. Improved Self Esteem
Did you know that low self-esteem is one of the most common underlying factors for addiction? Having a negative self-image can actually make negative automatic thoughts gain momentum. CBT for addiction works to help boost the self-esteem of those suffering from substance abuse.
By identifying negative thought patterns and working on healthier coping strategies, your self-esteem is able to improve. As your self-esteem grows, the desire to engage in destructive behaviors is likely to go down. That’s because part of CBT involves helping you take a more proactive role in solving your problems.
When you see yourself problem solve and achieve success, your self-esteem improves. And as your self-esteem goes up, you’ll trust your judgment more to make better decisions. You’ll also build more self-awareness, allowing you to catch any negative thoughts before they can affect your behavior. Staying aware of your emotions is an effective tool to help you reach lasting recovery.
2. Gradual Progress
Breaking an addiction and negative automatic thought patterns don’t happen overnight. CBT happens in gradual steps, so you can work at your own pace to address the underlying causes of your addiction. Part of what makes CBT so effective for addiction treatment is how it can be tailored around individual needs.
As you are gradually introduced to new concepts, therapists can help you through any steps you’re having trouble with. After all, no two addictions are the same. The gradual progress of CBT lets you work on your recovery in smaller steps. Looking at the entire recovery process can be intimidating. But by gaining confidence one step at a time, CBT can help you increase your chance of reaching lasting recovery.
3. Effective Dual Diagnosis Management
One of the main benefits of CBT for addiction is how effective it can be for treating dual diagnosis conditions. Substance abuse is often accompanied by depression, anxiety or other mental health challenges. And, since both involved negative thought patterns, CBT is an effective method for treating dual diagnosis disorders.
For people with a dual diagnosis disorder, the substance abuse may have started as a way to cope with mental health challenges. But with CBT in addiction treatment, you’re able to identify the root causes of your destructive behaviors and find better ways of managing depression, anxiety or trauma.
4. Development of Positive Thought Patterns and Skills
Recovery from substance abuse can last a lifetime. But so do the positive thought patterns and skills you can learn from CBT. Think of these skills as a safety net that is there to support you when you’re faced with a trigger, craving or negative thought. After going through CBT for addiction, you’ll have a skill set to fall back on that can get your thoughts and behaviors back to a balanced and healthy place.
But the benefits don’t stop there. Being able to identify negative though patterns is a useful skill that applies to many different facets of life. From managing stress to learning how to deal with life’s natural lows, CBT can give you a foundation for a healthier life.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Addiction in Denver
Recovery from substance abuse is about more than just getting clean. At The Raleigh House, we take a whole person approach to addiction recovery. Our cognitive behavioral therapy for addiction works to help you identify the triggers of your substance abuse and help you forge a healthy path forward.
With our expert CBT services in a serene outdoor setting just 15 minutes outside of Denver, recovery is within your reach. Contact our team today to learn more.