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If you’re feeling stressed, you can smoke a joint. Same goes for feelings of boredom, anger and general dissatisfaction with life.
Just like alcohol and other drugs, marijuana offers an escape from unpleasant feelings. But drugs always take more than they give and, with marijuana, the trade-off can be lack of motivation, reduced intellectual functioning, weight gain, lung issues and even addiction.
The good news is that there is a way to deal with your emotions without drugs or alcohol—and cognitive behavioral therapy can help you discover it.
The Benefits of CBT for Marijuana Abuse
So what exactly is cognitive behavioral therapy?
CBT teaches you to recognize unhelpful patterns of thinking and reacting, and modify or replace these with more realistic or helpful ways of thinking.
Before we get into it, let’s talk about what CBT is NOT. It’s not the kind of Freudian psychoanalysis that most people associate with therapy. You won’t be sitting on a coach for years trying to get at the bottom of your subconscious.
Now, let’s talk about how CBT actually does work.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in Practice
Your thoughts and feelings impact your behavior. And your behavior impacts your thoughts and feelings.
And here’s the really important part: If you have feelings you don’t like, you can change them by changing your thoughts or behaviors.
Let that sink in: You don’t need to get high to deal with your feelings. You can change them yourself. As some people say, if you can change your thoughts you can change your life.
Here’s one example: A co-worker walks by you without saying anything in the morning. You could jump to an irrational belief (that he or she is angry with you) and let it launch you into an anxious mood.
Or you guide your thoughts in a more positive way by telling yourself that your co-worker probably just had a bad morning and is in a rush.
The result? You don’t let it worry you and are able to enjoy your day.
Things like that happen all day long. Respond negatively and you’ll feel stressed by the end of the day. Respond positively and you’ll feel good at the end of the day.
You can imagine how this could launch a viscous cycle of feeling bad and using drugs to numb yourself from those feelings.
Cognitive behavioral therapy is a skill you learn, usually in about 12 to 16 weeks, and can then use for the rest of your life to deal with everything from a bad day to a painful divorce.
Marijuana can offer you a loan on good feelings, but that loan always has to be paid back. Cognitive behavioral therapy, on the other hand, is a way to build lasting happiness and a sense of peace.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Addiction in Colorado
At The Raleigh House, we believe in taking a whole-person approach to addiction, including the physical, psychological, mental, social and spiritual aspects of it. When you walk through our doors, our first goal is to make you feel safe and comfortable. You’re then assigned your own master’s level therapist who will work with you to come up with a plan for rehab—and to rebuild your life. Fill out our form or contact us today to learn more about the drug addiction treatment program at The Raleigh House.