Imagine trying to kill a weed by plucking off its leaves.
That’s what happens when you try to treat a heroin addiction by going to detox for a week and then coming home. The root of the problem is still there.
Now imagine putting on a good pair of gardening gloves and digging deep. That’s what cognitive behavioral therapy is.
Here’s a slightly more technical definition, courtesy of the National Alliance on Mental Illness:
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) focuses on exploring relationships among a person’s thoughts, feelings and behaviors. During CBT a therapist will actively work with a person to uncover unhealthy patterns of thought and how they may be causing self-destructive behaviors and beliefs.
CBT for Heroin Abuse
So how might CBT look, practically speaking, in relation to heroin addiction?
It might start with examining why you started—and continued—using heroin. Was it to escape reality for a bit? For the euphoric effects? Or perhaps it simply became part of a relationship you were in.
Next, you’ll likely start to learn some new skills, including dealing with challenging situations, avoiding triggers and learning new coping techniques.
CBT typically lasts 12-16 weeks. You won’t be endlessly examining your childhood for years on end. And you won’t be talking in vague terms about psychological concepts. (That would be like going to a gardening seminar about weeds, to continue our earlier analogy.)
Instead, you’ll learn practical, everyday skills. In fact, you’ll even be assigned homework to do between sessions that will reinforce those skills.
In short, you’ll be coming up with a concrete plan to manage your addiction—and vastly improve your life.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in Colorado
At The Raleigh House, we have a team of trained therapists who will work with your loved one in both individual and group therapy sessions. The goal isn’t just to get off heroin—it’s to build a full and meaningful life. Fill out our form or contact us today to learn more about the heroin addiction treatment program at The Raleigh House.