Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Addiction

Recovering from an alcohol or drug addiction is more than just sobriety. Recovery is an active process of bettering oneself and correcting problematic behaviors. Without this bettering and correcting, a person may be more prone to relapsing during times of distress.

This is why clients who enroll in our Dallas Rehab at Riverwalk Ranch receive various forms of therapy. Any effective and comprehensive addiction treatment program will leverage what is called Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT).

CBT is beneficial for substance use disorders as it addresses fundamental mental health issues related to drug and alcohol use.

What is Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy?

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy is arguably the most popular form of psychotherapy (also known as “talk therapy”) that focuses on patterns of a person’s cognition and behaviors. It is established on the theory that our feelings, thoughts, and behaviors are related. And, by improving our functioning in one area, the others improve as well.

It’s one of the most studied forms of psychotherapy and has consistently proven its effectiveness for a variety of mental health problems including substance use disorders, depression, anxiety disorders, personality disorders, psychotic disorders, eating disorders, etc. In many cases, CBT has proven to be even more effective than psychiatric medications.

It is based on four several core principles, according to the American Psychological Association:

  • Psychological problems are partially based on defective ways of thinking.
  • Psychological problems are partially based on unhelpful learned behaviors.
  • Learning healthy, helpful coping habits can relieve psychological problems.

man engaging in cbt with woman therapist

What Does Cognitive Therapy Involve?

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy involves a therapist and a client talking together to identify the client’s unhelpful patterns of thinking and behavior. Then, they discuss how these thoughts and behaviors impact the client’s feelings. After an understanding is developed, the therapist may establish exercises and strategies to practice.

CBT can successfully be given in individual, group, or couples settings. CBT interventions and strategies often include:

  • Keeping track of thoughts, feelings, and behaviors
  • Setting realistic goals
  • Learning problem-solving strategies
  • Learning stress and anxiety management techniques
  • Identifying and challenging pessimistic or distorted thoughts
  • Identifying situations that bring about unwanted feelings and facing them
  • Establishing behaviors that work through unwanted feelings
  • Establishing a greater sense of confidence in oneself
  • Role-playing to prepare for problematic situations
  • Engaging in enjoyable activities

Types of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive-behavioral therapy comes in a range of different forms and approaches. Many different psychotherapies have stemmed from CBT theories.

CBT has been used in the form of:

  • Activity Guided CBT
  • Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)
  • Exposure and Response Prevention (E/RP)
  • Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
  • Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT)
  • Motivational Interviewing (MI)
  • Motivational Enhancement Therapy
  • Prolonged Exposure Therapy (PE)
  • Relapse Prevention (RP)
  • Stress Inoculation Training
  • And More

How Long Does CBT Take to Work?

Typically, the more cognitive-behavioral therapy sessions, the better, but CBT is generally a short-term therapy. The average person receiving CBT may take anywhere from five to 20 sessions.

CBT usually takes a few sessions to start showing progress. Though, significant improvement usually takes anywhere from 12 to 16 therapy sessions. People with more severe psychological problems might need anywhere from 24 to 48 sessions of CBT.

The idea is that a therapist can help you identify problems and establish corrections. The patient may be able to approach their life better after that has been effectively done. However long that takes is unique to each person.

Using CBT for Addiction and Substance Use Disorders

At Riverwalk Ranch’s Drug and Alcohol Rehab in Dallas, our addiction specialists and therapists start identifying problematic thoughts, language, and behaviors as soon as our patients walk through our doors. Because we are so familiar with substance abuse and addictions, we’ve been able to quickly identify which factors are related to one’s drug or alcohol usage.

As we identify specific behaviors and get to know a patient’s thought patterns, we set up achievable goals and exercises for them to follow. We do this in both a group setting and a one-on-one setting throughout treatment.

Perhaps the most critical type of CBT we offer is relapse prevention. In relapse prevention, the patient works with the therapist to identify triggers and situations that make a person want to use drugs or alcohol. This not only helps the patient avoid relapse, but helps with cravings as well.

Another crucial part of CBT is healing underlying problems that indirectly relate to one’s substance abuse—for example, coping with depression, anxiety, and fears can improve one’s mental health, lowering the need for the crutch of drugs or alcohol.

And, with CBT, patients can learn to live a happier, more fulfilling life. That’s where the real recovery is, and that’s where we want our patients to be.

Get Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in Dallas

Call Riverwalk Ranch if you or a loved one has been struggling with substance abuse or addiction. Our Drug and Alcohol Rehab in Dallas provide premium care for addictions of all types.

We offer a comprehensive continuum of care that delivers additional effective treatments in conjunction with cognitive-behavioral therapy. Our plans are flexible and can be built around what you need — whether its residential inpatient treatment or an outpatient treatment schedule.

For more information on what Riverwalk Ranch can do for you, call 877-863-3869 or visit our Treatment Programs page.



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