One of the most common types of therapy used in the treatment of mental health disorders is cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). This type of therapy is used to help someone identify the thought patterns that often influence destructive and self-harming behaviors. For example, someone may be trapped in circular thinking that convinces them that they are unworthy of help and love. This is not true and can cause someone to ignore their mental health until it develops into a mental health disorder.
Sometimes our thinking process can hold us back from making healthy changes in our lives. Many people, unfortunately, are not taught how to regulate their emotions and thoughts. It can be difficult to make these changes if we don't know where to begin, or what to do next.
Pathways Wellness Center uses cognitive-behavioral therapy as part of its addiction treatment program. Addiction treatment is not just learning how to live without the addictive substance, drug, or behavior. It's also discovering the source of the addiction. Many times, addictions come from sources of pain, trauma, stress, and underlying co-occurring mental health disorders. Discovering the source is vital in helping someone get the healing they need to achieve recovery. For that, cognitive-behavioral therapy is used alongside other types of therapy.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy is a type of psychotherapy that helps someone understand, identify, and change harmful thinking patterns. Psychotherapy is also known as talk therapy and involves a person speaking to a therapist individually or as part of a group in group therapy. It seems deceptively simple, but cognitive-behavioral therapy involves confronting painful truths, past trauma, and self-destructive thinking. This can be difficult, but the client is aided by a compassionate, and understanding therapist that guides them through the process.
The goal of cognitive-behavioral therapy is threefold:
Many times, we are not conscious of our thinking patterns. Decisions can sometimes come automatically, but they are not always the healthy choice. For example, everyone experiences stress in their lives. Some people choose to cope with their stress by engaging in relaxing activities. Automatically wanting to engage in substance or drug use to relieve stress is not a healthy coping skill. This is harmful thinking, and it can lead to substance use disorder (SUD) and even addiction.
With the help of a therapist, a person can identify these thoughts and understand why they think them. Using the same example as above, that person may realize that they watched their parents engage in substance use to relieve their stress when they were young. As a child, we look to our parents to guide and teach us, and in the end, they were taught an unhealthy coping skill. Once they have identified where their automatic desire to use substances to relieve stress comes from, they can move on to changing these thoughts.
Changing, redirecting, or coping with harmful thoughts and thinking patterns can take time. It requires practice and vigilance, and it takes repeated incidences of mindful thinking to make it stick. The same person who used substances to relieve stress at this stage will learn healthier ways to cope with stress in cognitive-behavioral therapy. For example, they may be taught mindfulness techniques and self-care routines to help them deal with stress without needing to use substances.
Once a person can change their thinking, it helps them become healthier, and more confident people. This confidence and strength is a key part of recovery and helps people make more wholesome choices.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy is most effective for mental health disorders that result from disordered or harmful thinking. Although it can help with life-long mental health disorders, its goal is to help someone achieve recovery to find relief. One such disorder that benefits from cognitive-behavioral therapy is SUD. SUD often has co-occurring mental health disorders that can exasperate symptoms.
Common co-occurring and individual mental health disorders that benefit from cognitive-behavioral therapy are:
Cognitive-behavioral therapy is also used for those struggling with one or more severe phobias. It can also help someone make sense of and heal from trauma and abuse.
To know for sure if cognitive-behavioral therapy is right for you, you must first speak to a mental healthcare professional. Places like Pathways Wellness Center employ compassionate and non-judgmental people who will never belittle or mock you for needing help. Simply contact your local mental health care professional and ask to speak to someone who can evaluate you.
When someone gets evaluated, it means speaking with a mental health care professional about their struggles, worries, or goals. It's important to be honest, even if it's painful, to help them get a better understanding of your needs. They can then recommend what therapies may help you the most, once which can be cognitive-behavioral therapy.
The fact is that just about anyone can benefit from cognitive-behavioral therapy, but not everyone needs an extensive treatment program. Some people can choose to meet with a therapist a few times a month to check in on their mental health and help them cope with any new problems. Others may need to enter a more intensive treatment program, especially if they are struggling with extensive problems, such as lingering trauma and addiction. It depends on the person, but you can trust that a therapist will help you find the right treatment to suit your needs.
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is one of the most commonly used psychotherapies in addiction treatment. This therapy helps someone understand their thoughts and how they can influence their behaviors and emotions. It's vital for treating the source of addiction for an individual, as well as its co-occurring mental health disorders. Here at Pathways Wellness Center in Glendora, California, our clients can expect to receive quality care from our compassionate and understanding staff. We believe in our clients to find the strength within to overcome their struggles. If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, don't despair. Anyone can achieve recovery with the right support, tools, and change. To learn more, call us at (888) 771-0966.