Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a highly structured form of psychotherapy. It is most often used to help patients overcome disorders, mental health conditions and anxiety. Today, the therapy forms the bedrock of modern addiction treatment. It is considered to be a highly effective form of therapy, with high success rates and ease of measuring progress for both patients and psychotherapists. Above all, this a highly goal-orientated type of therapy. Patients who respond best to set goals are prime candidates for this type of therapy.
The Three Main Goals Of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Aaron Beck is widely credited as being the founder of cognitive behavioral therapy during the 1960s through his work on the human psyche and the creation of the “automatic negative thought” concept. The automatic negative thought is a concept in which patients experience a trigger and enter the same negative thought pattern over and over again. Inevitably, this leads to self-destructive behavior.
Establishing Problem Solving Skills
Addiction is most often a result of a person’s lack of healthy coping and problem-solving skills. For example, if someone is anxious or stressed they may turn to drugs or alcohol. This can lead to addiction, which comes with a long list of consequences. Cognitive behavioral therapy centers on establishing problem solving skills and showing patients how to cope with their problems in a more positive manner. This does not mean relentless optimism or saying everything is going to be okay. Cognitive behavioral therapy principles promote healthy, objective thought processes. It is also not about ignoring problems; it is about overcoming them in a way that builds up the person rather than delivering them into the same self-destructive cycles.
Adapt And Adjust Negative Thinking Habits
The core focus of cognitive behavioral therapy is changing the negative thinking patterns patients have. Psychotherapists will work to understand how a patient thinks when they are confronted with a stressful or triggering situation. They will then seek to help the patient challenge those thought processes by eliminating factual inconsistencies. For example, someone who suffers from social anxiety may walk down the street and think everyone is talking about them behind their backs.
To an objective observer, this is likely not the case. The therapy will help that social anxiety sufferer to think realistically whenever they are in an environment in which they feel uncomfortable. Patients will be shown how they are able to change these thinking habits and to identify when they slip back into problematic thinking habits.
Getting Back To A Daily Routine
People who are considering entering a cognitive behavioral therapy program are likely struggling to maintain a productive daily routine. Their issues have likely reached the point where they can no longer function at their best on a daily basis. This is especially the case when it comes to people who are suffering from active addictions. The therapy focuses on giving patients the tools they need to return to their daily routines. By changing their thoughts and self-destructive behavior, using that person’s own natural capacity for change, they can reclaim a normal life.
Limitations Of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive behavioral therapy does come with its limitations, however. This is a type of talking therapy, therefore it requires the full cooperation of the patient. A therapist is only there to help and advise. Patients should not undergo cognitive behavioral therapy unless they are fully committed to the program. This is also a highly structured form of therapy. People with more complex mental health needs or those with learning difficulties may find the structured nature of the program to be unsuitable. These programs are intensive and it is advised that the person finds the time necessary to go through the exercises given to them.
For the best results, it is recommended that a person work part-time while in treatment in order to dedicate themselves fully to the program. Cognitive behavioral therapy can be managed while maintaining a full-time job, but it may feel taxing. Finally, the therapy is centered on a person’s natural ability to change their thoughts, feelings, and how they behave. It is not equipped to address wider problems beyond the patient’s control, such as family issues.
Consider Cognitive Behavioral Therapy With Aquila Recovery
Patients who decide cognitive behavioral therapy is the right type of therapy for them can achieve a significant amount of change from these programs. By working together with a qualified psychotherapist, you can alter your thinking patterns and subsequent behaviors. It does require total commitment and the patient will be required to complete a number of exercises outside of their usual sessions.
It is a serious commitment that only yields a result when taken seriously. Aquila Recovery Clinic is an outpatient rehab clinic for individuals suffering from alcohol and drug problems in the Washington, DC area. Contact Aquila Recovery Clinic by phone at 202.618.9125 or schedule a consultation online today.