If you or someone you care about is considering getting professional help for a mental health issue, such as a substance use disorder, you might have heard that cognitive-behavioral therapy is a typical form of treatment. But what is cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) in the first place?
According to the National Association for Mental Illness (NAMI), CBT is a form of psychotherapy wherein the patient and therapist work together to help the patient recover from mental illness issues. Patients going to CBT sessions can expect their therapist to be problem-focused and goal-directed. Because CBT is an active intervention, patients can also expect to do homework and practice skills they’ve learned outside of sessions.
What Is Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy?
What is CBT? More than anything, CBT is known as a form of psychological treatment that’s been demonstrated to be effective for a range of mental issues–including addiction, anxiety, depression, eating disorders, and marital problems. Research shows that CBT treatment can significantly improve patients’ functioning and quality of life.
CBT is based on some core principles, including:
- Mental problems are based partly on faulty or unhelpful ways of thinking.
- Mental problems are based partly on learned patterns of unhelpful behavior.
- People suffering from mental problems can learn better methods for coping, thereby becoming more effective in their lives.
What Is the Purpose of CBT in Addiction Treatment Programs?
Ever since CBT was classified as mental health counseling in the 1960s, it’s been used to address problematic thoughts and feelings. It’s currently part of most, if not all, addiction treatment programs.
CBT teaches clients in addiction treatment to find connections between their feelings, thoughts, and actions and increase their awareness of how these elements and connections impact recovery. This type of therapy shows patients that many harmful actions and emotions are not logical or rational and that these feelings and behaviors may come from past experiences or environments. When a patient understands why they feel or act a certain way — and how these lead to substance use — they are better equipped to recover from addiction.
Cognitive-behavioral therapists help patients to identify their negative “automatic thoughts.” These thoughts are based on impulse and often come from misconceptions and internalized feelings of fear and self-doubt. Often, self-medication through addiction is the way patients have blocked these painful thoughts and feelings. By continually revisiting painful memories, patients can reduce the pain caused by them. They can then learn new and positive behaviors to replace their misuse of addictive substances.
Can You Find Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy Specialists in Los Angeles?
Finding the right therapist can often be a lengthy and challenging process, whether you’re looking for professionals that can offer cognitive-behavioral therapy in Los Angeles or elsewhere in the United States. However, some people may not know where to begin.
Determining the right kind of therapist can be difficult, especially if you attempt to research their credentials, qualifications, and successful outcomes yourself. It’s best to ask your doctor, or even better, an addiction treatment center you trust for recommendations.
It’s worth noting that if you’re looking for CBT options for someone recovering from addiction, and they are already in an addiction therapy program, they may already have CBT sessions in their program schedule.
Ready To Learn More About Avedis Recovery’s CBT Options in Los Angeles?
Looking for addiction treatment programs that include cognitive-behavioral therapy in Los Angeles? Do not wait to get professional help for you or a loved one battling addiction or mental health issues. Contact Avedis Recovery by calling 833.514.0579 or reaching out to our team online.