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Cognitive Behavioral Therapy As A Way Of Dealing With Addiction 

January 10, 2020 • Kelly Montgomery


The availability of drugs, narcotics, cigarettes, and alcohol all over the world has made it easier for many individuals to suffer from addiction. When a person becomes addicted or dependent on certain substances or items, it becomes difficult on his part to quit it. However, this does not indicate that it is not possible at all. With proper guidance and assistance of a professional therapist, the said individual may be cured of addiction.   


What Is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy? 

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is among the many forms of psychotherapy treatment. From the name itself, it can be implied that it focuses on looking into the behavior or pattern of the person involved. The primary goal is to change the manner of thinking or expression of a particular individual so that he can get over an addiction, depression, relationship problems, and other mental health issues.  

“Since a high percentage of people we see in our practice are dealing with some form of anxiety (social anxiety, health or illness anxiety, OCD, panic, etc.), being able to gently challenge people to face their fears and develop new ways of relating to their own thoughts is a central part of the work,” Martin Hsia, PsyD, says. “CBT gives us the tools to encourage people to do something highly unpleasant: confront the things they have been avoiding.”


How Does It Work? 


Only a therapist can perform the techniques and methods under the cognitive-behavioral therapy approach. The length of the professional engagement by a patient and therapist depends on the severity of the mental condition of the former. It can be for five months up to ten months or even longer.  

The person who is suffering from addiction is required to attend the sessions, which are usually scheduled once a week. During the sessions, the therapist will help the individual examine the different cognitive processes and how it affects the way a person acts or behaves. 

Ben Martin, PsyD, added, “During this time, the client and therapist are work together to understand what the problems are and develop new strategies for tackling them. CBT introduces patients to a set of principles that they can apply whenever they need to, and that’ll last them a lifetime.”


Is It Important? 

 Over the years, cognitive behavioral therapy has proven to be an effective way of making a person recover from his addictive disorder. At the same time, this form or method of treatment is also useful for preventing any relapse for a recovering individual. Because of this, it is proper to conclude that CBT or cognitive behavioral therapy is indeed essential when it comes to dealing with the mental problems or conditions of several people.  


Do You Need It? 


 If you believe that you need professional help to get over an addiction, then CBT is probably perfect for you. Quitting from the use of drugs or narcotics is difficult, most importantly if you find comfort in doing it. However, it is now time to regain the clarity of your life. Be sure to find the right therapist who could make you understand why you are addicted to prohibited substances. At the same time, let that professional know that you are more than willing to participate in the sessions. 

“Given that CBT can be a more direct and practical style of therapy, it may not feel helpful for someone seeking that kind of deep, relational work. Having said that, many skilled therapists who practice CBT are very flexible with their approach, and can adjust to meet the needs of a variety of clients,” wrote licensed clinical therapist Ryan Howes, PhD, ABPP.

When it comes to therapies, the first thing that you need to be aware of is the fact that it only works if you will cooperate. You cannot expect the therapist to do all the work. Instead, make an effort to show up during the scheduled sessions. Moreover, try to be honest at all times whenever you are communicating with your therapist. As long as you know how to find the right professional therapist who specialized in cognitive behavioral therapy, then you are good to go. 


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