Cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) is a kind of talking therapy that is focused on helping you to see the world, and how you behave in it, clearly and accurately. And it is the only type of therapy that has been proven to be effective in dealing with a range of mental health problems, including anxiety, panic attacks, depression, relationship problems and, yes, addiction.
What is Cognitive Behavior Therapy?
CBT is designed to empower you. You read case histories of how CBT has helped others to change how they think and behave, as well as about how your brain takes in stimuli and interprets it, assigning emotions to happenings. You take notes, do practical homework, and keep records of your progress.
CBT is designed as a practical therapy that should take a limited number of sessions to complete, usually between 12-16 weeks. This structure is empowering as you set concrete goals that you can achieve, within a process that shows you your progress, in a detailed way.
CBT helps you to clearly see how changing your thoughts changes your behavior, and improves how you feel about who are and how you interact with others in your world.
Life is complex and can be confusing; we all need to develop coping skills so that we continue to take good care of ourselves, and others, when turbulence hits. Addiction sometimes develops when coping skills are absent, leaving you desperate for some way to push your problems away.
Effective Cognitive Behavior Therapy Techniques
Let’s look at a couple of fundamental techniques, so you can see how CBT works.
Say you believe that only people who own a far-out car are successful, but you are downsized out of your job and are forced to downscale – the BMW M3 is out and the Volkswagen Golf is in. Cognitive restructuring would mean challenging the validity or truth of your belief you need to have an expensive car to be successful.
Play the Script Until the End
The “play the script until the end” technique is also fundamental to the practice of CBT: Imagine a fear that you have. Perhaps you are worried that you will fail a test. Your therapist might encourage you to play the script until the end, or to project how failing the test would change your life.
You may believe that failing the test will mean that you fail the complete course, which will mean failing to acquire your diploma, which will mean a failure to get a good job, and a life of plodding away at a poor-paying job that you hate. But, in reality, failing the test probably means paying a tutor to help you understand the work, and asking your teacher for some help.
These two examples are but two of the cognitive behavioral therapy techniques for drug addiction that have been proven to help some people change their beliefs and behaviors in life-affirming, positive ways.
If you’d like to learn more, why not speak with a professional therapist at a cognitive behavior therapy treatment center like Beachway Therapy?