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What Is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?

What is cognitive-behavioral therapy? A cognitive-behavioral therapy program treats substance use disorders, mental health disorders, or any combination of the two. The primary goal of cognitive-behavioral therapy, or CBT, is to identify negative thoughts when they happen and to help redirect them in a more positive way. Surprisingly, many people seeking CBT don’t even realize what’s wrong. Rather, these cognitive distortions form in childhood or over a traumatic period of time. As a result, clients regularly experience destructive thoughts that sabotage or disrupt their lives in various ways.

Examples of cognitive distortions that may improve through the use of CBT include:

  • Always expecting the worst to happen
  • Judging people and situations as all good or all bad, with no shades of gray
  • Placing people on pedestals and experiencing extreme disappointment when they fall
  • Making insurmountable mountains out of molehills
  • Believing you’re unlovable, unattractive, or unworthy
  • Feeling like there’s no hope to be had

As a result, CBT is a popular choice for treating the symptoms of depression, drug addiction, bipolar disorder, and more. Through CBT, clients learn to identify wrong patterns of thinking, and they begin seeing the world as a place of opportunity and new beginnings, instead of as a dark, hopeless ordeal to be survived.

What Is Cognitive Therapy Designed to Treat?

Children growing up in homes filled with shameful secrets often learn to use cognitive distortions to survive. They’re not allowed to talk about an alcoholic parent or an abusive uncle, so they begin to believe that nothing they say has value. Therefore, they may decide that not talking at all is better than running the risk of saying the wrong thing.

Survivors of trauma may also develop distorted thinking as a result. For instance, soldiers in combat may begin to feel that there’s no good in anyone, or that nobody is trustworthy. Someone who has witnessed a terrorist act where many people died may begin to feel as though no place is safe and that the future is hopeless as a result.

It’s sad and discouraging to live this way. However, millions of people do just that without realizing exactly why they feel the way they do. CBT is a tool that effectively finds and heals the cognitive distortions that may keep you feeling trapped, unsuccessful, and lonely.

What Is Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy’s Effect On Addiction?

Addiction takes root because of risk factors. In short, two people can use the same drug in the same way, and one will never become addicted while the other one is doomed from the first inhalation, injection, or swallow. Risk factors for addiction include:

  • Aggressive behavior from an early age
  • Experimentation with drugs or alcohol at an early age
  • Lack of parental guidance
  • Poverty
  • Seeing parents, friends, or relatives using drugs or drinking

Children growing up under conditions such as these often experience feelings of low self-esteem, anger, or unworthiness. As a result, to make the internal pain subside, they begin to self-medicate with drugs or alcohol. This, in turn, leads to a substance use disorder. CBT is helpful in alleviating the painful thoughts that make clients want to self-medicate. It can help them replace destructive thoughts with positive goals that are highly attainable. Subsequently, CBT often works best when combined with medication or other forms of therapy as part of an integrated, holistic drug and alcohol treatment approach.

What Is Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy?

Vogue Recovery Center provides luxury drug and alcohol treatment centers in Las Vegas and Phoenix. Through a range of modern therapeutic approaches, including CBT, we help thousands of clients every year detox and recover from substance use disorder. When you’re ready to reach out for help with addiction, call us today at (866) 682-8449. What is cognitive-behavioral therapy? It’s the solution that just might revolutionize your life. Call today for more information.

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