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How is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Used to Treat Addiction

CBT is an approach used to deal with substance abuse. It starts with the assumption that faulty thinking patterns are the addict‘s real problem.

When it comes to dealing with addiction problems there are a number of treatment options available; cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is one of these options. This approach is often used for treating mental health problems like anxiety and depression; there are also reports that it can work well with tackling addiction to alcohol and drugs. There is also a lot of interest surrounding the use of cognitive behavior therapy to treat those with dual diagnosis (people who are addicts but also have another mental health problem as well).

What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?

Cognitive behavioral therapy works on the assumption that problems like addiction are due to learning bad behaviors; outside environmental factors like people and places are not viewed as the real problem. If the behavior has been learned, then the assumption is that it can be unlearned as well. It is called cognitive therapy because of the view that people behave as they do because of their thoughts and if their thinking can be altered then so will their behavior. Addicts have learned negative thought patterns that have led to them becoming trapped in substance abuse. In other words, the addict can be helped to change the way they think about drugs or alcohol and that this will lead to them escaping addiction.
The aim of cognitive behavioral therapy is to teach the addict new patterns of thinking in regards to their addictions. The purpose here is for the recovering addict to recognize those situations that are likely to lead to drinking or using and to avoid these situations. It is also important that the individual recognises the triggers that keep them trapped in addiction. If the addict can understand these triggers then they should be able to deal with them differently.

Is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy a Good Choice for Addicts?

Cognitive behavioral therapy is one of the many approaches that are available to treat addiction to alcohol or drugs. All the main approaches have proved successful in treating some addicts but none have proved successful in treating all. This is why there are now many treatment facilities that use a combination of approaches in order to get the best possible result.

Cognitive behavioral therapy seems to work well as a treatment option for some addicts. It is based on the idea that changing the addict’s patterns of thinking will change their addictive behaviors. It is now common for this approach to be used alongside other approaches or as a single approach.