Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

What does Cognitive Behavioral Therapy mean?  It is a structured, present-oriented psychotherapy, directed toward solving current problems and changing dysfunctional, inaccurate and/or unhelpful thinking and behavior. This technique addresses that there are behaviors that cannot be controlled through rational thought, but rather emerge based on prior conditioning from the individual’s environment and other external and/or internal stimuli. In other words the theory is that our thoughts cause our feelings and behaviors, not outside things such as other people, the environment or different situations.

CBT is based on the scientifically supported assumption that most emotional and behavioral reactions are learned.  There are two main goals of CBT. One is to help an addict unlearn their unwanted reactions.  The second is to teach an individual a new way to react, one that is constructive not destructive, with good clear communication.

This approach has been successful for many do to the fact that this allows an individual to be at cause over there addiction rather than powerless.  A person can work on changing themselves and deal with life in a new way (without the use of substances); even though external factors have not changed.  This puts the individual in a position to decide how to react to situations, and how they want to live their life.

When CBT is applied to addiction treatment it seems to yield longer-term results.   Rather than addiction being a compulsive disease that you have no power over, the individual recognizes that there is behavior that is destructive and harmful to themselves and others but that the power of choice lies within the individual to choose a different set of behavior.