How CBT Can Help Addiction Recovery

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If you or a loved one is struggling with drug or alcohol abuse, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a powerful recovery tool. One study found that 60% of people who attended CBT remained sober for at least 52 weeks after therapy.1

What is CBT?

CBT is not a stand-alone treatment for people with substance abuse disorders (SUDs). Instead, it is an evidence-based therapy used with other types of treatment. The use of various therapies to treat SUDs is called a “whole person” approach.

A Brief History of CBT

CBT was developed by American psychologists Albert Ellis and Aaron T. Beck. In 1955, Ellis developed Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) and Beck developed cognitive therapy. A blending of these ideas is the foundation of modern CBT.

Cognition Defined

Cognition is a term that refers to the processes of:

  • Thinking
  • Reasoning
  • Understanding
  • Problem-solving
  • Judging

People with substance use disorders tend to have negative, harmful thinking. Many of these individuals do not even realize how their thought patterns can cause harm. Changing harmful thought patterns is important for recovery. CBT helps people identify self-defeating cognitive processes that are major parts of addiction.

Why is CBT Effective?

CBT is an effective treatment for substance abuse as well as other mental health issues. It:

  • Helps individuals recognize their ability to change thier ways of thinking.
  • Helps people control upsetting emotions and harmful behaviors.
  • Encourages individuals to stay in the present moment.
  • Helps people focus on their problems (rather than push them away by using drugs or alcohol)
  • Encourages the development of goals.

It is effective because it is highly focused and done in short spans of time. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy sessions can run for 30, 45 or 90 days, which fits well into most addiction rehab stays. CBT quickly focuses on changing the client’s substance use thoughts and behaviors. It does this by developing alternative thought patterns and behavior skills as part of an integrated treatment plan.

How Does CBT Work?

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is provided in group and/or individual therapy sessions.

CBT skills are helpful, practical, and useful that can be easily integrated into a client’s everyday life.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy helps participants develop coping skills to handle potential situations or things that can create stress. It also addresses how to handle difficulties that happen after addiction treatment.

Where Can I Find CBT?

The team at Everlast Recovery are experienced in CBT for drug and alcohol treatment. Our dedicated and compassionate clinical staff provides many treatment options. We develop an individualized treatment plan for you or your loved one. Treatment at Everlast helps make the positive changes needed to live an addiction-free life. Call 866-338-6925 today to get started on your recovery journey.



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