What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?
Strong clinical evidence supports Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) as an effective therapeutic approach when treating addiction. For this reason, we use CBT approaches and interventions throughout the treatment curriculum at MARR.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a therapeutic approach that involves teaching clients to employ strategies to address unhelpful, faulty, and self-sabotaging thinking and behavioral patterns. To replace these, we support our clients in building real-world skills. For example, clients learn to process difficult emotions, maintain a consistent schedule, participate in community life, ask for help when necessary, live within a budget, and seek to help others, to name a few.
How MARR Uses CBT
Some of the main components of treatment at MARR that use CBT techniques include:
- The First Step Exercise
- The Life Story Exercise
- Relapse Prevention Groups
- Anger Management Groups
- Process Groups
- Individual Therapy
Misperceptions of reality play a central role in allowing the addictive process to continue. For this reason, CBT is particularly effective in treating addiction. Above all, CBT skills give the person an opportunity to see a fuller picture of what happened, what is happening, and what is possible.
Benefits of CBT After Treatment
By challenging persistent thought and behavior patterns, the person learns to act differently in triggering situations. We refer to these moments as “emotionally corrective experiences.” In other words, the person discovers alternative ways to respond to life. Therefore, they no longer need to automatically react in unhelpful ways that eventually lead to relapse. Similarly, they get to see that they are not fated to repeat the same destructive patterns.
All of these exercises involve disrupting harmful thoughts and behaviors associated with addiction at various stages in the process. In addition, they provide the opportunity to recognize and challenge the unconscious patterns, shame-based beliefs, and seemingly “automatic reactions” that have kept them trapped in addiction.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy provides a toolkit that the client can continue to use throughout the rest of his or her life as emotional and behavioral difficulties continue to emerge.