Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Successful treatment of addiction disorders requires drastic changes to negative and destructive thinking patterns that clients often cannot change by themselves. One way Serenity Now, CMHC therapists assist clients in overcoming addictive behaviors and thought processes is by employing a mental health therapy technique called cognitive-behavioral therapy.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is the most popular form of psychotherapy because it is so successful at correcting maladaptive thinking patterns and behaviors resulting from self-defeating thought processes. People suffering from mental health disorders and addiction disorders are just as “addicted” to negative thoughts as they are to a substance or behavior.
For example, clients coming to Serenity Now, CMHC may begin a Cognitive Behavioral Therapy session by telling a therapist that are worthless and will never amount to anything. Using cognitive behavioral methodology, the therapist will challenge this perception by carefully showing how negative beliefs about the self and others are not based on fact but are instead, assumptions perpetuated by years of adhering to thinking patterns highly resistant to change.
Clients involved in CBT will be asked to write down their random thoughts throughout the day to expose the paradigm and patterns shaping their beliefs. Therapists will then sit down with the patient to explore the origin, meaning and falseness of these thoughts to further address and remove addiction behaviors fostered by these self-destructive thoughts.
The most significant difference between standard psychotherapy techniques and cognitive-behavioral therapy involves the establishment of a time frame prior to the onset of the sessions. The open-endedness of psychotherapy “stream of conscious” talk means that therapy could potentially continue for years, or until the root of negative psychological issues have been effectively explored and resolved.
Alternately, CBT operates from the assertion that each patient is fully capable of understanding and acquiring a necessary set of skills within a pre-established period of time, usually between three and six months. For this reason, cognitive behavioral therapy integrates well with other addiction treatment programs, especially a 12-step program that emphasizes self-motivated recovery and acquisition of life management skills.
Finally, cognitive behavioral therapy is considered a highly flexible form of psychotherapy that all clients can readily adapt to and appreciate for its straightforward manner of approaching addiction and mental illness. It can be used in an outpatient setting, as well as individual and group therapy sessions.