Cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT, is a form of psychotherapy that examines the interaction between thoughts, feelings and behavior. It was developed in the 1960s by Dr. Aaron Beck, a psychiatrist who noticed a distinct connection between his patients’ thoughts and feelings. By exploring a person’s patterns of thinking that can lead to self-destructive behaviors, as well as the beliefs that help direct those thoughts, CBT helps those with mental health disorders and substance abuse modify their patterns of thinking and build healthier coping skills.

There are different types of CBT, including Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), and Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT). With CBT, the therapist and patient actively work toward recovery from mental health issues and addiction. CBT also works well in conjunction with other treatment approaches.

To learn more about cognitive behavioral therapy at Lucida, Call 844-874-8503

Disorders Treated With CBT

Initially used as a treatment for depression, CBT has emerged as an effective, evidence-based treatment for those suffering from a number of different disorders, including:

  • Addiction or substance abuse
  • Anger
  • Anxiety
  • Chronic pain
  • Eating disorders
  • Mood disorders
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder
  • Panic disorder
  • Phobias
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Relationship problems
  • Sleep problems
  • Social anxiety disorder

Studies show that CBT actually changes brain activity in people with mental illness who receive this therapy. This suggests that the brain functions better as a result of CBT.

How CBT Treats Addiction and Mental Illness

Here are some of the ways that CBT helps clients at Lucida Treatment Center:

When used as a treatment for substance abuse, CBT helps clients identify their dysfunctional beliefs about drugs and alcohol. It also aids in building new coping skills (instead of relying on drugs and alcohol to feel better) and managing cravings and triggers. CBT helps enhance motivation and a willingness to stick with treatment and is an important part of relapse prevention planning.

Clients who participate in cognitive behavioral therapy for anxiety learn how their thoughts contribute to anxiety symptoms. The behavioral component helps change the way the client reacts to anxiety-provoking situations. With CBT, the client learns how to gradually confront and tolerate stressful situations in a safe and controlled environment. Finally, CBT teaches men and women with anxiety techniques to reduce or stop the destructive behaviors that result from anxiety.

Clients who participate in cognitive behavioral therapy for depression learn how to change maladaptive thinking patterns as they relate to mood and behavioral problems. CBT helps them challenge thinking patterns and beliefs and replace them with more effective thoughts. In addition, CBT helps depressed men and women develop coping skills, such as distraction, imagery, motivational affirmations, and minimizing self-defeating thoughts.

Cognitive behavioral therapy is also used to treat men and women with PTSD. CBT helps them challenge thinking patterns related to guilt and shame. CBT also helps these clients reconceptualize the traumatic event.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy at Lucida

At Lucida Treatment Center, CBT is one of the approaches we use to help you recover from addiction and mental health disorders. The theory behind the therapy is that by changing your thoughts and feelings, you can start to reformulate the way you respond. A CBT therapist will help you understand how your thought processes help or hinder how you handle emotional problems, view situations or act.

Someone struggling with depression, for example, may harbor the belief that she is worthless. This significantly impacts what she thinks and how she reacts in various situations. As a result of such negative thoughts, she may remain aloof and guarded in relationships, seeing the negative in everything and everyone, and the erroneous negative beliefs are reinforced.

With CBT, the therapist may begin by having the client take a look at her past and ferret out all the ways, however minor, that she has excelled. This serves to challenge the validity of the client’s underlying negative belief. The therapist would then likely ask the client to come up with a list of potential reasons for problems in her life, many of which are related to factors outside of her control.

In CBT, clients are encouraged to monitor thoughts that pop into their heads (called automatic thoughts) and write them down. This allows the therapist and client to search for patterns that can cause negative thoughts, which then lead to negative feelings and self-destructive behaviors.

This is an important decision. Call 844-874-8503 today to find out if Lucida is the right choice for you or your loved one.

This entry was posted on January 30, 2014 and modified on May 2, 2019
Editorial Staff

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Editorial Staff