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Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is an evidence-based type of psychological treatment that is based on restructuring destructive ways of thinking, behaving and coping with problems in life. This treatment focuses on changing the negative thought patterns that are causing problematic issues to crop up, such as drug or alcohol abuse. Negative thought processes also have a damaging effect on mood, which can precipitate substance use. CBT helps identify and change distorted ways of thinking, emotional feelings and certain behaviors.
During CBT sessions, you and your therapist will become more aware of specific situations in your life that have troubled you. You’ll focus on one event at a time to sort out your physical responses, thoughts and emotions to the issues. You’ll work on identifying the kinds of negative thinking that have led to distorted feelings and behaviors in life. Moving to more positive thinking patterns will help you reprogram your behavior patterns through CBT.
Through CBT, you’ll learn that you can take more positive control over the ways you deal with and consider things within your own environment. You will engage in healthier ways of thinking as you make the connections between your thoughts, emotions and behaviors. This increased awareness of how your thought patterns work will positively impact your recovery. CBT provides you with self-help tools to lift mood, increase self-esteem, teach you more effective communication skills and clear your mind of negative, distorted thoughts that can lead to substance use.