Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) can be used to treat substance use issues and mental illnesses alike. CBT was originally developed in the psychiatric community as a way to treat depression. However, studies and patient success soon demonstrated that it could be used effectively in a broad range of other applications, including as a successful treatment for anxiety, psychosis, and trauma. At Zelus Recovery, cognitive-behavioral therapy is one of the cornerstones of our teen and young adult addiction treatment program.
If you or a teen or young adult in your life is struggling with alcohol or substance use issues, don’t hesitate. Reach out to the team of addiction specialists using our secure online form today or call us at 208.518.0797.
How Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy Helps
CBT focuses on the connection between thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. By addressing these areas, an individual battling addiction is given the tools to achieve greater health and balance– an important step on the road to recovery.
Young people suffering from addiction also tend to struggle with mental and psychological issues that fuel and underpin their addictive behaviors. Low self-esteem, anxiety, and depression are rampant in this population. Cognitive-behavioral therapy attacks these issues at the root, helping young people understand their thoughts and behaviors and giving them the time, space, and advice they need to modify them.
Negative self-assessment and nihilistic view of the world around us can give individuals a negative perception of life in general. Those who abuse substances tend to see things as being very black-and-white in this sense. They also overgeneralize in defeat, dwell only on negatives, and disqualify the positives.
By talking through these issues with a therapist who specializes in these issues, teens and young adults who undergo cognitive-behavioral therapy learn that addiction is a disease that is similar to other diseases. It affects the chemistry of the brain and is not a moral shortcoming or cause for negative self-assessment. CBT allows patients to identify the causes of their addictive behaviors, but also to move past those quickly and focus on strategies for recovery that will allow them to move into the future happy, healthy, and drug- and alcohol-free.
Co-Occurring Conditions of Dual Diagnosis
As we have noted, in the late 1980s, CBT helped people undergoing depression treatment. Now, these therapeutic methods help treat co-occurring conditions, including both the addiction and underlying mental illness. Overall, the mental illnesses co-occurring with addiction include but are not limited to:
- Major depression
- Anxiety disorders
- Trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Bipolar disorder
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
This list is far from exhaustive. The fact of the matter, however, is that many people fall into addiction as a way of self-medicating mental issues like the ones above. This creates a cycle of addiction in which the sufferer medicates to avoid the pain brought about by the mental condition, but then the alcohol or drug abuse allows their mental well-being to deteriorate further.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy addresses these issues directly and allows our specialists to treat the co-occurring disorders simultaneously so that the patient can get the tools they need to achieve lasting recovery.
What to Expect from CBT
Your CBT sessions help you learn healthy coping skills for the future. You learn how to reduce stress, improve your behaviors, and increase your well-being.
Your CBT sessions include one-on-one time with an addiction therapist. This individual will teach you about substance abuse, support your addiction recovery, and help you reach your goals. CBT sessions last under an hour and focus on the negative aspects of the week prior. The therapist challenges your negative thoughts and beliefs and helps you learn positive coping mechanisms.
CBT does not work in a vacuum. However, with the right combination of treatment modalities, it can allow patients struggling with addiction a clear path to avoiding relapse and achieving genuine recovery from alcohol and substance use disorders.
Learn More About CBT at Zelus Recovery
If the teen or young adult in your life needs addiction treatment, Zelus Recovery in Meridian, Idaho, is here to help. Zelus Recovery treats young adults and teens from Boise, Nampa, Eagle, Meridian, and other areas.