Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Individual therapy sessions are a cornerstone of our rehabilitation programs at The Family Place. No matter where you are in your recovery journey, there are ways that therapy can help you resolve issues and improve the effectiveness of treatment. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is one of the most commonly used forms of psychotherapy. CBT aims to help you decrease and manage symptoms of substance use disorder (SUD) and related conditions.

What Is Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy?

CBT looks at the connections between how you feel and act by highlighting the cause of unhealthy thoughts and behaviors. The Family Place uses CBT in individual and group therapy sessions. The primary focus of CBT is to reveal root issues that may be causing you to react in specific ways. Once you understand how your thoughts can translate into behaviors, it becomes easier to change your routines. CBT improves the following skills:

  • Communication 
  • Emotion processing 
  • Social interactions 
  • Ability to cope with stress



Researchers have repeatedly proven that this form of therapy works well as a treatment resource for individuals recovering from the effects of substance use disorder. According to research published in The Psychiatric Clinics of North America, “Evidence from numerous large scale trials and quantitative reviews supports the efficacy of CBT for alcohol and drug use disorders.” CBT can provide emotional relief and increase self-efficacy, self-awareness, and self-confidence in clients who struggle with co-occurring mood disorders. 

Treating for Self-Medicating SUDs

The underlying cause of addictive behaviors can include one or more traumas and chronic or acute stressors. We believe that past traumas contribute to the development of SUDs. The Family Place treats these issues using several evidence-based methods, including CBT. Common risk factors for trauma responses include: 

  • Family history of substance misuse or mental health disorders 
  • Childhood trauma 
  • Domestic abuse 
  • Surviving a life-threatening illness or injury 
  • Personal history of substance misuse or co-occurring disorders 

Individuals struggling with substance misuse often sacrifice their happiness and the integrity of their relationships to escape painful thoughts, memories, and sensations that can accompany trauma. Self-medicating by misusing alcohol, prescription medications, or illicit drugs does nothing to heal the original wound. Many people misuse substances as a form of self-medicating to cope with the following: 

  • Chronic and daily stressors 
  • Symptoms of mood disorders 
  • Chronic physical pain, injury, or illness 
  • Social pressures and relationship issues 
  • Emotional distress 
  • Traumatic triggers

You are not alone if you use maladaptive behaviors to escape the pain caused by past experiences. The Family Place incorporates a trauma-focused approach to care in all of our programs, and every client attends trauma therapy as part of their comprehensive rehabilitation program. CBT is often used during those sessions to reveal the cause of behaviors and retrain your mind and body to react in a healthier way to stress. 

CBT Promotes Healthy Changes 

Your mental health directly affects your physical health and ability to cope with everyday situations. Psychotherapy and alternative therapies make it easier to navigate the process of making lifestyle changes designed to decrease the risk of relapse and improve quality of life. CBT promotes a healthier mindset by doing the following: 

  • Providing insight into reactions 
  • Normalizing healthy behaviors 
  • Revealing unconscious biases and thought patterns 

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) reported that “Individuals in CBT learn to identify and correct problematic behaviors by applying a range of different skills that can be used to stop drug abuse and to address a range of other problems that often co-occur with it.” You will learn helpful techniques that assist you with achieving and maintaining long-term sobriety. Group and individual CBT sessions can also enhance the effects of other treatments. 

What to Expect During a Session 

We personalize each treatment plan to ensure our clients have the best outcome possible. No two therapy sessions look the same because every case is unique. However, the core principles and therapy techniques used in CBT include: 

  • Talk therapy 
  • Exposure therapy
  • Emotion recognition and processing 
  • Cognitive reframing 
  • Stress reduction exercises

We encourage clients undergoing treatment to attend various group and individual therapy sessions to ensure they get the most out of their rehabilitation experience. Therapists use multiple therapeutic tools during CBT, including:

  • Active listening 
  • Storytelling 
  • Mindfulness 
  • Deep breathing and relaxation exercises 
  • Grounding techniques 
  • Roleplaying 

Benefits of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy 

According to the previously mentioned article in The Psychiatric Clinics of North America, individuals undergoing “treatment for SUDs [benefit] from the use of a regular structure, including agenda-setting, identification of goals, and the assignment and review of homework.” The skills you learn in CBT will translate to other areas of your life, improving your relationships and giving you coping techniques to overcome challenges, including: 

  • Triggers 
  • Cravings 
  • Intrusive thoughts 
  • Unhealthy routines and habits
  • Long-held negative beliefs 

CBT decreases your risk of developing mental health disorders or relapsing after treatment. The benefits can last a lifetime. Many people in recovery choose to continue attending individual CBT sessions after transitioning out of rehabilitation.

Aftercare and Continuing Therapy 

Your case manager at The Family Place will provide you referrals to medical clinics and therapist offices to ensure you can attend individual therapy if you require additional support. Your mental health is essential to continued sobriety. We will help you create a plan for continuing care and ensure you have a strong support system to help you manage and maintain independent sobriety. Many people continue attending cognitive-behavioral therapy for months or years after the start of treatment to address all underlying issues that affect their recovery.

You can move forward and increase your self-confidence using cognitive-behavioral therapy. The Family Place offers a wide range of therapeutic services and resources to ensure you have access to the necessary support. You can learn more about our treatment services and levels of care by calling us today. Speak with a trained intake specialist by calling 1-800-501-7796.

There is hope and now is the time, Call today

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