CBT Techniques for Addiction

The primary goal of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is to teach patients the necessary skills and techniques to control their emotions and internal dialogue in everyday life situations. The therapeutic process aims to equip patients with coping skills. CBT techniques for addiction have proven indispensable in preventing relapse. Addiction is riddled with adverse effects, including health, finances, employment, and interpersonal relationships; cognitive behavioral therapy offers hope for recovery. 

What Are the Goals of CBT Therapy? 

There are three main goals of CBT. These strict goals and practices help patients recover from addiction and avoid future relapse and potential overdose. Cognitive behavioral therapy requires the patient to identify triggers that lead them to abuse substances and practice skills to reduce stress and manage emotions during those situations.

The main goals of CBT are:

  • Recognizing & Establishing Problem-Solving Skills: The patient must identify and define their problem and practice coping methods to avoid temptations or reacting negatively to specific triggers. Avoiding the “all-or-nothing” frame of mind during the process is essential. 
  • Adjust Negative Thinking: How do you adapt and adjust negative thinking habits? You must limit exposure to negative situations that inflict intrusive thoughts. CBT therapy may use stimulus control to practice new, positive behaviors. 
  • Replace Negative with Positive: Cognitive behavioral therapy attempts to modify a client’s thinking and reaction to certain situations. The process is meant to help patients eliminate and replace one behavior with a positive one. 

Here are some suggestions that may replace negative behaviors: 

  • Clean
  • Walk
  • Mediate
  • Journal
  • Read
  • Exercise
  • Cook 
  • Try a new hobby
  • Go into nature 
  • Speak with your support group
  • Call a friend or family member 
  • Learn a new language, skill, or subject

 Practice these skills and behaviors regularly so that when temptation occurs, you will be best prepared to handle it. After a month or two, the new behaviors will become habits, naturally becoming easier as they are ingrained into your new pattern of behavior in once-difficult scenarios. Cognitive behavioral techniques are designed to ensure the goals for long-term sobriety and freedom from mental health struggles are achieved.

CBT Therapy Techniques

Depending on the severity of the addiction and other factors that regard the individual, different techniques are used to help patients recover. The overall goal is to have the patient break maladaptive thought patterns and behaviors and put into practice their new skills.

Some CBT techniques include:

  • Role-playing
  • Journaling
  • Practicing social skills
  • Cognitive restructuring
  • Deep breathing exercises 
  • Muscle relaxation techniques
  • Guided discovery or challenging beliefs
  • Exposure therapy to root out fears
  • Creating scenarios to practice positive behaviors 

Overall, think SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-limited). Therapists will help individuals practice and apply these techniques to reach recovery goals. CBT techniques help with conflict resolution, grief, and substance abuse. CBT may be the right therapy for you if you or a loved one is struggling with addiction.

Recovery at Sunshine Care Centers 

Addiction is one of the most common health conditions in the US. Believe it or not, 1 in 10 Americans will suffer from addiction at some point in their lives. If you or a loved one is ready to tackle mental health concerns or drug or alcohol use disorder, Sunshine Care Centers has your back.

Sunshine Care Centers has a suite of specialists with over 30 years of experience in drug and alcohol rehabilitation to assist you on the road to recovery. Whether in North Texas or Southern California, Sunshine Care Centers offers the highest level of care available. We pride ourselves on our clean, compassionate, and secure environment. We use evidence-based addiction treatment with flexible programs that cater to your needs. 

Don’t wait to receive the help you deserve. 

Speak to a specialist at Sunshine Care Centers by calling 883-597-CARE or message us today! 


Related Readings: 

Feedback Informed Treatment

Children of Addicts