Addiction is a disease that is very complicated to treat. Along with the actual addiction comes a host of psychological disorders that vary depending on the addict and the substance of choice. The symptoms addicts suffer will vary, and so should the treatment approach in order to address the unique needs of each addict. Cognitive behavior therapy, though not a specific form of psychotherapy, is an approach that can help addicts dig up deep-seated issues that may be the cause of their addiction. It will delve into the mind of an addict in which the root cause of his or her compulsion may be concealed.
Cognitive behavior therapy is based on the principle that our minds control our actions, not external factors. It gives importance to thought, and is rooted in the belief that what one feels and how one acts is controlled by it. It is a general term that classifies various therapies with certain similarities. There are a number of psychotherapies that fall under the classification of cognitive behavior therapy:
- Rational living therapy
- Rational behavior therapy
- Dialectic behavior therapy
- Rational emotive behavior therapy
- Cognitive therapy
These psychotherapies are similar in that they all focus on the thought process and how it affects one’s actions and emotions. Also, cognitive behavior therapies possess the following characteristics:
- They are a collaborative effort between the addict and therapist.
In cognitive behavior therapy, the therapist asks what an addict wants and determines goals and objectives based on these specific requirements. A plan of action is discussed by both the addict and therapist.
- They are based on the Cognitive Model of Emotional Response.
This model posits that addicts can get better by changing the way they think, even if their current situation does not.
- They are not focused on interpersonal relationships.
Developing healthy relationships is, of course, beneficial for addicts; however, this is not relevant in cognitive behavior therapy. Addicts change for the better through learning to change their manner of thinking and acting upon this learning.
- They are structured and objective.
Cognitive behavior therapy sets specific objectives and tasks. Each therapy session has a specified agenda, and addicts are taught techniques and concepts that will help them modify their thought processes.
- They are based on an educational model.
Cognitive behavior therapy is based on the principle that emotions and behaviors are learned. The goal of therapy is for addicts to unlearn unwanted behavior and learn new ones that will benefit them during treatment and rehabilitation.
Cognitive behavior therapy aims to equip addicts with the necessary will power that will enable them to return to society and lead productive, fulfilling lives. Combined with detox, counseling, and aftercare solutions, it will help addicts achieve their goal of sobriety in no time.