If you’re actively battling addiction, you may already be familiar with strategies treatment centers use to help people in their care. At MFI, we rely on scientifically proven methods to help support clients at all 10 of our Riverside-area treatment facilities. And one, which is admittedly a mouthful, is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). But what is it and why does it work?
What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
PsychCentral.com defines it like this: A short-term, goal-oriented psychotherapy treatment that takes a hands-on, practical approach to problem-solving. Its goal is to change patterns of thinking or behavior that are behind people’s difficulties, and so change the way they feel. It is used to help treat a wide range of issues in a person’s life, from sleeping difficulties or relationship problems, to drug and alcohol abuse or anxiety and depression. CBT works by changing people’s attitudes and their behavior by focusing on the thoughts, images, beliefs and attitudes that are held (a person’s cognitive processes) and how these processes relate to the way a person behaves, as a way of dealing with emotional problems.
Numerous studies suggest that CBT leads to significant improvement in functioning and quality of life. In fact, clinicians have determined it is as effective as, or more effective than many other forms of psychological therapy or psychiatric medications.
The American Psychological Association (APA) boils the therapy down to the following core principles:
1. Psychological problems are based, in part, on faulty or unhelpful ways of thinking and on learned patterns of unhelpful behavior.
2. People suffering from psychological problems can learn how to more effectively cope with problems, thereby relieving symptoms and improving their lives.
Although specific treatments differ depending on the practitioner as well as the affected patient, the therapy usually includes methods for changing destructive thinking patterns. CBT clients learn to:
• Recognizes distorted thinking that has led to problems and reevaluates thoughts in light of reality.
• Gain increased understanding of the behaviors and motivations of others.
• Employ problem-solving skills to cope with difficult situations, people and circumstances.
• Develop confidence is their own abilities.
CBT treatment also incorporates training clients to alter potentially destructive behavioral patterns:
• Facing fears instead of avoiding them.
• Role-playing to prepare for potentially problematic interactions.
• Learning to calm the mind and relax the body.
CBT effectively helps people suffering from a wide range of disorders:
• Eating Disorders
• Emotional Trauma
• Interpersonal Relationship Difficulties
• Medical Illness
• Mental Illness
• Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
• Panic Attacks
• Sexual Disorders
• Sleep Disorders
• Suicidal Thoughts
Pros & Cons
One of the best things about CBT is that there are little to no side effects. The only one that experts note is that some people struggle to make themselves vulnerable by sharing their emotions with professional counselors. But, with so much to gain, why not give it a try? If you struggle with any of the above, or know someone who does, contact MFI Recovery Today (866) 218-4697.
Throughout 10 facilities in Riverside and San Bernardino Counties, we employ the Matrix Model, creating a personalized treatment program for each client. Various modalities can include behavior modification, 12-Step program introduction, cognitive behavioral therapy, and family systems techniques, including the family in group therapy. Treatment options include outpatient and inpatient detox, medication management (if appropriate), group therapy, individual therapy, relapse prevention education, and ongoing support after treatment. To find out more, call (866) 218-4697, or for non-admission related information (951) 683-6596.