Drug rehab programs that follow a non-12 step approach work well for patients who have established bad habits and patterns that cause them to live a destructive lifestyle. A cognitive behavioral approach helps them to address the cause of the issues and eliminate the bad habits that led up to their addiction. By addressing these issues, the reason behind the addiction is no longer a threat, making it possible for long-term sobriety. Cognitive behavioral therapy also provides the tools needed to build a solid foundation for complete healing.
What Is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?
Cognitive behavioral therapy involves changing how a person perceives themselves. Negative patterns and behaviors are broken down and new, more positive behaviors are put in their place. This helps to challenge the negative self-image a person has because of a drug addiction or mental illness. Cognitive and behavioral therapy also challenges how the person responds to social stimulation. Also referred to as a psycho-social intervention, cognitive behavioral treatment programs encourage positive behaviors and lifestyle changes that will help a person re-establish healthy habits.
Breaking Old Patterns
When a person begins to use drugs or alcohol to self-medicate or as a coping mechanism, they begin to create destructive patterns that affect their physical, emotional and mental health. As they become more entrenched in the negativity they’ve created, it becomes harder and harder to break those habits. Cognitive behavioral therapy programs challenge the way a person looks at their addiction. The treatment focuses on the cause of the addiction and systematically deals with the issue. Intense counseling that delves into the root of the problem can bring up painful memories that were never fully addressed. Once the patient finds a way to face them, they can eventually be set aside and put in proper perspective.
Creating Positive Lifestyle Changes
As the old, negative patterns are eliminated, newer and more positive patterns and behaviors must be established to take their place. Intense counseling and adventure therapy can provide the patient with the strength and peace of mind they need to handle difficult situations as they arise. Positive lifestyle changes can include:
- Healthy diet and nutritional support
- Regular exercise
- Taking up a hobby or learning a new sport
- Socialization such as a book club or attending social events
Counseling can help the patient establish positive thought patterns they can use to improve mental clarity and re-focus on the positive aspects of their lives. It’s important that the thought patterns and behaviors that are created in counseling be evergreen. Recovery is a long-term process that must begin on a positive foundation.
Building on A Positive Foundation
In order for the patient to embrace long-term recovery with cognitive behavioral therapy, the foundation must be solid. Building a solid, positive foundation means putting negativity aside and looking for the positive aspects of a patient’s life. It may include exploring past trauma to uncover the negative impact the event had on the person’s life. Facing the past, acknowledging the lessons it offers, and then putting things in proper perspective is what cognitive therapy is all about. Instead of embracing the negatives, they are dealt with accordingly so they have no more control over a person’s behaviors or habits.
As recovery progresses, the patient is able to re-visit those experiences without bringing up the negativity that accompanied the event. For successful long-term recovery, a person must remain motivated and positive. Cognitive behavioral treatment options that are used to create positive lifestyle patterns allow for a successful long-term recovery. No one can stay positive all the time. There will be times when depression gets the best of them. It’s part of the recovery process. Learning to take the good with the bad is the goal of any type of recovery program. Even when a person experiences something negative, their response is the best barometer as to how they are handling the situation. With cognitive behavioral therapy, the individualized treatment plan offers positive solutions to otherwise negative situations and thought patterns.
Rehab centers that offer cognitive behavioral therapy treatment options will sometimes offer counseling services to members of the family as a way of helping build a positive and supportive environment for the patient when they return home. Creating positive thought patterns and behaviors takes time, especially when the negative habits are so deeply entrenched. It’s important to take the time the patient needs. Rushing through therapy often means missing important details or creating an illusion of good health that can often result in a relapse. With cognitive behavioral therapy, the goal is to create a positive lifestyle that will benefit the patient throughout the rest of their life.