Cognitive behavioral therapy or “CBT” is one of the treatments used by drug rehabilitation centers across the United States.
By definition, cognitive behavioral therapy is a form of psychotherapy that aims to dismantle negative thinking so that clients can address challenges more positively. Although CBT can be used to treat a wide variety of conditions, such as anxiety and PTSD, it was originally designed to treat depression.
Upon meeting a new client, a therapist will observe the person’s thoughts, belief systems, attitudes, and how they process information. Therapists will customize their sessions based on the client’s needs. There are six steps to the typical cognitive behavioral therapy process, beginning with the initial assessment.
The four critical steps that comprise a cognitive behavioral assessment include:
- Identify the client’s critical behaviors.
- Determine whether or not the behaviors are in excess or fall short of expectations.
- Evaluate the frequency of the critical behaviors.
- Aim to increase or decrease the frequencies of these behaviors based on the therapist’s findings.
The six steps of the cognitive behavioral therapy treatment process include:
- Initial assessment.
- Development of new concepts.
- Acquirement of new skills.
- Consolidation of skills and applying them to stressful situations.
- Extended care, post treatment follow-ups, etc.
Cognitive behavioral therapy was founded by psychiatrist Aaron T. Beck during the 1960s. At the time, Beck was an instructor at the prestigious University of Pennsylvania. After years of study, Beck felt that intervening and addressing a client’s distorted thinking patterns made the person more aware of how their thought patterns affected their behavior. After these negative thoughts were thoroughly evaluated and deemed unrealistic, the client usually went on to make significant changes in their behavior.
When combined with other forms of psychotherapy, like dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) and motivational interviewing (MI), cognitive behavioral therapy can be the launching pad for a successful life in addiction recovery.