Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) & Overcoming Addiction

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Does Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Work For Addiction?

Chapters Capistrano recognizes Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) as a qualified treatment modality and an important part of an addiction treatment program.

Ronald Kadden, PhD, wrote an essay on CBT and its use as evidence-based treatment in substance use disorder recovery.  The article, entitled, “Cognitive-Behavior Therapy for Substance Dependence: Coping Skills Training,” discusses the therapeutic benefits of CBT.

Kadden (1971) states:

“From the perspective of CBT, alcohol and drug dependence are viewed as learned behaviors that are acquired through experience.  If alcohol or a drug provides certain desired results (e.g., good feelings, reduced tension, etc.) on repeated occasions, it may become the preferred way of achieving those results, particularly in the absence of other ways of meeting those desired ends.  From this perspective, the primary tasks of treatment are to:

  1. Identify the specific needs that alcohol and drugs are being used to meet;
  2. Develop skills that provide alternative ways of meeting those needs.

“There are different viewpoints within this general perspective. ‘Behavioral’ approaches emphasize observable past history and consequences of behavior, without taking into account internal events, such as cognitions, that can only be known by self-report.

“‘Cognitive-behavioral’ approaches, on the other hand, include cognitions, thoughts, and emotions among the factors that are considered to precipitate or maintain behavior. The latter approaches often utilize behavioral methods (e.g., repeated practice, reinforcement) to modify cognitive and emotional processes.

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Cognitive Behavior Therapy to Change Thoughts and Behavior

At Chapters, CBT is used to help you change your internal thoughts and beliefs as it relates to the subject of substance abuse.  The trained and skilled Chapters’ counselors will help you also gauge your reactions to your beliefs and assist in turning a negative into a positive.  CBT is proven to work in substance abuse treatment because of the following reasons:

  • CBT is structured and goal-oriented; through this treatment method, Chapters’ counselors will help you stay focused on your goal of achieving addiction recovery.
  • CBT is a flexible treatment method and can be implemented in group and individual therapy.  Moreover, it can be tailored to meet specific client needs.
  • CBT is fully compatible with other treatment types and processes.
  • CBT is a short-term approach and works well in a variety of addiction treatment settings.

If you are interested in learning more about how Chapters Capistrano incorporates Cognitive Behavior Therapy into our custom addiction treatment plans, call 844-249-2990 or email the trained addiction counselors at Chapters today. To view the Kadden essay, please visit:

Medical disclaimer:

Sunshine Behavioral Health strives to help people who are facing substance use disorder, addiction, mental health disorders, or a combination of these conditions. It does this by providing compassionate care and evidence-based content that addresses health, treatment, and recovery.

Licensed medical professionals review material we publish on our site. The material is not a substitute for qualified medical diagnoses, treatment, or advice. It should not be used to replace the suggestions of your personal physician or other health care professionals.

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