Negative, destructive thinking is typical among people who struggle with substance use disorder. The reason is that people’s thoughts affect how they feel and act. For this reason, Gateway Chicago Independence uses a Cognitive Behavioral Therapy program (CBT) for addiction recovery.

What Is a Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Program?

CBT is a type of psychotherapy or talk therapy that can help people address mental health issues. Addiction, which is a brain disease, is one of these conditions. Gateway Chicago Independence uses CBT in individual and group counseling sessions.

This structured, time-sensitive therapy focuses on modifying people’s flawed thoughts to improve their emotions and behaviors. It achieves these goals by solving current problems and teaching skills. Patients learn how to manage cravings and cope with or avoid high-risk situations. They also develop communication, relaxation, and social skills to prevent relapse and improve their quality of life.

The History and Theory Behind CBT

Counselor and patient involved in a cognitive behavioral therapy programPsychiatrist Aaron Beck invented CBT in the 1960s after observing that his patients often held internal dialogues. Although his patients reported only part of their thoughts to him, they seemed to talk to themselves in their minds.

For instance, patients might have thought that they annoyed Beck because he hadn’t said much during their sessions. This and similar thoughts may have made them feel annoyed or anxious. In response, they might think that they haven’t talked about the most important topics. This thought could change their feelings.

Realizing the connection between thoughts and emotions, Beck discovered that people don’t always know their thoughts. However, he found that identifying them helped his patients understand and overcome their problems. Then, they could change how they think to develop more positive emotions and behaviors. After scientific trials, this Cognitive Behavior Therapy program became a standard treatment in addiction treatment programs.

How Does It Work?

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a complex treatment method that works in many ways. At Gateway Chicago Independence, we combine techniques from other talk therapies depending on patient issues. However, there are four main ways in which CBT works.

Introducing patients to a type of relationship that they may have never experienced is one way. Our therapists work with them in a collaborative partnership. We ask for their views on topics and situations, which shapes their progress.

Our addiction treatment specialists also don’t judge patients when they describe their thoughts and feelings. We simply open up and explain issues so that they can make their own decisions.

Changing beliefs and behaviors is the second method in which the Cognitive Behavior Therapy program works. Through our discussions, patients may come to recognize that they’re normal rather than fatally flawed humans. They might also develop a different attitude about their thoughts. These changes make room for improvements in lifestyle, reducing their need to use drugs.

Teaching coping skills is another significant element in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Patients learn how to deal with problems and avoid situations that put them at risk. With addiction, for instance, they may learn how to make new friends who don’t tempt them to use drugs. The skills from a Cognitive Behavioral Therapy program also help patients solve life problems.

The CBT Structure

Unlike other talk therapies, CBT sessions follow a specific structure. To begin, Gateway Chicago Independence therapists have patients describe specific problems. Then, we help them set goals. The basis of CBT planning revolves around these problems and goals.

At the beginning of each Cognitive Behavioral Therapy session, our therapists and patients decide the main topics for the week. We’ll also discuss the conclusion from the prior meeting, the results of the assigned homework and new homework.

In between sessions, our therapists assign activities, which we refer to as homework. Examples include keeping a diary of difficult incidents, practicing specific skills or exercising. By completing these assignments, our patients get the most out of our Cognitive Behavioral Therapy program.

Gateway Chicago Independence Offers More Than CBT

Although CBT is a staple in addiction treatment, it might not work for everyone. Because of that, Gateway Chicago Independence offers a range of other services, including:

  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
  • Motivational Interviewing
  • Dialectical Behavior Therapy
  • Mindfulness-Based Sobriety
  • Dual Diagnosis Treatment

Furthermore, Gateway Chicago Independence wants to provide the level of care that you need to overcome addiction. To do that, we offer Residential, Outpatient and Intensive Outpatient rehab for adults. We even have gender-specific programs to address your unique needs and sober living to provide ongoing support.

Don’t let your misguided beliefs or thoughts ruin your quality of life. Get help to change through a Cognitive Behavioral Therapy program at Gateway Chicago Independence. Call us today at 773.826.1916.