Recovering The SelfA Journal of Hope and Healing


The Benefits of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Addiction Treatment

addiction help

by Desmond White

When you or a loved one is considering addiction treatment, recognizing the benefits of different treatment options can help you determine the best solution for your needs and goals. Cognitive behavioral therapy is a treatment method that focuses on changing your habitual thinking habits. By working on changing your behavior from the thoughts and mental reactions to stimulus in the environment, you can fight the addiction. Cognitive therapy does have specific benefits that make it a useful part of overcoming substance abuse.

Improving Your Perspective

Since cognitive behavioral therapy focuses on changing your thought processes, it can help you improve your current perspective. Substance abuse plunges your body and mind into a complicated mental state. Fighting addiction requires a treatment approach that addresses your physical and mental needs.

By working on changing your behavior from the thoughts that cause certain actions or activities, you are also adjusting your perspective. It allows you to see the positives in your life instead of focusing on the stress, negative events, or traumas that contribute to self-destructive behavior, such as abusing drugs or alcohol.

Helping You Reach Your Goals

The cognitive behavioral approach to fighting substance abuse is a focused and structured method of treating the underlying causes of addiction. Since it is very structured, you are required to set realistic goals. Professionals help you set short-term and long-term goals so that you can take gradual steps to reaching a drug and alcohol-free lifestyle.

If you do not set attainable goals, then you are setting yourself up to relapse in the future. Cognitive therapy helps you set realistic and focused goals that have a measureable result and a specific time-table. That helps you remain focused on making changes, even though the initial steps might seem smaller than you expected.

Working on Your Self-Esteem

Substance abuse can chip away at your self-confidence and self-esteem as it pushes you into emotional mood swings or depression. Since addiction is often directly correlated with low self-esteem, working on improving your self-image and feelings of self-worth are a vital part of recovery.

Cognitive behavioral therapy does not only work on your self-destructive behaviors and substance abuse. Professional therapists help you identify the thought processes that undermine your self-esteem and work on changing those thinking processes along with the thoughts that make substance abuse tempting.

Flexibility in Treatment

Flexibility is a necessity for substance abuse treatment because each individual has different needs, goals, and wants. A cognitive approach to fighting the addiction is a useful way to fight back because it provides enough flexibility to work around any issues or problems that arise.

Cognitive behavioral therapists are aware that you may have specific emotional, mental health, or physical needs that can impact your progress. It is hard to think about the positives in your life if you are in pain or have a physical health ailment. It is also difficult to focus on changing your thoughts if you are seeing or hearing hallucinations. Since therapists recognize the possible challenges, they can make adjustments to your treatment so that it reflects your concerns and meets your individual needs.


Although the improvements to your thinking processes, self-esteem, and focus are important elements of treating addiction, the benefit of compatibility with other treatment approaches is another reason to look for a treatment facility that includes cognitive therapy. The treatment works well when it is used in conjunction with other treatment approaches.

Overcoming addiction is possible if you work on substance abuse from the root causes. When you are looking for a treatment program that will work for your needs, consider a facility that has cognitive behavioral therapy as part of the program.

About the Author

This guest post was provided by Desmond White. Desmond has a myriad of interests but has recently been compelled to write about addiction treatment, primarily for teens and young adults.

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