Substance abuse treatment often involves the treatment of dual diagnosis disorders, which may inhibit the progress of medical detoxification if these disorders are not addressed with cognitive behavioral therapy. Comorbid disorders may lead to drug use, or the converse may be true. Either way, dual diagnosis treatment for substance use disorders is essential for successful treatment outcomes. Common comorbid disorders include Bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), schizophrenia, and other anxiety/mood disorders.
Certain thought patterns lead to specific emotions and behavior, which could be harmful or helpful. The addiction therapist who practices CBT aims to eliminate harmful behavioral patterns by helping clients to identify faulty beliefs and motivations, which include the following:
The list below is not an exhaustive list of all cognitive-behavioral techniques, but they are descriptions of some common strategies used by psychologists in addiction therapy.
Have you ever jumped to a conclusion, only to find out that your perception of the situation was wrong? Your behavior immediately following that conclusion could have had short- or long-term ramifications, depending on what you did in response to your thoughts. In Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT), the addiction therapist helps clients to identify triggers that are conducive to substance abuse and then assess behavior resulting from these thought patterns. By evaluating the chain of reaction, addiction therapists help clients to gain better control over their emotions by changing their thoughts.
When you assess a situation, do you almost always imagine the worst possible scenario? Such thinking is called “catastrophic thinking,” because it’s the kind that always asks, “What if?” and results in avoidant behavior. Some people never board a plane because they are terrified by the possibility of dying in a plane crash. For people in recovery, drugs have often filled a void that allowed them to escape from their pain. Addiction counselors reduce avoidant behavior by helping clients process their pain and anxiety about problems that may arise after they complete their treatment program.
The reattribution technique helps clients “reattribute” their thoughts to alternative causes of negative events, especially when they believe that they are the sole cause of the problem. For example, an addiction therapist may test a client’s automatic assumptions in response to a problematic event: “I took this test three times and was unable to pass it; I can’t do anything right.” The psychologist would test this thought by helping clients to see other factors that may be involved, such as the quality of study materials or adequate preparation for the test. The point is to steer clients away from blaming themselves too heavily for failures and eliminating cognitive distortion.
This strategy puts the ball in the clients’ court by giving them back control over their problems. It empowers them to be proactive about their life instead of dwelling on their mistakes. With the help of an addiction counselor, clients retrain their mind to dismiss faulty belief systems and replace self-deprecating thoughts with positive thoughts that lead to better decisions.
At New Method Wellness, we incorporate Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) into our integrated holistic and clinical addiction treatment in our beautiful facilities. Whether our clients are in Residential Treatment (RT) or an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP), CBT is applied in individual and group counseling sessions to address dual diagnosis disorders associated with their addictive behaviors. In our recovery programs, clients are paired with two addiction counselors in a 2:1 ratio that is unique to New Method Wellness’s dual diagnosis curriculum.
To learn more, contact us today at +1 (866) 951-1824 to speak with our Outreach Coordinator!