Life has a way of instilling habits and thought patterns that can be limiting or self-damaging. It isn’t uncommon for individual generational cycles to be passed down through no fault of one’s own. If a parent is known to engage in child/spousal, sexual, or drug abuse, it is very likely for their children to repeat those behaviors due to the normalcy of it in their worlds. Someone will not change unless they see a reason to and want to, but even consciously acknowledging the need to change doesn’t always prove enough to change thinking patterns and responses. This instance is where the benefits of Cognitive-behavioral Therapy (CBT) can come into play.
What is CBT?
Generally speaking, CBT is a term covering a variety of therapies that focus on internal thought processes and the role that self-awareness has on a person’s thoughts and emotions; thus, the resulting actions.
What Are Some Benefits of CBT?
The National Association of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapists has declared the benefits of CBT to be: “Cognitive-behavioral therapy focuses on the idea that our thoughts cause our feelings and behaviors, not external things, like people, situations, and events. The benefit of this fact is that we can change the way we think to feel/act better even if the situation does not change.”
CBT can result in:
- Catching negative thoughts/emotions;
- Preventing relapse;
- Managing anger;
- Managing chronic pain;
- Coping with grief/loss;
- Recovering from trauma and PTSD;
- Overcoming sleeping disorders; and
- Resolving relationship issues.
By looking inward, people can come to terms with the causes of triggers or how destructive patterns got introduced into their lives. By identifying these, people can replace negative responses with positive substitute reactions to stimuli.
How to Experience the Benefits of CBT
Michelle Patterson, Ph.D., has offered some simple forms of personal interventions to apply principles of CBT from home.
- Set realistic goals. Don’t overestimate short-term results.
- Learn to manage stress and anxiety. Adopt relaxation and breathing techniques or positive self-talk.
- Learn to face undesired situations. Often, this is social anxiety, and understanding networking may ease avoiding many scenarios due to feelings of discomfort.
- Take up a hobby. Engaging in a shared interest with others can help with recovering from past pains.
- Journal. Monitor thoughts, feelings, and reactions. Taking note of such things makes it easier to identify the beginning of a habit or pattern in real-time, which can allow the freedom of choice on how to react.
Cognitive reframing involves understanding how we see the world differently than everyone else. Because of our different points of view, we form different conclusions on the same idea. Challenging these conclusions allows for reframing them so that the person sees them in a better perspective. The benefits of CBT could include being better able to cope with seeing the curvature of the planet if an incorrect, previously-held conclusion was that the Earth is flat.
Can CBT Help with Substance Use?
Absolutely. A person often forms a substance use disorder because of a faulty cycle in one’s thinking and response. By looking inward at the emotions that lead to the decision to imbibe, someone can learn the stimuli and how to rewire the result. Adolescents are particularly receptive to the benefits of CBT, for recovery. We address the causation cycle at an early stage in the development before decades of habits pile on top of this one.
CBT has helped many struggling with substance use. If you or someone you know is struggling with substance use disorder, reach out to Stonewater Adolescent Recovery Center today. Our specialized staff will be able to provide a custom treatment plan to address your needs and overcome the substance use disorder. Contact us today at 662.373.2828.