A woman looks out the window wondering how to stop negative thinking.

How CBT is Used to Help with Unhealthy and Destructive Thoughts

Self-deprecating thoughts and behaviors can lead to addiction and perpetuate substance abuse further. This destructive method of thinking creates a scenario in which the addiction takes precedence over every facet of your life – driving you away from all their healthy relationships, destroying your physical well-being, creating emotional instability and leaving you feeling hopeless and overwhelmed.

Deciding to begin your recovery journey is essential to re-establishing control over your life, while also healing the physical and emotional damage inflicted by your addiction. But which treatment option is able to not only help you identify the maladaptive behavioral patterns that instigated your addiction, but can also aid in creating new and improved responses to the emotional triggers and negative influences in your life?

While the options may seem endless, there are some very specific treatment methods that can answer these questions and place you on the path to health and happiness.

Why Negative Thinking is So Destructive, Especially When Struggling with Addiction

Have you ever smelled a rotten potato? It is a foul and off-putting scent that can make the strongest of stomachs feel like wrenching. The thing about a rotten potato, though, is if you leave it with fresh potatoes, it will spoil the whole bunch. This crude example typifies the dangers of a single negative thought.

For some, negative thinking can come and go. However, this experience is different for those struggling with addiction. Negative thoughts can not only spoil a mood, but they can also create a spiraling effect where those struggling with substance abuse fall deeper and deeper into dangerous destructive patterns.

What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a type of psychotherapeutic treatment that helps people learn how to identify and change destructive or disturbing thought patterns that have a negative influence on their behavior and emotions.

CBT is based upon the idea that our thoughts, not external events (like people or situations), are actually the cause of our feelings and behaviors. This form of therapy focuses on changing the automatic negative thoughts that can contribute to and worsen emotional difficulties, depression, anxiety and addictive patterns of behavior.

These spontaneous negative thoughts have a detrimental influence on mood and are consistently linked to unforeseen incidents of relapse within many individuals attempting to maintain their sobriety.

How CBT Stops Negative Thoughts

Some forms of psychotherapy focus on looking into the past to gain an understanding of current feelings. In contrast, CBT focuses on present thoughts and beliefs.

Cognitive behavioral therapy works by changing people’s attitudes and behaviors by focusing on the thoughts, images, beliefs and attitudes that are held (a person’s cognitive processes) and how these processes relate to the way a person behaves (as a way of dealing with emotional problems and addictive impulses).

CBT can help people with many problems where thoughts and beliefs are critical. It emphasizes the need to identify, challenge and change how a person views a situation and has shown to be instrumental in treating the symptoms and thought patterns associated with addiction.

Some of the more effective techniques implemented in CBT sessions include:

• Daily Stress Journaling
This technique is a way to gather one’s moods and thoughts. A CBT journal can include the time of the mood or thought, the source of it, the extent or intensity, and how one reacted, among other factors.

This technique can help to identify thought patterns and emotional tendencies and change, adapt, or cope with them.

• Gradual Exposure to Fear and Stress
This approach is a cognitive behavioral therapy exercise designed to reduce anxiety through repeated contact with what is feared. This has been shown to be among the most effective treatments that exist for any psychological problem that may be triggering addictive behaviors.

The underlying theory is that avoidance of things we fear results in increased anxiety, which, in turn, increases the potential to relapse. By systematically approaching what you might normally avoid, a significant and lasting reduction in anxiety takes place and better methods of avoiding addictive behaviors are learned.

• Relaxed Breathing and Mindfulness Training
There are many ways to relax and bring regularity to your breath, including guided imagery, yoga training, daily mantras, and deep-breathing techniques. Bringing regularity and calm to your breath will allow you to approach your problems from a place of balance, facilitating more effective and rational decision making.

It allows your mind to avoid overreacting and trains your body and emotions to process addictive triggers in a more calm and thoughtful manner.

CBT for Negative Thinking: Where to Start

The key to achieving long-term success and sobriety is simply beginning the journey. Finding a clinically qualified facility that specializes in cognitive behavioral therapy is an excellent place to start if you feel this specific treatment approach would best suit your individual needs.

For a person living with a substance use disorder, being able to look into the mirror and admit that a problem exists is a major part of the battle.

Once this is achieved, asking your friends and family to help you find a treatment program that can address your specific addiction enables you to begin receiving the care and guidance needed to overcome the debilitating disease of addiction that has taken root in your life.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy at Ranch Creek Recovery

Remember, you are never alone on your path to recovery. All you need to do is be brave enough to ask for help. As a non-12-step rehab and holistic treatment center, a large component of our treatment program is rooted in cognitive behavioral therapy to help those struggling with addiction and mental health challenges overcome and change self-deprecating thoughts and behaviors.

At Ranch Creek Recovery, our team of treatment experts will work one-on-one with you to create a
custom treatment plan that will include customized, life-changing CBT sessions. Contact us today to get your questions answered and start the admissions process.

CALL NOW: (877) 293-8607

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy vs Dialectical Behavior Therapy

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy vs. Dialectical Behavior Therapy

Coming to grips with your addiction is no small task. The disease can impact various aspects of your life, from your physical wellbeing to your mental health, leaving you feeling lost, alone, broken and defeated. It can cloud your ability to make healthy choices and drive you to turn on those who love you most.

Making the decision to face your addiction with the help and guidance of a qualified treatment facility is the first step toward achieving sobriety and attaining a happier and healthier life.

While the intricacies of rehab are typically explained in detail when you begin the process, understanding the various types of therapy available can better prepare you for the road ahead.

In particular, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) are two of the leading therapeutic approaches implemented in treatment settings due to their success rates and the overall positive impact they have on participants’ lives.

While both treatment interventions are forms of psychotherapy, or more commonly titled “talk therapy,” the topics that are focused on can be quite different. Understanding the variations in these two treatment approaches is an excellent way to better prepare yourself for the ins-and-outs of the recovery process.

What’s the Difference Between Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Dialectical Behavior Therapy?

Cognitive behavioral therapy is a treatment approach that teaches you how your thoughts, feelings and behaviors influence and interact with each other. Treatment sessions are focused on restructuring and changing the way you think and behave from day to day.

The primary concept of cognitive behavioral therapy emphasizes the idea that much of how you feel is determined by how you think. For example, if you believe that people in your life do not like you (the thought), you may avoid social interactions (the behavior) and end up lonely and isolated (the feeling).

Dialectical behavior therapy is a modified form of cognitive behavioral therapy with greater focus on social and emotional aspects of your life. It was initially developed to help people deal with unstable emotions and behaviors through increased focus on skills like:

  • Improved mindfulness
  • Regulating emotional experiences
  • Tolerating experienced distress
  • Effectively managing your relationships with others

Overall, DBT theory suggests that some people’s arousal levels in certain situations can increase much faster than the average person’s. This can lead to higher emotional stimulation and the need to implement treatment techniques to decrease those excessive negative feelings.

What You Should Know about CBT and DBT

Both CBT and DBT are forms of talk therapy, focusing on the participant’s personal experiences and emotional state of mind. Where CBT generally implements individual treatment sessions that address past experiences, DBT builds upon that therapeutic approach and typically includes a group therapy component, in addition to individual therapy.

This integrated or mixed approach to the overall therapeutic experience of DBT can also include options, such as:

  • Skill training to better manage personal emotions
  • A specific focus on building relationships with others
  • Methods on how to cope with personal moments of distress
  • Skill building to embrace the concept of acceptance

Add to this the important element of mindfulness training and you have the distinct differences between cognitive behavioral therapy and dialectical behavior therapy. However, to fully understand the distinction between the two forms of therapy, it is best to consider that:

  • CBT focuses on how your thoughts, feelings and behaviors influence each other
  • DBT does incorporate these components, but the emphasis is given more towards regulating emotions, being mindful and learning to accept pain
  • CBT seeks to give patients the ability to recognize when their thoughts might become troublesome and gives them techniques to redirect those problematic thoughts
  • DBT helps patients find ways to accept themselves, feel safe and manage their emotions to help regulate potentially destructive or harmful behaviors

These differences separate the two forms of therapy and enable the two approaches to help an individual experience rehabilitation and personal growth in distinctively different ways.

Choosing the best one to suit your needs requires a consultation with a clinical professional in order to recognize your specific areas of behavioral concern and identify the best approach to helping you achieve sobriety and personal growth.

CBT vs. DBT: Find Your Right Approach at the Right Recovery Center

Regardless of your personal history or current addiction, beginning your recovery journey under the guidance of a qualified clinical professional is essential to achieving long-term success and happiness.

Finding a fully licensed facility to initiate your rehabilitation is the first step toward a sober mindset and healthier existence. When facing the disease of addiction, it is the clinician’s responsibility to identify whether cognitive behavioral therapy or dialectical behavior therapy is the best fit for your recovery.

Doing the necessary research to find the right facility is your responsibility, so take the process seriously and do your homework before deciding where your recovery journey will begin.

Life-Changing Holistic Addiction Recovery and Relapse Prevention at Ranch Creek Recovery

Offering both cognitive behavioral therapy and dialectical behavior therapy – both from an individualized approach with world-renowned licensed therapists and addiction recovery experts, Ranch Creek Recovery is a luxury, non-12-step rehab and holistic treatment center where a large component of our treatment programs is rooted in cognitive behavioral therapy and dialectical behavior therapy.

At Ranch Creek Recovery, our team of treatment experts will work one-on-one with you to create a custom treatment plan that will include customized therapy sessions and holistic, experiential treatment that will help you center your mind, body and spirit as you begin to forge your new, sober life.

Learn more about Ranch Creek Recovery, including what we offer and what we treat.

Have questions? We’re here to help in any way we can. Contact us today.

CALL NOW: (877) 293-8607