What is cognitive behavioral therapy?

Cognitive behavioral therapy addiction treatment or CBT, is a psychotherapeutic approach (a.k.a. “talking therapy”) to substance addiction treatment and recovery as well as a number of other mental disorders. It is a systematic procedure that is goal-oriented and solves problems associated with the cognitions, dysfunctional behaviors, and emotions that are commonly what many addictions develop from. However, these disorders may develop as a result of becoming addicted to alcohol or drugs.

How does CBT work?

You will quickly discover that cognitive behavior therapy is primarily utilized to treat a variety of behavioral and emotional disorders including:

  • addiction
  • anxiety disorders and panic attacks
  • depression
  • other phobias

The simplest way to describe how cognitive behavioral therapy functions is that it helps the addicted individual to understand those personal feelings and thoughts that influence their behavior negatively or positively. It helps the individual to focus on a very specific problem and is generally short-term in duration. During the addiction treatment and recovery process, the individual learns how to identify (and then change) those destructive and/or disturbing thought patterns that negatively impact their behavior.

The basics of cognitive behavioral therapy

The underlying premise or principle that CBT is based on is that our personal feelings and thoughts play a basic, fundamental role in the way in which we behave either alone or out in society. As an example, consider the individual who spends a lot of time thinking about airplane disasters such as crashes or runway accidents and avoids any type of airline travel. The primary goal of CBT is that the individual can learn how to take control of dealing with and interpreting certain aspects of their environment even though they cannot control them.

In recent years, cognitive behavioral therapy addicition treatment has become extremely popular with mental health professionals and other treatment specialists. Additionally, because CBT is a short-term format, it is considerably more affordable than other types of addiction treatment and recovery therapies. It is empirically supported and has a proven track record of effectively helping individuals to overcome behavioral disorders and substance dependencies.

Different approaches to CBT

Mental health professionals typically employ one of three different approaches to cognitive behavioral therapy, including:

  • cognitive therapy
  • multi-modal therapy
  • rational emotive therapy

So as you can see, cognitive behavioral therapies can become very complex depending on the individual and the severity of their addiction or behavioral disorder.

If you would like more information regarding cognitive behavioral therapy addiction treatment as it applies to addiction treatment and recovery, please contact The Rehab Advisor. We will be happy to assist you in finding the right CBT addiction treatment and recovery program that best addresses your personal needs.


What is addiction recovery?

Addiction recovery is the process of overcoming one of life’s greatest challenges – addiction – and restoring oneself to a better place mentally, physically, emotionally and often spiritually as well. Alcohol and drug addiction recovery is typically preceded by detox, a cleansing of the body from harmful intoxicants.
The addiction recovery process that follows involves a cleansing of the spirit and mind. It often involves unpacking extensive emotional baggage, forgiving oneself and asking forgiveness of others who have been hurt in the past by the patient’s addiction.
There are essentially five phases to addiction recovery: Admission of a problem – If the addict does not see their addiction as a problem, then logically they will not see the need for addiction recovery.

  • Compliance – Agreeing to abstain from the addictive substance on a daily basis, without a clear understanding of the reasoning behind the addiction.
  • Defiance – This is the stage when the patient will typically believe that, because they have been good for a while, they are empowered to pick and choose what aspects of the addiction recovery program apply to them. They may think they do not need the critical step of continuing care, for instance.
  • Acceptance – Accepting the fact that an addiction exists is a fundamental building block to moving on with a healthy, positive life and forgiving oneself.
  • Surrender – This last stage of addiction recovery involves complete, voluntary acceptance of the treatment plan. This helps build upon the acceptance phase in the continual climb toward a better, healthier, more positive life.

Admitting that you have a problem really is the best and fastest way to begin recovery. In fact, you can’t really get better from a drug addiction problem unless you are able to admit that you have a problem in the first place. Once you have admitted that you have a problem, you are going to be able to begin to recover.

The first step in recovery from a drug addiction, after you have admitted that you have a problem, is to enter some sort of drug treatment center. There are many different options and different types of treatment centers, but the most important thing about whatever center you choose is going to be the fact that they are going to talk to you. This is very important in dealing with your drug addiction. You need to be able to talk to someone about your issues and about your problems with drugs. If you can have a session in which you can talk to a group of people or even one where you talk to one person, you are going to have a better chance of figuring out what it is that led to your addiction.

Part of recovering from a drug or alcohol addiction is figuring out what led to your problems in the first place. Few people can figure this out without help from a drug rehab, so it is important that you find someone to talk to. In order to talk to someone about your drug addiction, you should find a place where you feel safe and secure. Once you have figured out why you use drugs, you will be able to recognize the parts of your life that led to your addiction. When you have put together the things in your past that led to your drug addiction with the things in your present that make you or encourage you to continue to use drugs, you will be able to figure out what it is about your life you need to change.

An important part to drug addiction recovery is change. There are going to be things about your life that you just can’t keep the same when you are in recovery. You might have to stop being around certain people that encourage you to use drugs, and you might have to change some of your activities, if they are things that you cannot do without using drugs. You might also have to recreate a life for yourself, and make it the way you’ve always wanted your life to be – drug free and wonderful.

It is important to remember that you are human and you make mistakes, just like everyone else. A big part in starting drug rehab program is to forgive yourself for all of the mistakes that you have made. You have to be able to start clean and fresh, and you can’t start out clean if you have issues that you need to deal with regarding things that you have done in the past. You need to make amends for the things that you have messed up, and you might have to do some apologizing. The most important part though, is that you allow yourself to forgive yourself for what you’ve done. If there are people in your life that can’t forgive you, you have to move on. If you can’t forgive yourself, there is going to be no way that you can get past your drug addiction and move on towards recovery.


A drug rehabilitation center is designed for that purpose, and that purpose only – to help the person who needs to get off drugs and get on with a clean, sober life. A drug rehabilitation center may have its own space or building, and may be situated in a location that can be considered “out-of-the-way”. In other words, the only reason to be going there is for drug rehab or to visit someone who is at the center.

Some hospitals and/or medical centers devote entire wings or floors to the operation of a drug rehabilitation center. Access to these areas involves great restrictions. No one knows the patient is there unless the patient wants it to be known. Some facilities may only operate on an “outpatient” basis. In other words, a patient may have to go to one place for a brief stay, and then go to the center for counseling sessions and follow-up visits.

Others may offer both services: inpatient (or resident) and outpatient. In this way, a person who, once having made the important decision to receive the help offered by the drug rehabilitation center, desires to do so can simply utilize the same area.

No matter how the facility is set up, no matter where it is located, no matter whether or not a person can stay there for however long it takes for the rehabilitation process, or if the individual has to come and go, the drug rehabilitation center is there, and it’s available. If a person is dealing with a drug addiction, then that person should make the decision to go to the nearest one and do what has to be done to “kick the habit”, and get back on the road to recovery.


A brief history and overview of alcoholism

The disease or disorder known as alcoholism is one of the most destructive forces in society today, but it is nothing new. No one knows the exact origin of alcohol and alcoholism. However, beer jugs that were discovered and dated back to the late Stone Age established the fact that humans were intentionally fermenting beverages as early as 10,000 BC during the Neolithic period. Additional evidence was documented as far back as 4,000 BC in the Egyptian hieroglyphs of the period.

Alcoholism addiction treatment and recovery

There are two schools of thought where recovering from alcoholismare concerned. One claims that the recovery stage never ends. In other words, once you are labeled a recovering alcoholic, you will always be a recovering alcoholic. The recovery stage never ends. Conversely, there is the group who feel that it is possible to be cured of alcoholism and that the recovery stage eventually comes to a close because the person remains clean and sober for life.

How to start recovering from alcoholism

The following is the advice given by the NIAAA or National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism to those individuals who are in the recovery stage:

  • Quit drinking altogether. Don’t just cut back.
  • Bring the issue to center stage. In other words, admit that you have a problem with alcohol.
  • Walk away from a relationship where you both drink. Recovering from alcoholism is almost impossible when you are in a co-dependent relationship. Invariably, the other partner will not support the one who is quitting, just like with drug-dependent relationships.
  • Find why you are self-medicating yourself. Make a list and divide it into three columns that are labeled as follows:
    • Column #1 – Things that Make Me Happy
    • Column #2 – Things that Make Me Sad
    • Column #3 – Things that Stress Me Out
  • Study that list once you’ve completed it, and then circle those items that are “triggers” or what makes you reach for a drink.
  • Now circle the positive ones and commit yourself to doing them more often.
  • Replace all the ones that make you drink with the happy ones.
  • Be patient and allow yourself enough time. Remember, it took you a while to develop your dependency on alcohol.
  • Visit your doctor and see if he or she will prescribe a medication that will help you quit drinking.

Let our referral service help you

The Rehab Advisor is the premier addiction treatment and recovery program referral website. For more information about our referral site and our programs for recovering from alcoholism, fill out the e-mail form above or call the toll-free phone number above if you want to speak with someone immediately.


An overview of addiction

One of the most common questions that is asked in the field of addiction treatment and recovery is “How do addictions start?” or “What causes addiction to occur?” To answer the first question- just about anything can trigger an addiction, even something as simple as attending a social gathering.  In most cases, just experimenting with a drug for the first time can lead to the onset of an addiction.

What causes addiction? First of all, you have to understand that substance dependency can be psychological as well as physical.  One school of thought claims that some underlying behavioral or mental disorder causes addiction.  Anxiety, depression, and other conditions or disorders are viewed as the culprits.  Conversely, another school of thought feels that it is the addiction that causes the disorder.

There have been numerous theories as to what actually causes substance abuse and dependency, including:

  • body image and self-esteem
  • genetic predisposition
  • peer pressure
  • stress

For many individuals who are suffering with drug abuse and addiction issues, they may never know the actual cause for the reasons mentioned above or because they don’t get professional help for their problems.  Many of them do not know how to start addiction recovery, so they get frustrated and give up.

Addiction is not selective and a wide audience of individuals in the US is currently suffering with either abuse or addiction issues.  Current statistics indicate that:

  • There are roughly 25 million Americans who are suffering from drug abuse problems and addiction.
  • Roughly 40% of them are in need of immediate attention, but only 10% of that total audience will ever get it.
  • Sadly, up to 25% of that total number will eventually die.
  • Some 5% or 6% of them by committing suicide.

Getting started on the road to recovery

What you need to remember is that overcoming your addiction and heading down the road to long-lasting recovery starts with you and you only.  If you are here reading this, then you have already taken the first step – admitting that you have a problem and need help.  The admission may have come from a number of sources:

  • family members or friends
  • an intervention
  • job loss
  • self-identification

The bottom line is that the source of the admission is not as important as the fact that you are now searching for professional help.

Let our referral service help you

The Rehab Advisor is the premier addiction treatment referral website.  We list the most successful addiction treatment and recovery programs throughout the US, so no matter where you live, we can refer you into a program in your local vicinity.  For more information about our referral site and our addiction recovery programs, fill out the e-mail form above or call the toll-free phone number at the top of the e-mail form.


Addiction recovery really needs a lot of hard work, not only by the people in recovery, but also by the entire community especially the family around them. On the family or community side, they need to see the real person within a person, not how they have been. (Though we have to consider that on the other side – that they are under the addiction recovery process). We have to go back to the fast of who they were in order for them to see themselves as before their good old selves. Remember them as the people once loved before and will still love in spite of their weaknesses, that we are their on their side ready and willing to help all the way till the end and after their addiction recovery.

As for the people under addiction recovery, they have to really have a determination and self-control. They have to discipline themselves and keep reminding them of more damage addiction can do to them and to their loved ones or community where they are. See the goodness and how are they going to live after the addiction recovery with the family they once have and used to have before.

Family has to commit some changes for the sake of their loved ones in addiction recovery. We need to band together for support. Whenever we see any of us going astray or behaving differently, following up on our family relationship is immediately needed. But the best remedy of all for fast recovery is love. Let us keep reminding them and always be physical and emotional in showing that we love each other.


About addiction treatment and recovery

There are numerous addiction recovery programs available today throughout the US. Once you differentiate between the traditional and the alternative or residential categories, you have to decide on what type of program to enter. There are two basic classifications of programs – in-patient or out-patient. Obviously, their names imply the difference between them. However, in-patient programs are divided into two groups. There are short-term rehab programs that run 14 to 28 days and the long-term which last 4 months or longer.

Handling the most severe addictions

According to recovery success rates, which are determined by the percentage of clients that overcome there addiction and remain substance-free without relapsing, the best one of the different addiction recovery programs is the long-term in-patient or residential format. These programs involve removing the individual from their potentially harmful home setting and placing them in a safer environment where they can focus completely on their recovery.

There are a number of benefits to entering this long-term addiction treatment and recovery format with the following 5 being the most significant ones:

  • removing the individual from the potentially harmful environment they live in and the temptations of it
  • 24/7/365 care and supervision
  • group and individual therapy sessions
  • medical and professional guidance/supervision
  • aftercare and support networks

Certain addiction recovery programs will involve taking prescription medications during the detoxification stage and while the individual is experiencing the withdrawal symptoms that characterize the detox process. Despite the expense that you may encounter, remember that these are the most effective and successful addiction recovery methods available.

What if you don’t have the financial means?

Fortunately, there are other addiction recovery programs that are not quite as expensive and some of them are even covered by certain health insurance carriers. These are known as out-patient programs. Unlike the residential program, you are not required to move into the facility and can return home every night.

These programs are not only ideal for the individual who does not have the financial means to afford them, they are geared towards those individuals that are the sole provider of children in the home and are either pursuing their education or working full-time jobs. Just be aware that the out-patient format is not as effective as the in-patient because you are still returning home to those temptations at the end of the day.

Let our referral service help you

The Rehab Advisor is the premier addiction treatment referral website. We list the most successful addiction recovery programs throughout the US, so no matter where you live, we can refer you into a program in your local vicinity. For more information about our referral site and our addiction recovery programs, call the toll-free phone number above if you want to speak with someone immediately.

Does Addiction Counseling Prevent Chronic Relapse?

In a word, no. Only you can prevent chronic relapse. Every form of addiction counseling is not helpful unless you are mindful of relapse prevention techniques. Even if you have the very best addiction counselor, he/she is unable to prevent your relapse into using drugs and/or alcohol to excess. There is no “magic cure” for addiction; you either make the decision to eliminate substance abuse from your life, or you don’t. Chronic relapse is a choice, made only by you. Your addiction counselor can’t make this choice for you. It’s entirely on you.

The good news is that relapse prevention skills will be a major focus of your drug rehab services. You are not alone. Every recovering addict faces the problem of relapse prevention; relapse is a common part of recovery from substance dependence. In addiction counseling, you will learn the skills necessary to avoid chronic relapse, such as identifying your drug and/or alcohol “triggers” and how to successfully cope with them. You will know how to respond to these triggers and avoid relapsing into drug and/or alcohol use.

Addiction counseling for chronic relapses is an essential part of your drug rehabilitation program. Relapse is, unfortunately, a difficult part of your recovery from alcohol/drug dependence. This is true for all addicts, not just for you. Keep in mind, however, that although chronic relapse is a challenge for all recovering addicts, it does not condone your return to abusing alcohol and/or drugs. With the skills you learn in addiction counseling, chronic relapses can be prevented. Either you get it, or you don’t. The choice is yours.

During your drug rehabilitation treatment for addiction, your addiction counselor will assist you in learning the personal skills necessary to prevent chronic relapse. Whether you put these skills into action in your life is entirely up to you. Are you sick and tired of being sick and tired? Have you had enough days in jail and/or divorce court? Would you like to keep your job? If so, then addiction counseling for chronic relapse is for you. Only you can say when you’ve had enough of negative consequences for alcohol and/or drug abuse. When you are ready, and are willing to stop denying that you have a substance abuse problem, addiction counselors are there for you.

It is very likely that your addiction counselor has been where you are now. Negative consequences, divorce, jail – your counselor has most likely been there and done that. How encouraging would it be for you to have an addiction counselor who can say, “Yes, I understand. I’ve been there too?” Since chronic relapses are a component of addiction recovery, who is better to help you than an addiction counselor who has been exactly where you are; scared of chronic relapse just like you?

To avoid chronic relapses, you will need the services of an expert addiction counselor who can assist you with relapse prevention skills. You can do this! It is never too late for you to begin a life that is substance-free.