South Florida CBT Treatment Services
CBT is a short-term, goal-oriented treatment approach that takes a hands-on, practical approach to problem-solving. Its goal is to change patterns of thinking or behavior that are behind people’s difficulties, and so change the way they feel.
The CBT treatment method is used to help treat a wide range of issues in a person’s life. It has been proven especially helpful for many experiencing difficulties with drug and alcohol abuse.
CBT works by changing people’s attitudes and their behavior 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 triggers that might motivate a person to engage in substance abuse.
A Brief History of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
CBT was first developed by Dr. Aaron Beck in the mid-20th Century as a treatment for depression. Today, it is a popular framework for treating a variety of issues, including drug and alcohol abuse. It remains popular because of its focus on helping individuals change their thoughts, behaviors, and internal narratives to produce tangible improvements to their quality of life.
Is CBT Right for Me?
When you first begin working with a treatment specialist, they will determine if CBT is the right solution to helping you overcome your difficulties with substance use. In many instances, CBT can be used in conjunction with other methods of treatment.
How Does CBT Work?
The primary goal of CBT is to deconstruct negative beliefs and perceptions that a person holds about themselves or their life circumstances. Through multiple sessions, a therapist works with the individual to reconstruct a more positive personal narrative and create new behavior and thinking patterns.
One important note is that CBT is not intended for long-term use. Its goal-oriented nature is intended to help you overcome a particular problem or set of challenges so that you can progress past them in your life. On average, about 16 sessions are needed to produce results.
The Pillars of CBT
As outlined by the American Psychological Association, CBT is based on three core pillars:
- In part, psychological problems are rooted in faulty and/or unhelpful thinking
- In part, psychological problems are based on learned behavior patterns
- People who are suffering from psychological problems can learn better-coping strategies, which results in relief from symptoms and becoming more effective in their own lives.
The end goal of CBT treatment is to help a person develop healthier ways of thinking and behaving within the world around them. This is often accomplished by one or more of the following techniques:
- Identifying distorted thinking or behavior patterns and reexamining them through a realistic and objective lens
- Better understanding behaviors and motives of other people
- Developing and using healthy problem-solving skills as a means of coping with difficulties like urges to engage with harmful substances
- Creating a greater sense of self-confidence
- Addressing causes of fear rather than evading them
- Preparing for difficult interactions with other people
- Learning and applying techniques to calm the mind and/or body in stressful situations