Exploring Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

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Cognitive behavioral therapy is a common approach to addressing a wide array of different therapeutic subjects. However, it is still important to understand what it is to make the most out of this approach and understand how it fits into an individual’s overall recovery goals. Cognitive behavioral therapy can help each person further understand their situation and inform how other practices help them overcome different obstacles like anxiety, depression and stress, and even addiction. 

Taking a Look at Your Thinking

Cognitive behavioral therapy begins by looking at a person’s thought patterns and builds out how those patterns affect a person’s daily life. The first step of utilizing cognitive behavioral approaches is education and recognition of one’s thoughts, especially when it comes to negative thought patterns or associations. It can be catching oneself thinking something like “I’m not worth it,” or feeling that an individual somehow “deserved” an adverse outcome in their lives. These thoughts can easily manifest without a person noticing but can influence how they feel about themselves, others and their situation, and inform other thoughts or decisions if they continue to see through this negative lens. 

For those suffering from depression or mental health disorders, this approach also allows a person to confront their situation directly by acknowledging addiction and mental health disorders or confronting fears they may have avoided. Those suffering from addiction may be in denial about the seriousness of their use, and cognitive behavioral therapy is an approach that encourages a person to acknowledge the presence of these issues to begin moving through them. 

Making a Change

By paying attention to how a person thinks and their immediate thought patterns and emotional responses, they can then begin to deconstruct their behaviors. Merely understanding that addiction is a disease that needs to be addressed can help an individual understand their actions and innate responses. This approach allows for therapies to develop with a reflective mindset focused on challenging why a person thinks or feels a certain way and then demands that an individual justify these emotions. Doing so can further highlight irrational thoughts or emotional responses and help a person both understand and judge themselves fairly while constructing clear goals for their recovery. 

In practice, cognitive behavioral therapy can take many forms. Some approaches utilize journaling to chronicle one’s thoughts while providing an emotional outlet and concrete way to look for patterns that can further outline one’s thoughts, actions, worldview or self-image. Other approaches may involve role-playing to help a person explore the rationale, or lack of, behind specific thought patterns or even begin understanding the purpose and effectiveness of relaxing approaches such as yoga or meditation. These are only a few examples of how cognitive behavioral therapy can be utilized. Individuals can personalize their approach using the core idea behind cognitive behavioral therapy — identifying negative thought patterns and changing them to help fit the adjustments a person wants to make in their lives. 

Making it Your Own

There are all kinds of ways to make cognitive behavioral therapy personal to each individual. However, it can also be combined with other therapeutic approaches to create a wholly personalized and effective recovery approach. Utilizing cognitive behavioral therapy alongside different methods, such as medication-assisted therapy, can lead to more individualized recovery plans. Cognitive behavioral therapy can be approached in many unique ways. Its malleable form can allow each individual to supplement its practices with other approaches to further help them explore their own identity, goals, and plans. Having an open-ended approach that allows each person to explore their future is paramount for maintaining motivation and keeping focused through the difficult recovery journey. 

Cognitive behavioral therapy is an introspective approach to treatment that is intended to be further built upon. Its use can be widely applied for many different reasons, from learning coping skills to help deal with addiction to further understanding and overcoming mental health disorders, and is even beneficial for simply learning how to address stress and self-care effectively. It can be either a launching point for an individual to explore other therapeutic approaches based on their unique needs, as well as a turning point itself for the changes each individual wants to see in their own lives. 

Cognitive behavioral therapy is a great way to begin exploring one’s reasoning behind their decisions and can be the gateway for creating and developing their own identity. At Avalon Malibu, we encourage you to explore your recovery and can work alongside you to create a personalized approach based on your needs and goals in sobriety. We can utilize cognitive behavioral therapy and a variety of unique and impactful therapeutic approaches in tandem to create a holistic approach to your recovery and sober transformation. Yoga, meditation, art, music and physical approaches to therapy such as our seasonal ropes courses can help you create a holistic plan for your recovery that is impactful to your needs and goals. For more information on how we can help create a recovery plan for you, call to talk to one of our caring, trained staff members today at (844) 857-5992.

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