Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Highest Standards, Nationally Recognized:

What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a therapy technique pioneered by Dr. Aaron T. Beck that is used to help people dealing with a variety of concerns, such as addiction, mental health and trauma. According to Dr. Beck, the way we think about things is established in childhood, and any harmful, negative or distorted thought patterns that we’ve developed can lead to problems down the road if they’re not addressed properly.

At the most basic level, CBT helps people understand how their thinking influences the way in which they respond to certain issues or situations. It is known for being extremely beneficial for reconciling the relationship between one’s thoughts, feelings and behavior.

According to many experts, CBT is the gold standard of psychotherapy. Its efficacy can vary depending on what is being treated, but the National Institute of Health (NIH) shows many common mental health and substance abuse disorders have response rates as high as 82%. Compared to other therapy techniques, it is consistently effective for people struggling with addiction, anxiety, personality disorders, depression, disordered eating and more.

How Does CBT Work?

Cognitive behavioral therapy explores patterns of thinking which lead to self-destructive behavior. For example, if someone is given a healthy snack like almonds, their reaction could be either positive (“What a great gift; I love almonds!”) or negative (“Oh no, almonds? They must think I need to watch what I eat!”). The negative response could lead to anxiety, depression, substance abuse, disordered eating or other mental health concerns.

The goal of CBT is to help people identify and change these negative thought patterns and develop a healthier mind script. Its three main principles are:

  1. Many of the issues and challenges we face are based on faulty thinking.
  2. We can unlearn these patterns of unhealthy thinking and behavior.
  3. Reframing our thoughts and developing better ways of coping makes it easier to manage the symptoms of our problems.

At Avalon Malibu, CBT allows the therapist and client to actively work together, focusing on the here and now to help in the recovery process. During therapy sessions, they’ll search for patterns of thinking that have a negative impact on behavior and seek to modify those thought processes to reflect a more positive self-image. CBT also explores an individual’s reactions to outside stimuli and helps them uncover and recognize unhealthy thoughts more readily, and actually change them as they occur.

What to Expect During CBT

During CBT, clients are taught principles that will allow them to gain strength through conflict. Using cognitive behavioral therapy, Avalon Malibu’s staff will focus on specific problems to identify certain goals in order to maintain an easy-to-follow program for our clients. We will guarantee peace and comfort throughout each client’s stay, with continuous communication for an accurate understanding of any disagreement or challenges. We seek to serve the recovery community as a whole by immediately resolving any issue.

Throughout the treatment process of CBT, clients can expect the following steps:

  • IDENTIFYING SITUATIONS OR CONFLICTS THAT ARE CAUSING DISTRESS
    • Then, focusing on what problems to work through during therapy.
  • BECOMING AWARE OF THE THOUGHTS, FEELINGS AND BELIEFS ASSOCIATED WITH THESE PROBLEMS
    • CBT helps to recognize and evaluate thought patterns and behaviors. 
    • Clients will begin to focus on their emotional responses to problems or situations.
  • CHANGING FALSE OR HARMFUL WAYS OF THINKING
    • Clients analyze their beliefs or thought patterns and ask whether they’re based on facts, or created from a false perception or belief.
    • These thought patterns will be transformed into positive thinking, which translates into healthier habits and behaviors. 

As a result of CBT, clients will be able to develop new coping mechanisms and better understand and manage issues like stress, anger, fear, remorse and more. Homework — such as journaling — is often incorporated into treatment to help build these skills further. CBT is a short-term and highly goal-oriented technique, with most people completing it in about 16 to 20 treatment sessions. Because a lot of work goes into it, this form of therapy can fast-track the recovery process and help individuals reach new levels of personal growth.

What Should Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Accomplish?

CBT allows our clients to identify problem areas in their lives and is incredibly effective at treating substance abuse, grief, anger and mental health concerns. It reveals which harmful thoughts, emotions and beliefs negatively influence their behavior and amplify these issues. By encouraging them to share their thoughts with others for a new interpretation, they can begin changing actions and behavior and start working toward more positive outcomes. CBT also challenges negative thinking by testing the accuracy of those thoughts and thereby changing the client’s perception of what’s really behind the original negative belief.

Reluctance to Engage in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Some clients may be reluctant to engage in cognitive behavioral therapy due to past experiences or failures, skepticism, misunderstanding or stigma. CBT presents little risks, even though it can be uncomfortable at times to deal with painful emotional conflicts and memories. Avalon Malibu therapists are trained to help.

We assist our clients in discovering the root of negativity within the self, using human interaction, nature, excellent nutrition and self-exploration. Our fundamental goal is self-discovery, helping to recognize and undo patterns of addiction and mental illness.

CBT Integrated into Residential Treatment at Avalon Malibu

Upon arrival at Avalon Malibu, most clients are emotionally exhausted. They have trouble sleeping, they’ve often severed ties with family and friends, they’ve lost social connections and jobs, and in many cases, they’ve been hospitalized or diagnosed with anxiety, major depression, substance abuse or mood disorders. With cognitive behavioral therapy incorporated into our residential treatment program, we strive to help our clients gain control of their symptoms and change their way of thinking, acting and feeling, using individual one-on-one therapy and group interaction within a beautiful, peaceful setting.

Contact Us to Learn More

We care about the individual at our Avalon Malibu residential treatment facility. Using CBT and a variety of other evidence-based techniques, our goal is to give each client the most effective treatment possible. If you’re struggling with mental health concerns, substance abuse or trauma, we can help you develop the strength to cope with unhealthy situations and feel better about yourself and your life as you move forward in your recovery.

We will work with most out of network PPO and POS policies

Call to verify your insurance benefits today!