Cognitive Behavioral Therapy New Jersey

A type of talk therapy used in the treatment of various behavioral health problems. It is a proven, highly-effective treatment for substance abuse disorders and used regularly in addiction treatment programs.

Using CBT to Treat Substance Use Disorder

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy utilizes a range of different techniques, from cognitive modalities that address thought processes to behavioral approaches. Therapists use these methods to show a person how to recognize the automatic, usually irrational thought processes that are behind many negative actions or emotions, which are often developed as a result of past experiences that elicit feelings of fear or self-doubt, even though the feelings are not appropriate to current circumstances.

Depression and anxiety disorders regularly present as symptoms of these thought patterns, and people seek out ways of suppressing their painful feelings that can be dysfunctional, causing many substance abuse users to turn to drugs or alcohol as a means of dealing with overwhelming emotions.

But by showing a person how to identify the root causes of their skewed self-perception, CBT helps them to learn how to process their thoughts more positively and behave in a way that is less self-destructive, helping them understand and address hurtful memories, reduce painful emotions they bring up, and minimize the need to mask these feelings with substance use.
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Functional Analysis

Better Skills

Once underlying causes are identified, patients acquire new coping mechanisms to use instead of relying on alcohol or drugs, sometimes this can be as simple as being able to understand situations more clearly through better communication. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy gives patients the skills to help reject incorrect perceptions and insecurities that trigger substance abuse, to improve their self-esteem, and to be able to communicate so that they avoid the misinterpretation of situations.

Managing Triggers

By understanding how negative thoughts and behavior impact their recovery, people can focus on the patterns that give them better chances of success. They are also able to identify the situations that might trigger a craving and ultimately lead to a relapse. According to information provided by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, CBT assists with controlling trigger reactions in three ways:
Recognizing the situations that result in substance abuse
Avoiding these situations wherever possible
Coping with the feelings that may arise by implementing better coping techniques
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Long-Term Empowerment

While these skills are learned with the assistance of a qualified cognitive behavioral therapist, they are techniques that can be practiced and refined outside of the therapist’s office. This empowers the patient to take control of their emotional reactions and subsequent behavior, leading to improved self-esteem and feelings of accomplishment. When a person believes that they are, in fact, in control of their lives to some degree, there is a better chance of resisting temptation. CBT can be used in conjunction with other treatments such as group therapy, which has the added benefit of providing a long-term support network. Other techniques, such as journaling, breathing exercises, and guided meditation, may also be beneficial in addiction treatment.


Since CBT is a structured program with specific goals focused on learning how to manage immediate problems, the program can be completed within 12 to 16 sessions. This provides a relatively short-term solution to a potentially life-threatening condition, making cognitive behavioral therapy a valuable tool in addiction treatment programs. To find out about the other types of treatment available at Psyclarity Health, get in touch with us today.


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