A Comprehensive Guide to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) has emerged as one of the most effective methods of treatment for addicts and alcoholics in the treatment industry.

Why is CBT all the hype, these days? Is the treatment method as effective as most treatment centers say it is?

We wanted to provide you with a comprehensive overview of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, addressing the following questions:

  • Who developed the CBT method?
  • What does the CBT method entail?
  • How long is CBT treatment, normally?
  • For whom is the CBT method effective?
  • Why do we use CBT at New Method Wellness?
  • A short glossary of terms

Who Developed the Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Method?

Psychotherapist Aaron Beck developed the Cognitive Behavioral Therapy method in the 1960’s.

Beck worked psychoanalysis with his patients and realized after some time that there existed an internal dialogue within the mind that affected his therapy sessions.

Much of this internal dialogue was suppressed, unintentionally, in the duration of the therapy session interfering with the effectiveness of the treatment.

This discovery caused Beck to unveil the connection between thoughts and feelings, coining the term automatic thoughts to describe the emotional tag associated with some subconscious thoughts that either positively or negatively affected the patient.

Beck aimed to identify these automatic thoughts in an effort to better understand the client and their core difficulties; the thought-centered therapy was deemed Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or CBT.

What Does the Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Method Entail?

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy focuses on the relationship between an individual’s thoughts, feelings, and corresponding behaviors.

The CBT model operates on the belief that events themselves do not provide emotional turmoil, but our perceptions and the meanings we assign to particular events cause the emotional turmoil. If an individual can change their relationships with troubled memories or preconceptions, then the individual can change their perceptions.

In CBT treatment, the therapist takes an engaging approach to identifying unhealthy thought patterns, deeply rooted beliefs and principles, and behavioral responses. Once these components are identified, the therapist works with the patient to replace unhealthy coping mechanisms with healthy solutions.

CBT is an active therapeutic method, during which the patient is assigned ‘homework’ or take-home assignments to encourage participation and thought monitoring in between sessions.

Journaling is a common therapist prescribed assignment often focused on recording negative thoughts, examining emotionally tagged keywords or phrases, and mood monitoring.

How Long Does it Take for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to Achieve Results?

Research suggests that just 12 CBT sessions can be as effective as a year of continuous use of depression medication (Psych Central).

Generally, CBT treatment lasts between 10 to 20 sessions, with one session per week.

While CBT is a short-term therapeutic method, that does not undermine the effectiveness of the treatment. The combination of an experienced therapist, a willing patient, and weekly repetition creates a positive environment for treatment.

In What Cases Do Therapists Use Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?

CBT is an effective therapeutic method for the following problems:

  • Mood disorders including: Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder, Depression, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and more
  • Anger management and violent mood swings
  • Addictions including: sex addiction, eating disorder, drug addiction, alcoholism
  • Chronic pain and chronic fatigue
  • General phobias  
  • Relationship problems

Why Do We Use Cognitive Behavioral Therapy at New Method Wellness?

At New Method Wellness, we believe in a holistic approach to addiction and behavioral disorder treatment.

Our treatment staff is composed of highly qualified therapists. Our Clinical Director ensures that all therapists and counselors are educated on ground-breaking therapeutic methods and tried-and-true solution-focused therapy.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy has proved a successful and effective method in the treatment of drug and alcohol addictions. With only 30 to 60 days of inpatient treatment, New Method Wellness wants to ensure that all clients are provided with long term solutions for a fruitful recovery.

CBT disrupts the cyclical thinking of addiction, providing alternative solutions to the emotional roller coaster that is often described of active alcoholics and addicts.

CBT, combined with Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), trauma treatment, group therapy, and more provide our clients with the best possible opportunity for long term sobriety.

CBT Term Glossary

Internal dialogue: Self-talk that exists within the patient, whether conscious or subconscious. Ex: Sally walks into a party thinking: “Everyone is looking at me and they hate my dress.”

Automatic Thoughts: Thoughts that are tagged with emotion, often appearing sporadically and subconsciously