Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

When you think of mental health treatment, you probably think of a therapist encouraging a client to talk about their feelings. While describing emotions is an integral part of many treatment approaches, there are actually a variety of talk therapy modalities. Each one is founded on different beliefs and practices. Perhaps the most well-studied approach used in treatment facilities today is cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT).

What Is CBT?

CBT is one of the most commonly utilized forms of talk therapy in the US. Talk therapy, also known as psychotherapy, usually takes place in a private, one-on-one environment between a client and a counselor or psychotherapist. However, CBT and other types of talk therapy can also be used in group counseling sessions, such as family therapy. 

As the name suggests, talk therapy relies on conversation and an open dialogue between the client and counselor. One of the foundational ideas behind talk therapy is that voicing your thoughts and feelings to a nonjudgmental third party can help reveal aspects of your identity, emotions, and thought patterns that you might not have been aware of. Talking through issues with gentle guidance from a counselor can bring underlying problems to light and help you process trauma that may have been repressed. 

At its core, CBT is an evidence-based therapy modality that has proven efficacy in treating a range of mental health disorders and substance use disorders (SUDs). When treated with CBT over a series of 18 to 20 therapy sessions, participants of a 2017 study reported recovery rates for depression around 62%. The study compared these rates to recovery rates for clients treated with non-CBT counseling, which was around 42%. Evidence like this is why we utilize CBT at Athens Area Commencement Center.

Benefits of CBT

This therapeutic approach can be beneficial to a variety of client needs. CBT is an extremely client-centric modality, which aligns with our mission at Athens Area Commencement Center. We believe that treatment should be driven by each individual’s goals and that clients should take an active role in their recovery. CBT empowers our clients to lead the discussion on their health and future. Counselors are there to be a guiding and supportive hand, but your healing is truly in your hands.

CBT also encourages self-awareness and self-sufficiency. It does this through a unique approach to identifying and correcting negative thought patterns. In the depths of mental illness or substance abuse, your thoughts can become skewed in a way that continues the cycle of negative feelings and destructive behaviors. One of the main goals of CBT is to understand why negative thought patterns are occurring and gently correct them to more neutral thought patterns. This practice of modifying dysfunctional thoughts can lead to lasting changes in your mental health. 

Undergoing CBT can also boost your self-confidence and self-esteem, which are often impacted by mental health issues and SUD. By taking an active role in your recovery, you may feel a renewed sense of control over your own life and healing journey. This confidence boost can be a vital piece in sustaining wellness practices in the long term. 

CBT may also help you:

  • Cope with loss and grief
  • Manage symptoms of mental illness
  • Process emotional trauma
  • Correct negative thought patterns
  • Learn better ways to communicate
  • Resolve conflicts in your life
  • Manage intense emotions
  • Cope with everyday stresses

CBT Treatment

CBT can play an important role in treatment plans for a range of mental health issues. Whether or not you incorporate CBT into your personalized treatment plan will depend on your unique needs and goals. It can also be utilized in different stages of recovery and often plays a role in multiple places on the continuum of care. During your intake process, these are the types of in-depth discussions you’ll have with our care team to determine the best treatment plan for you. If you meet the criteria for CBT, our team will integrate it into your plan.

In cases of SUD, CBT and other forms of talk therapy are often integrated during or soon after the detoxification process. Because CBT doesn’t work overnight, it’s often recommended that a routine of CBT sessions be introduced early on in recovery and continued throughout. Remember, recovery is often a life-long endeavor; consistency and routine are a cornerstone of sustained wellness.  

Some mental health disorders that are commonly treated with CBT include:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety 
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • SUD
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Schizophrenia
  • Eating disorders

Cognitive behavioral therapy can be used as the primary therapeutic approach in your treatment or as a complementary therapy. For example, in cases of mental health disorders, CBT is often utilized to complement psychiatric medication. When used in tandem, the effectiveness of both treatment approaches can be boosted. In cases where medication cannot be used, CBT may be the primary treatment modality. You can also take part in other therapeutic interventions, such as experiential therapies, while being treated with CBT.

Comprehensive Education at AACC

At Athens Area Commencement Center, we believe that education has the power to transform the recovery process. Understanding the root causes of addiction and mental health disorders, both biological and environmental, can be an empowering experience for clients and their loved ones. That’s why comprehensive education always plays a key role in treatment here. CBT is a great tool that encourages a deep, scientific understanding of issues that are often considered taboo in our society. 

If you think that CBT may be a good addition to your personalized treatment plan, don’t hesitate to reach out. Call Athens Area Commencement Center at (706) 546-7355 and get started on your healing journey.