Using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to Combat Relapse in Addiction Recovery

Woman using cognitive behavioral therapy to fight relapse in recoveryIntensive outpatient treatment programs are designed to provide you with the tools and resources you need to work through thoughts, feeling and situations that may trigger us to want to relapse. Even when we’re feeling confident in our recovery, we may find that something unexpected comes up that brings about feelings of sadness, anger, guilt and more. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a combination of talk therapy and behavioral therapy and aims to help us identify and manage thoughts, emotions and behaviors that appear from time to time.

Numerous studies have shown just how effective CBT is for relapse prevention; in 2017, researchers provided an overview of the benefits published in the journal Substance Use & Misuse. They provided an overview of the session content that is covered in CBT:

  • Awareness of triggers and cravings
  • Mindfulness in daily life
  • Mindfulness in high-risk situations
  • Acceptance and skillful action
  • Seeing thoughts as merely “thoughts” and nothing more
  • Self-care and lifestyle balance
  • Social support and continuing practice

Relapse often occurs when we’re not mindful. When our emotions are running rampant and our thoughts are racing, we’re likely to make a reactive decision – not a rational one. Sarah Bowen, a researcher from the University of Washington, told a story of a young woman who participated in a CBT-based program. She explained that for this young woman, the coping skills developed through the program taught her that whenever her mind started telling her stories of how she couldn’t go to work the next day or how the rest of her night was going to go, she realized she had a choice. The thoughts she was having only needed to be given importance if she choice to give that to them – and that’s quite a freeing feeling, indeed.

If you’re ready to begin your journey to recovery, speak with a professional from Cumberland Heights today. The time to rejuvenate your mind, body and spirit is now.

Cumberland Heights in Nashville, Tennessee on Music Row is a 12-Step based alcohol & drug rehab program. Cumberland Heights’ Intensive Outpatient Program is designed for individuals 18 and above who may be in the early stages of dependency or are experiencing problems with alcohol or drug use. We offer personalized assessments and treatment plans, as well as convenient evening hours to accommodate your workday schedule. To get started on your recovery journey today, call us at 615-356-2700.