Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is the most common therapeutic modality used for substance use disorders and mental health disorders. CBT, in its purest form, helps individuals understand the thoughts and feelings that influence their behaviors. Specifically, it works to uncover automatic negative thoughts that can lead to emotional difficulties. The goal is for patients to understand negative thoughts and feelings that influence behaviors, and change these distorted thinking patterns and emotional responses into positive thought processes that can bring forth healthy behaviors.
Individual Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Individuals can be in control of their thought processes and they can have the power to automatically block out negative thoughts. Changing these thought processes can lead to a behavioral shift within time. This is a step-wise therapy approach where each phase must be completed successfully before an individual can move onto the next one:
- Functional analysis: The stage of CBT where the individual is learning to identify problematic beliefs.
- Actual behaviors: The second stage of CBT where new skills are learned, practiced and applied to real-world situations.
- Behavior change: The final phase of CBT that encourages an individual to take steps towards implementing a developmental transformation.