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Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in Inpatient Rehab

Researching rehab centers is hard because there are a lot of ideas and terms that will be unfamiliar. How can you decide what you need if you don’t even know what is being offered? You can probably make the big decisions—like cost and location—pretty easily, but understanding the types of therapy used can be a lot harder. You might even have a general idea of the terms and still have a hard time making a choice.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “Treatment approaches and individual programs continue to evolve and diversify, and many programs today do not fit neatly into traditional drug addiction treatment classifications.”

As these programs become more diverse, the decision making can become even harder because you need to know more things.

One type of therapy that might sound familiar is cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT. CBT is popular in inpatient rehab because it focuses on specific problems and works to solve them, which means it can fit easily into the average rehab stay. But, there is more to this type of therapy and the following information should help you to better understand how it works.

If you are getting ready to or currently are looking into inpatient rehab facilities, you should call 800-430-1407Who Answers?. We can connect you with experts who can answer questions, link you to resources, and connect you to treatment that meets your needs. You couldn’t ask for more help with learning about rehab and deciding on a center.

The Essentials

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

CBT works to change the unhealthy thought patterns that lead to substance abuse.

Originally used to treat depression, CBT is now very frequently used with people who have a substance use disorder. You will come across it quite a bit as you look into possible rehab centers.

Therapists use CBT because it is believed that people with a substance use disorder are driven by unhealthy thought patterns. Cognitive behavioral therapy actually trains patients to look at their thoughts, questions them, and get rid of damaging thoughts. This helps addicts fight their desires to use and also helps them maintain a positive state of mind throughout treatment and recovery.

Cognitive behavioral theory deals with particular problems and it helps a patient develop a particular strategy to use when they encounter that problem.

Emotional Responses

Practitioners of CBT believe that how people think about the world has a profound impact upon them, and the way that people think causes emotional responses. If the unhealthy thoughts can be dealt with and changed, then the resulting emotional responses can be, too.

Yes, you know that emotions can’t be changed by exerting your willpower or by being strictly logical in your thinking. People who practice CBT know that, too. They believe that the emotional responses are part of a pattern developed by previous conditioning. When you examine the thoughts, you can change the conditioning. For example, if you are used to using a substance when you get in trouble at work, a CBT specialist will work with you to challenge the craving that is triggered.

Types of Therapy in Inpatient Drug Rehab Centers

Cognitive and Behavioral Therapy

CBT is made up of two other types of therapy: cognitive therapy and behavioral therapy. You are probably used to the idea of therapists examining the unconscious, looking for some hidden meaning for why you do what you do.

Behaviorists don’t do that. They believe that disorders (like addiction) are just a response to a motivation. For example, your addiction might be a response to fear.  When you encounter the thing you fear (depression, arguments, family friction, poor self-image), you use to make the thing you are afraid of go away.

Cognitive therapists, on the other hand, think that conscious thoughts (the ones you are aware of) work on their own to affect your behavior.


CBT is great because it can take relatively little time and that works perfectly in rehabilitation. However, because the scope of the therapy is so narrow, it won’t get into the complicated roots of a problem. If you choose to engage in CBT, you may later want to have some more intensive therapy to deal with larger issues.

If you are interested in inpatient rehab call 800-430-1407Who Answers? to get the immediate help that you need.

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Calls to numbers on a specific treatment center listing will be routed to that treatment center. Calls to any general helpline will be answered or returned by one of the treatment providers listed, each of which is a paid advertiser: Rehab Media Group, Recovery Helpline, Alli Addiction Services.

By calling the helpline you agree to the terms of use. We do not receive any commission or fee that is dependent upon which treatment provider a caller chooses. There is no obligation to enter treatment.

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