Cognitive Behavior Therapy San Diego
APEX utilizes Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) as part of our integrative treatment approach. We use CBT to help patients change their thinking patterns and behaviors as a means to treat both addiction and mental illness. It’s a very hands-on approach that allows our therapists to work closely with each patient to improve his or her behavior and general outlook. We’ve found CBT to be successful in combating a number of mental illnesses, including anxiety and depression, as well as substance abuse problems.
The way we perceive the world around us is our reality. We behave in line with our thoughts and that’s how our thoughts shape our life. For example, we may never learn how to swim if we are afraid that an animal or a shark would attack us at some point or if we believe we would drown. We think water is dangerous and we decide not to learn how to swim. Sometimes, it can be more serious than that. If we feel and think that we are worthless, we may decide to alleviate the pain and discomfort through alcohol or drugs, like depressed individuals do. For the depressed, their reality is that they are worthless, regardless of how many times others tell them differently.
If we agree that our behavior is based on our thoughts then there is good news – by changing the thoughts, we can change the behavior. This is what Cognitive Behavior Therapy posits.
Cognition is how we think. It includes perceptions, concentration, memory and language understanding – all the processes and activities that give us choices on how we will behave.
When people are suffering from mental illnesses, addictions or comorbid disorders, their cognition is skewed. It could be the root of their disorder, or its consequence. For example, alcohol and drug abuse can alter our brain chemistry and change the way we perceive the world around us. Alcohol and drugs can also impact the way we feel good and compel us to seek more of them – that way, our cognition gets perpetually sucked into a vicious circle.
There are numerous benefits to Cognitive Behavior Therapy, which make it an excellent approach to treating a variety of addictions and mental health disorders:
- It is not a never-ending process. Some other forms of therapy last long and need a lot of time for improvement to show, which is not the case with CBT.
- It can be done in individual and group therapy.
- It is focused on attainable goals and results.
- Therapists and patients work together to develop plans to reach the goals and change problematic thought patterns.
- It is highly practical and aims to equip the patient with the skills and tools they need to reach the state they want to reach and to decide how to get there.
- It provides the patient with coping strategies for stressors and against potential relapse scenarios.
- It is immersive and ideal for residential rehabilitation. The results reached through sessions are reinforced with homework and constant attention to the process of learning new patterns and unlearning the dysfunctional ones.
- Cognitive Behavior Therapy