CBT Therapy For Addiction And Co-Occurring Disorders, CBT Techniques and Treatment

Programs, services, and treatments vary. We Level Up FL is a primary mental health center offering co-occurring treatments. We treat the entirety of behavioral health disorders including their secondary corresponding illnesses to improve long-term recovery outcomes. Get a free mental health assessment and find out what treatment options are most suitable for you. We Level Up Florida can help with inpatient primary mental health therapy. Depending on the extent of secondary behavioral disorders such as addiction we can first help assess your condition and thereafter guide you to suitable treatment options.

What is CBT Therapy For Addiction?

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a class of mental health counseling established in the 1960s by Dr. Aaron T. Beck. CBT therapy for addiction helps people address problematic feelings and thoughts to overcome addiction. It is used internationally today in addiction treatment. CBT therapy for addiction guides recovering addicts to find connections between their feelings, thoughts, and actions and increases awareness of how these things affect recovery.

Individuals in CBT learn to recognize and correct problematic behaviors by applying a series of different skills that can be used to stop substance abuse and to address a variety of other problems that often co-occur with it. This is according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) [1]. It is a psychological treatment that focuses on efforts to change behavioral and thinking patterns.

A central element of CBT is expecting likely problems and obstacles and improving patients’ self-control by encouraging them to develop effective coping strategies. Specific techniques combine exploring the negative and positive consequences of continued drug use, self-monitoring to identify cravings early and recognize circumstances that might put one at risk for use, and promoting strategies for coping with cravings and evading those high-risk situations.

Research shows that the skills people learn through cognitive-behavioral approaches continue after the completion of treatment. Current research centers on how to produce even more powerful effects by combining CBT with medications for drug abuse and with other types of behavioral therapies. A computer-based CBT therapy for addiction has also been developed and has been shown to be effective in helping lessen drug use following standard drug abuse treatment [2].

CBT Therapy for Addiction
At the root of all addiction is pain. CBT Therapy For Addiction can be helpful for many suffering from substance abuse.

CBT Therapy For Addiction And Co-Occurring Disorders

CBT therapy for addiction topmost choice today among rehab centers. CBT helps individuals to heal and to discover connections between their emotions, ideas, and behavior. Moreover, it is to raise consciousness about how these factors impact recovery. CBT therapy for addiction also treats co-occurring disorders like ADD, anxiety, bipolar disorder, OCD, eating disorders, and PTSD.

Attention Deficit Disorder

Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) is a neurological condition that creates a variety of behavioral issues. It includes having trouble in attending to tasks, concentrating on work, dealing with deadlines, pursuing guidelines, finishing tasks, and social interaction.


Anxiety disorders shape a category of diagnoses of mental health that contribute to experiencing nervousness, apprehension, dread, and concern. These disorders change how an individual handles behavior and feelings and also cause physical distress. Mild anxiety can be unsettling and uncomfortable, while severe anxiety can have a severe impact on daily life.

Bipolar Disorder

Also known as manic depression, Bipolar Disorder is a condition of mental health that creates severe mood swings. It involves emotional lows like depression and highs such as mania or hypomania. Bipolar disorder can be a dangerous condition if not attended to. It can lead to many problems for people suffering from the state.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Obsessive-compulsive disorder or is a form of anxiety disorder where individuals may have unwanted and recurring ideas or thoughts. It may also be obsessions or sensations. These feelings make the person feel forced to do something repeatedly. Repetitive habits such as inspecting stuff, wiping hands, and cleaning can considerably disturb a person’s regular routine and their social interactions.

Eating Disorders

There is a popular misconception of eating disorders that it is a choice of lifestyle. Eating disorders are severe and often fatal diseases connected with severe changes in eating behaviors and related thoughts and emotions of people. Food, shape, and body weight concerns can also be a sign of an eating disorder.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a condition of mental health induced by a terrifying event, either witnessing or experiencing it. Signs may include nightmares, flashbacks, severe anxiety, and the event’s uncontrollable thinking.

6 Benefits Of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

It’s prevalent for people struggling with substance use disorder and addiction to having negative, destructive thinking. Not understanding these thought patterns are harmful, they seek treatment for depression or other external influences. Since cognition affects our health and wellbeing, changing harmful thought patterns is crucial. CBT therapy for addiction addresses harmful thought patterns, which help people recognize their capability to practice alternative methods of thinking, and controls distressing emotions and destructive behavior.

As a research-based treatment modality, CBT therapy for addiction is an effective treatment for substance abuse and addiction, eating disorders, and specific mental health diagnoses. An active therapeutic modality, CBT is problem-focused, present-oriented, and goal-directed, which may provide the following benefits:

1. CBT investigates the person’s patterns of behavior leading to self-destructive actions and beliefs that direct these thoughts

2. CBT enables therapists and clients to work together in a therapeutic relationship to identify destructive and unhealthy thought patterns and actively explore alternate thinking

3. CBT sessions are augmented with homework outside of sessions using dual diagnosis workbook

4. CBT can be presented in group and individual therapy

5. CBT skills are helpful, practical, and useful strategies that can be combined into the client’s everyday life

6. CBT helps clients formulate coping procedures to handle possible stressors or difficulties following addiction treatment

CBT Therapy for Addiction
CBT focuses attention on the present rather than the past

CBT Therapy For Addictiontive Techniques

Negative thinking is a barrier to self-change. Negative thinking patterns are one main cause of many problems including depression, anxiety, and addiction. These strong, destructive thoughts are common in individuals struggling with addiction and substance abuse By using written exercises and keeping thought records, CBT can assist clients to understand negative thinking and develop healthier thinking which they can include in their lives. There are lots of different techniques that therapists use in CBT, but below are four of the more common techniques that a person might experience.

Thought Records

Thought records are when an individual writes down their spontaneous thoughts when certain things happen. They then can take this record of thoughts and go through each one to figure out if they are objectively correct. The goal is to help them think more balanced and less harsh thoughts by critically assessing what they’re thinking.

Behavioral Experiments

These activities contrast positive thoughts against negative ones to see which is more effective in changing behavior. Some people respond better to self-kindness and others to self-criticism. Behavioral experiments are all about figuring out what works best for the individual. If self-criticism works best for a person, that person needs to make sure that it is always constructive.

Imagery Based Exposure

For this exercise, a person identifies a memory that produces negative feelings and takes note of every thought, sight, sound emotion, and impulse that they relate to that memory. By frequently revisiting these painful memories and taking note of the different parts, they lose power over time.

Pleasant Activity Schedule

This technique involves making a weekly list of fun, healthy activities to break up daily routines. These tasks should be easy and simple to perform while encouraging positive emotions. Scheduling these pleasant activities helps subdue negative automatic thoughts and the subsequent need to take drugs or drink.

Find the Right Primary Mental Health Treatment with Co-Occurring Addiction Diagnosis

Inpatient medical detox and residential primary addiction treatment may be available at our affiliated facility at Level Up West Palm Beach Rehab. For some primary behavioral health treatment clients, medical detox and or addiction rehab may be required first.  If you have a co-occurring severe substance abuse diagnosis, please contact us prior to beginning inpatient mental health therapy. Treatment services may vary. Please call us to learn which treatment options are most suited for your individual needs.


[1] [2] NIDA – https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/principles-drug-addiction-treatment-research-based-guide-third-edition/evidence-based-approaches-to-drug-addiction-treatment/behavioral-therapies/cognitive-behavioral-therapy

[3] CBT Therapy For Addiction Treatment – CBT Therapy For Addiction » Drug Alcohol Addiction Rehab (welevelup.com)