Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a form of mental health counseling founded in the 1960s by Dr. Aaron T. Beck and has since been utilized in substance abuse treatment, as well. Our center for cognitive-behavioral therapy helps individuals with drug and alcohol addictions change their behaviors and adapt relapse prevention skills for recovery. This form of treatment is utilized to help recovering addicts find connections between their thoughts, emotions, and behaviors and how these things impact their substance abuse. Keep reading for a better understanding of CBT for addiction and how it works.  

What Is Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)? 

Cognitive-behavioral therapy is a form of behavioral therapy and a well-established treatment for people suffering from a wide range of mental health disorders. CBT focuses on cognition, how your thoughts influence your mood, and reversely how your mood can influence your thoughts.  

CBT is a goal-oriented form of care that addresses cognitive issues such as negative automatic thoughts, intrusive thoughts, cognitive distortions, and underlying core beliefs. Most CBT therapists customize their treatment plans depending on the client’s needs.  

CBT was introduced when Beck’s perspective changed on mental health disorders from viewing depression and anxiety as mood disorders to viewing them as conditions of cognitive distortions. For instance, if a CBT client’s automatic interpretation of a situation is seen through negative thoughts and beliefs, then it’s likely that their mood will be negatively impacted.  

Overgeneralizing and personalizing situations can cause errors in logic and lead to misguided conclusions, which can contribute to mental illness. Underlying core beliefs can also shape a person’s view of life and be the foundation for automatic thinking.  

A person’s way of thinking and perceiving can shape the way they interpret the world around them and their role in it. Beck believed that dysfunctional, automatic, or even distorted thinking can play a significant role in mental and behavioral health.  

The ultimate goal of our center for cognitive-behavioral therapy is to address these negative thought patterns and resulting behaviors to help patients change their lives for the better. Although CBT is known as an effective treatment for mental health disorders, our rehab in Texas is focused on helping clients with drug and alcohol use disorders make a positive shift in their thinking, behavior, and overall quality of life.  

How Does CBT Addiction Treatment Work? 

Cognitive-behavioral therapy is designed to help clients understand the thoughts, emotions, and behaviors linked to their addiction and how they can change these things so they can sustain a sober lifestyle. CBT rests on the assumption that the way people think and interpret certain situations affects how they behave and feel.  

CBT exercises for substance abuse focus on helping clients explore and develop methods to deal with these challenges and behaviors that arise in recovery daily. This type of therapy can be especially beneficial in treating depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder, as well.  

The fundamental principles of CBT are:  

  • Psychological disorders are based (partly) on inaccurate thought patterns. 
  • Psychological disorders are also based on learned negative behavioral patterns. 
  • People suffering from psychological disorders can learn better ways of coping, relieve their symptoms, and subsequently create positive changes in their lives. 

CBT for substance abuse usually involves various exercises and techniques to help clients change negative patterns of thoughts and behaviors. These strategies may include:  

  • Learning to recognize one’s problematic distorted thinking and then reevaluate them in light of reality. 
  • Gaining a better understanding of the behavior and motivation of others. 
  • Using problem-solving skills to cope with difficult situations. 
  • Developing a greater sense of confidence in one’s abilities. 
  • Facing one’s fears instead of avoiding them. 
  • Using role-playing to prepare for potentially problematic or challenging situations with others. 
  • Learning to calm one’s mind and body in difficult situations.  

Not all CBT therapists use these strategies. Rather, they focus on implementing practices that best suit the client, allowing them to work collaboratively. Our Banyan Texas treatment center prioritizes the relationships between our therapists and clients to ensure that clients feel as comfortable as possible during their sessions and can speak openly about their struggles.  

CBT for drug addiction also emphasizes helping the client learn to be their own therapist by giving them the tools they’ll need to evaluate difficult situations in the future. Through exercises in the sessions as well as homework (at-home exercises,) clients are helped to develop relapse prevention skills for alcoholism and drug use so they can learn to change their thinking and negative emotions and behaviors.  

While our Texas rehab center is happy to help clients throughout their recovery long-term through our aftercare services, we also want to instill a sense of independence by equipping them with the right skill set for relapse prevention. Our cognitive-behavioral therapy programs consist of 5 to 20 individual sessions with a licensed therapist, depending on the individual’s needs.  

Need Help for Addiction? 

In addition to CBT addiction treatment, Banyan Treatment Centers also offer Texas drug and alcohol treatment that incorporates various services to help clients recover physically and psychologically from substance abuse. Starting with medically assisted detox, we help clients overcome withdrawals so they can move forward in recovery and get help from our professionals to change their thoughts and behaviors and adopt a truly sober lifestyle.  

For more information about our addiction services and how we can help, contact Banyan Texas today.  



  1. APA - What Is Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy? 


Related Reading: 

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Anxiety & Addiction 

Keeping a Visual Journal for Recovery