It’s easy for those not struggling with an addiction or mental health disorder to pass judgment. Too many people believe that those struggling have just made bad decisions or hung out with a “bad crowd.” However, the truth is addiction is a disease that is made worse by negative behaviors and thought patterns of an individual. Thanks to the best cognitive behavioral therapy in Los Angeles, our clients can end these negative patterns and work towards a life of sobriety.

What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?

group of friends who have benefitted from the best cognitive behavioral therapy in Los Angeles

Cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT, explores the conflict between what we want to do and what we actually do. A prime example of this conflict is addiction.

The best cognitive behavioral therapy in Los Angeles is a short-term, goal-oriented treatment that takes a practical path to problem-solving. The goal of CBT is to alter the patterns of behavior and thinking that led to the person’s difficulties. Therapists use it to treat a variety of issues, from drug and alcohol abuse to sleep disorders.

CBT is a kind of talk therapy that focuses on the behavior and thought patterns (cognition) of the client. This evidence-based approach to therapy helps the client understand how their negative thoughts and attitudes directly affect their behavior. Adding the element of cognition to behavioral therapy created cognitive behavioral therapy.

It works by pinpointing the thoughts, images, beliefs, and attitudes the person has (also known as cognitive processes). It also explores the relationships that cause a person to behave in certain ways to deal with their emotional problems. For these reasons, it’s often thought of as a combination of psychotherapy and behavioral therapy. Psychotherapy stresses the importance of the personal meaning we have for things and how thinking patterns start during childhood. Behavioral therapy, on the other hand, focuses on the relationships that our problems have to our thoughts and behavior.

Once these connections are identified, the family can begin learning new strategies to manage emotions and thoughts. Creating these foundations will help clients as they leave treatment and continue their recovery.

A Collaborative Therapy

Cognitive behavioral therapy is collaborative, with the client and therapist working together. In other therapies, the therapist tends to instruct the client on how to proceed with their treatment. With CBT in Los Angeles, therapist and client work together to create short-term objectives and long-term goals.

Cognitive behavioral therapy is a short-term therapy, in most cases. It lasts from about five to twenty sessions. Factors that decide the length of therapy include the type of disorder, the severity of symptoms, and how much support the client is receiving from family members.

Cognitive behavioral therapy is also an important approach to family therapy. It is based on the view that members of a family are influenced by each other’s actions, with the actions of one family member leading to certain emotions and behaviors in other members.

The History of CBT

Psychiatrist Aaron Beck developed cognitive behavioral therapy in the 1960s. He had observed that his patients seemed to have an internal dialogue in their minds during the psychotherapy sessions. It was almost like they were talking to themselves. However, they only told him a fraction of what they were thinking.

The patient might be thinking that the doctor hasn’t said much during the session. As a result, the patient might think they’re not saying the right things. This internal dialogue might change how the client is feeling. 

Beck realized that the tie between thoughts and feelings was important and coined the term “automatic thoughts” to describe emotional thoughts that pop into people’s minds. It was discovered that identifying those automatic thoughts, which were usually negative and not realistic, was the key to the patient understanding and overcoming his problems. It was initially used as a method to prevent relapse in the treatment of alcohol use disorder (AUD). 

In conclusion, CBT is based on the theory that it is not the events in our lives that upset us, but the meanings we give them.

What are the Benefits of the Best Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in Los Angeles?

The best cognitive behavioral therapy in Los Angeles does more than just help an individual break their cycle of addiction. As you participate in CBT, you are actively reteaching your brain how to think and process emotions. In doing so, you experience several benefits, but there are two very important ones.

Becoming a more rational individual

Cognitive behavioral therapy helps you rationally think out scenarios and problems when they arise instead of jumping to a worst-case scenario. Not only will this help avoid negative emotions, but it’ll also help you solve the problem more efficiently and effectively. Rational thinking also leads to controlled thinking, where you have a better hold of your thoughts and emotions when you face negative problems or situations. Instead of turning to illicit substances to cope with an onslaught of negative emotions, you can use your coping mechanisms to work past the problem.

By ending these negative patterns, you also end feeling poorly about yourself. Having a better attitude and thought process will help you care more about yourself. You will also think about yourself in a more positive light. Most psychotherapists who use CBT in Los Angeles personalize and customize the therapy to meet the needs of each specific patient.

Emphasizing long-term maintenance

People who misuse alcohol and other drugs often experience relapse incidents. Therapists teach patients new attitudes and skills to rely on in the long run. This not only improves the patient’s feeling of self-reliance but also leads to a reduction in life pressures that might increase the risk of relapse.

Research shows that the skills learned at the best cognitive behavioral therapy in Los Angeles remain with the patient long after the completion of treatment. New studies are focusing on how to develop more powerful effects by combining CBT with other types of behavioral therapies. The approaches to CBT that became popular at the end of the 20th century are now being updated. Thanks to the new wave of behavioral therapies that focus on mindfulness, acceptance, and living in the moment. Still, CBT remains the preferred choice of many psychologists since it can help the patient quickly identify and cope with specific problems.

Addiction is an undeniable example of a pattern of behavior that goes against what the person having the experience really wants to do. You may sincerely want to change the behavior but find it is extremely difficult to do. According to the cognitive behavior theory, addictive behaviors like drinking, drug use, gambling, and other excessive behaviors are the result of faulty thoughts and negative feelings.

CBT is useful to address emotional issues and can help you:

  • Manage symptoms of mental illness and addiction

  • Prevent a relapse 

  • Treat a mental illness or addiction when medications aren’t an option

  • Learn methods of coping with stressful situations

  • Identify ways to control emotions

  • Learn better ways to communicate and resolve conflicts

  • Cope with grief or loss

  • Overcome trauma related to abuse or violence

  • Deal with a medical illness

  • Manage chronic physical symptoms

CBT may improve mental health disorders such as:

  • Depression

  • Anxiety disorders

  • Phobias

  • PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder)

  • Sleep disorders

  • Eating disorder

  • OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder)

  • Substance use disorders

  • Bipolar disorder

  • Schizophrenia

  • Sexual disorders

Our Los Angeles cognitive behavioral therapy works best when combined with other treatments such as antidepressants and medications.

CBT is also beneficial for the skills it teaches patients. These skills include:

  • Learning to delay and distract in response to cravings by keeping busy with activities like writing, going to meetings, or other positive things.

  • Recognizing dysfunctional ways of thinking such as giving permission to take a break from sobriety and replacing it with the realization that recovery is what is needed.

  • Practicing a collection of assertive comments to politely but firmly turn down offers of a drink or other substance.

  • Learning to solve problems directly and completely instead of trying to avoid it by getting impaired.

  • Becoming familiar with the “pros and cons” of using alcohol and other drugs compared to the pros and cons of being sober.

  • Practicing the behaviors of self-respect. This includes countering the beliefs that undermine your self-esteem and lead to helplessness and hopelessness.

  • Use healthy social support such as 12-Step meetings and other groups that support sobriety.

  • Make lifestyle changes that support sobriety and self-sufficiency. This includes having a healthy daily routine and participating in meaningful hobbies and activities.

Start the Best Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in Los Angeles

Want to begin your treatment with the best cognitive behavioral therapy in Los Angeles? At LA Detox, every patient is important, and every treatment plan is designed to address the individual’s unique needs. Begin your journey toward long-lasting recovery by contacting us today.