Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) has proven to be a formidable partner in the fight against addiction. By addressing the complex interplay between thoughts, emotions, and behaviours, CBT offers a transformative approach to addiction treatment within rehab.


CBT - Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

What is CBT?

CBT, an abbreviation for Cognitive behavioural therapy, is a psychotherapeutic approach focusing on the connection between thoughts, emotions, and behaviours. It aims to help individuals identify and modify negative thought patterns and beliefs contributing to their addiction.

CBT is a structured and goal-oriented therapy that provides practical strategies and tools to promote positive changes in thinking patterns and behaviours.

The following points can summarise the goals of CBT:

  • Identify and challenge negative or distorted thinking patterns contributing to addiction.
  • Develop healthier and more balanced thoughts and beliefs.
  • Recognise and manage intense emotions constructively.
  • Modify unhelpful or maladaptive behaviours.
  • Enhance problem-solving and coping skills.
  • Foster a greater sense of self-awareness.
  • Improve communication and interpersonal skills.
  • Prevent relapse in addiction or substance abuse.
  • Promote long-term psychological well-being and resilience.

Understanding CBT in addiction rehab

CBT operates on the premise that our thoughts influence our feelings and actions, and by changing our thoughts, we can bring about positive behavioural changes.

CBT in addiction rehab treatment involves the following principles and techniques:

  • Cognitive restructuring: CBT helps individuals recognise and challenge negative or distorted thought patterns contributing to addictive behaviours. By identifying and modifying these self-defeating thoughts, individuals can gain new perspectives and develop healthier beliefs about themselves and their relationship with harmful substances.
  • Behavioural activation: CBT emphasises the importance of engaging in positive, rewarding activities to replace substance use. This helps reduce cravings and replaces destructive behaviours with healthier alternatives.
  • Skills building: CBT equips individuals with practical skills to cope with triggers, manage stress, and navigate challenging situations without substance use. These skills include problem-solving, communication, assertiveness, and stress management techniques. By acquiring these skills, individuals become better equipped to handle recovery challenges.
  • Relapse prevention: CBT places significant emphasis on developing relapse prevention strategies. Individuals learn to identify high-risk situations, recognise early warning signs of relapse, and implement effective coping strategies to prevent returning to substance use.


CBT - therapy session


The benefits of CBT in addiction rehab

By targeting underlying cognitive factors, CBT empowers individuals to challenge negative thinking patterns, develop effective coping strategies, and prevent relapse, promoting a holistic and sustainable approach to addiction rehabilitation.

  • Targeting underlying issues: CBT addresses the psychological factors that contribute to addiction, such as trauma, negative self-perceptions, and harmful coping mechanisms. By exploring and modifying these underlying issues, individuals can achieve profound healing and reduce the likelihood of relapse.
  • Practical and action-oriented: CBT focuses on actionable steps and tangible outcomes. It encourages individuals to actively participate in their recovery, offering concrete tools and strategies that can be implemented daily. This hands-on approach enhances self-efficacy and builds confidence in one’s ability to overcome addiction.
  • Developing effective coping strategies: CBT equips individuals with practical skills to cope with triggers, cravings, and high-risk situations, reducing the reliance on harmful substances.
  • Enhancing self-awareness and self-control: CBT promotes self-awareness by helping individuals identify the thoughts, emotions, and behaviours that drive addictive patterns. By gaining a deeper understanding of themselves, individuals can develop greater self-control, making it easier to resist cravings and make healthier choices.
  • Improving interpersonal relationships: CBT addresses interpersonal difficulties that may contribute to addiction. By improving communication skills, assertiveness, and boundary-setting, individuals can build healthier relationships and establish a supportive network that reinforces recovery.
  • Long-term effectiveness: By providing individuals with the skills and mindset to address the underlying causes of addiction, CBT promotes long-term recovery and reduces the risk of relapse.

Overall, CBT’s benefits throughout the rehab programme lie in its ability to target cognitive and behavioural aspects of addiction, promote self-awareness, develop effective coping strategies, providing individuals with the tools to achieve lasting recovery from their addiction.

How does Oasis Bradford incorporate CBT into addiction treatment?

At Oasis Bradford, we adopt a primarily dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT) approach while incorporating key elements from cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). This unique approach offers individuals a comprehensive and maximised treatment programme that enhances their chances of successful recovery.

While DBT forms the core of treatment at Oasis Bradford, we acknowledge the significance of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and integrate its principles and techniques into our approach. By incorporating CBT, which focuses on identifying and modifying negative thought patterns and behaviours, we can enhance the therapeutic process by addressing cognitive factors and promoting healthier thinking patterns alongside emotional regulation and acceptance fostered by DBT. This integration of CBT principles complements our comprehensive approach throughout addiction rehab.


CBT - therapy session 2

Getting help for your addiction

If you or a loved one are seeking help with addiction or wish to learn more about utilising cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) throughout the rehab process, contact Oasis Bradford today and take that crucial step towards transformative recovery.