Almost everyone has dark thoughts when his or her mood is bad. With depression, though, the thoughts can be extremely negative. They can also take over and distort your view of reality.
Cognitive therapy can be an effective way to defuse those thoughts. When used for depression, cognitive therapy provides a mental tool kit that can be used to challenge negative thoughts. Over the long term, cognitive therapy for depression can change the way a depressed person sees the world.
Cognitive behavior therapy is based on the idea that feelings and behaviors are caused by a person's thoughts, not on outside stimuli like people, situations and events. People may not be able to change their circumstances, but they can change how they think about them and therefore change how they feel and behave, according to cognitive-behavior therapists.
In the treatment for alcohol and drug dependence, the goal of cognitive behavioral therapy is to teach the person to recognize situations in which they are most likely to drink or use drugs, avoid these circumstances if possible, and cope with other problems and behaviors which may lead to their substance abuse.
What Are the Components of Cognitive Therapy?
In its use to treat alcohol and drug-dependence individuals, cognitive therapy has two main components: functional analysis and skills training.
Functional Analysis: Working together, the therapist and the patient try to identify the thoughts, feelings and circumstances of the patient before and after they drank or used drugs. This helps the patient determine the risks that are likely to lead to a relapse.
Functional analysis can also give the person insight into why they drink or use drugs in the first place and identify situations in which the person has coping difficulties.
Skills Training: If someone is at the point where they need professional treatment for their alcohol or drug dependence, chances are they are using alcohol or drugs as their main means of coping with their problems. The goal of cognitive behavior therapy is to get the person to learn or relearn better coping skills.
The therapist tries to help the individual unlearn old habits and learn to develop healthier skills and habits. The main goal of cognitive behavior therapy is to educate the alcohol or drug-dependent person to change the way they think about their substance abuse and to learn new ways to cope with the situations and circumstances that led to their drinking or drugging episodes in the past.