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Using CBT in Daily Life

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Cognitive behavioral therapy is a leading therapeutic application for individuals recovering from alcoholism, addiction, and varying mental illnesses. Developed in the 1960s by a psychiatrist named Aaron Beck. Since CBT was first introduced, it has gained a previously inconceivable amount of recognition for its efficacy across multiple issues. Today, do an internet search for “CBT” or “Cognitive Behavioral Therapy” and you’ll be met with a multitude of news articles citing recent research studies which have found that CBT provides enormous relief and recovery for anything from cancer to chronic pain, trauma to diabetes, and much more. Goal-oriented and application driven, CBT transcends traditional talk therapy by including specific action. Rather than search for a problem, CBT helps to identify problematic behaviors, then discover the programmed thought processes which have enabled these behaviors for many years. By targeting and eliminating those thought processes, individuals gain freedom in their ability to choose how they behave.

Most treatment programs across the globe utilize CBT in their treatment of addiction, alcoholism, and mental illness. Compared to traditional talk therapy applications, CBT is short term because it is goal-focused. For the few weeks to the few months an individual is in treatment, CBT can be revolutionary. The skills gained through CBT work in treatment can easily transition for use outside of treatment, making CBT skills invaluable.

There are volumes of research, workbooks, activities, and techniques for CBT which have been developed over the last fifty-plus years. Here are some ways you can use CBT in daily life.


  • Using mindfulness to be aware of cognitive distortions: Cognitive distortions are what many in the treatment field affectionately refer to as “stinking thinking”. These thought processes are not our best and lead us to more negative behaviors than positive behaviors. Black and white thinking, catastrophizing, generalizing, blaming, and other behaviors can be minimized by the practice of mindfulness. The more aware you become the more control you have over your thoughts.
  • Reframing your thought processes: When you notice that you are in a negative thought process, examine your beliefs that are coming up. If those beliefs don’t make sense to you, you can simply choose to change them. Changing your perspective changes your reality.
  • Playing the tape through: This process is especially helpful for men and women in recovery from susbtance addictions. Cravings and obsessive thoughts about using are examples of cognitive distortions. Play the tape through of what would happen if you were to relapse. Consider the reality versus the fantasy. By the end you’ll find, relapse is never worth it.


Our Professionals Treatment Program was designed by professionals for professionals using the best practices proven to change lives. Call the Center For Professional Recovery today: 855-422-4129

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