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When you or a loved one are entering an intensive outpatient program in Dallas, TX you’re sure to have a lot of questions. Many of those questions are about the therapy that will be received and how it will aid in recovery from substance abuse. 

Today there are many types of therapy as well as variations or combinations of therapy that are used to treat addiction. This FAQ provides answers to some of the most common questions about cognitive behavioral therapy for addiction treatment

What Are the Most Common Types of Therapy During Addiction Treatment? 

Addiction treatment can include a wide variety of therapies. Generally, treatment will involve some sort of behavioral therapy. Some of the most common types of therapy during addiction treatment include:

  • CBT
  • DBT
  • Contingency management
  • Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR
  • Family and/or couples therapy
  • Rational emotive behavior therapy
  • Community reinforcement/group therapy
  • Motivational enhancement therapy
  • 12-step facilitation therapy

Most of these are behavioral therapies. These therapies are meant to engage the patient in the treatment process, identify negative behaviors, find motivations, provide incentives and alter attitudes related to substance abuse. In addition, behavioral therapy can help patients find productive ways of handling stress and triggers that lead to substance abuse.

What is CBT? 

CBT stands for cognitive behavioral therapy. It’s a form of psychotherapy, which means it’s based on psychological methods such as talk therapy that are focused on analyzing behaviors.

The goal of CBT is to address negative thought patterns that are leading to unwanted behavior. By identifying and analyzing negative thoughts about yourself or the world at large, cognitive behavioral therapy helps to challenge those negative thoughts, break patterns and positively change behavior. The negative behaviors are replaced by more productive coping strategies.

The benefits of cognitive behavioral therapy are well documented, and it’s a form of therapy that has been used for decades. Over time variations of CBT have been developed to target specific mental and behavioral health issues.  

Why is CBT Used for Addiction Treatment?

Cognitive behavioral therapy has been recognized as an effective treatment for substance use disorders for many years. This type of therapy was actually developed to address alcohol abuse and later became a common therapy for cocaine use. Today, CBT is used to treat addiction to alcohol, cocaine, marijuana, nicotine and methamphetamine. 

CBT is based on the idea that learning processes play a key role in addiction. In order to break the cycle of addiction, you must change how someone thinks about drug use. 

During treatment different types of CBT may be combined or used in conjunction with pharmacotherapy. Generally, cognitive behavioral therapy is a process that builds slowly over time brick-by-brick. This can actually be a benefit for anyone undergoing addiction treatment since recovery is a lifelong process. Long after a person is in recovery, CBT can continue in order to reduce the risk of a relapse. And even if the patient doesn’t actively go to therapy, they can still experience the benefits of CBT that was received during treatment.

One study from 2010 found that CBT can be highly effective for identifying and removing motivational barriers and targeting learning processes that affect substance abuse. When learned behavior is part of the issue, CBT should be part of the IOP program. 

What is DBT? 

DBT stands for dialectical behavioral therapy. It’s a type of cognitive behavioral therapy that is very targeted. DBT can help patients learn how to:

  • Live in the moment
  • Find healthy coping mechanisms for stress
  • Regulate emotions
  • Improve communication and relationships with others

Typically, DBT involves a combination of individual therapy and group therapy. 

Why is DBT Used for Addiction Treatment?

This kind of psychotherapy was originally intended for people with borderline personality disorder, but its use has been expanded to a number of mental health issues. It’s considered particularly effective for addressing self-destructive behaviors related to substance abuse. 

A defining feature of dialectical behavioral therapy is its focus on emotional regulation. It’s also highly beneficial for addiction treatment because DBT helps change seem less distressful. And change is exactly what someone needs when they are battling substance abuse.  

DBT helps during addiction treatment by:

  • Teaching strategies for coping with all of life’s circumstances.
  • Making positive changes in behavior.
  • Analyzing destructive behaviors and patterns.
  • Altering negative thoughts and beliefs. 
  • Improving collaborative skills and communication.
  • Recognizing strengths and acknowledging them.

What Does IOP Therapy Involve?

The types of therapy that are used in an IOP program will vary from one treatment center to the next. It should also vary from one patient to the next. At Lighthouse Recovery we follow a personalized approach that is unique to each patient and their needs. 

If you have more questions about IOP Therapy the team at Lighthouse Recovery can help you find the answers. We can answer your questions about therapy methods and why certain methods are used during our intensive outpatient program in Dallas, TX.


Learn more about our services or contact us below to discover how Lighthouse can help you on your road to recovery today. Thank you for your trust.