Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is a form of psychotherapy that aims to identify and change harmful thought and behaviour patterns. The core principle of CBT is to help you move past distorted thoughts that create problems in your life, giving you a clearer view of reality. This is particularly helpful in addiction treatment as it teaches you how to recognise the negative emotions that lead you to abuse substances and puts a stop to the downward spiral of addiction.

Banbury Lodge offers CBT as part of our holistic treatment programme. Our experienced team has helped so many people overcome their addiction through CBT, and we can help you too.

CBT therapy - woman in therapy

The benefits of CBT

The benefits of CBT have been extensively studied and are well-documented. Often referred to as “the gold standard of psychotherapy”, it is considered an effective treatment for a variety of issues, including anxiety disorders, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, addiction and eating disorders.

Some of the benefits of CBT in addiction counselling include:

  • CBT can help you to develop coping skills and strategies to manage your symptoms and improve your overall well-being.
  • CBT can be tailored to your specific needs, making it a highly personalised form of therapy.
  • CBT is typically short-term and goal-oriented, with many individuals seeing significant improvement in their symptoms within a few months of treatment.
  • CBT can provide you with a sense of control over your own mental health, empowering you to make positive changes in your life.
  • CBT can improve communication and relationships as it helps you to control your emotional responses and move forward in healthier ways.
  • CBT can be an effective tool in preventing relapse as it can help you to pinpoint triggers and put a stop to belief cycles that lead to substance abuse.

Taking part in CBT as part of a well-rounded treatment programme gives you the opportunity to turn your life around. CBT will treat your addiction and any co-occurring mental health disorders, leading to greater enjoyment and happiness in your day-to-day life.

What to expect from a CBT session

During your CBT session, you will talk with your therapist who will guide you through exercises to explore your thoughts, feelings and behaviour. They will use the ABCDE model, a series of five steps developed by psychologist Robert Ellie, to help you delve deeper into your thought patterns, giving you the opportunity to understand and change them.

The ABCDE model looks at the:

  • Activating event: a life event, for example, childhood trauma.
  • Belief system: the life event leads you to believe something negative and irrational, for example; the trauma makes you think you are unworthy.
  • Consequences: the consequences can be emotional and behavioural; for example, you drink alcohol to numb the pain of your trauma.
  • Disputing: with your therapist, you will learn to dispute irrational beliefs; for example, the trauma was out of your control and does not make you unworthy.
  • Effects: develop a new response and change the destructive thinking pattern.

CBT aims to highlight the thinking behind your behaviour, challenge irrational thoughts and form a new perspective. This method can be carried forward even after rehab treatment, allowing you to continue critically examining your thoughts and turn them into positives.

CBT therapy - woman in therapy 2

Other methods of CBT

CBT is a versatile form of therapy which can be used in several ways, depending on your individual needs. Some other methods in which CBT can be implemented include:

Cognitive restructuring…

Cognitive restructuring is a technique used in CBT to help you identify negative thoughts and challenge them through rational thinking. The goal is to replace negative thoughts with more positive and realistic ones. For example, replacing the harmful thought, “I need to drink alcohol to feel happy”, with a new one, “I can be happy without having to drink.”

Behavioural experiments…

Behavioural experiments aim to test negative beliefs and disprove them, in turn developing more accurate and positive beliefs. As an example, you could believe that you need to take prescription drugs in order to relax. Through behavioural experiments, you will try out different relaxation techniques, finding that there are other ways to relax and therefore debunking your own theory.

Exposure therapy…

Exposure therapy works by safely exposing you to triggers, with the therapist gradually increasing the intensity of the exposure in a controlled manner. A trigger can be anything that causes cravings or urges to use substances. This could include certain people, places or situations that you associate with drug or alcohol use. With this technique, you can learn how to cope with triggers and avoid relapse, even in challenging situations.

CBT at Banbury Lodge

Banbury Lodge offers CBT as part of our extensive rehabilitation programme, combined with a variety of other therapy modalities and holistic activities. At our addiction treatment centre, you will also have access to:

  • Individual and group therapy sessions
  • Dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT)
  • 12-step therapy
  • Eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy
  • Family therapy
  • Art therapy
  • Sound therapy
  • Mindfulness and meditation

Using CBT in conjunction with these effective treatments can set you up for success as you battle addiction recovery. If you are ready to get started, or if you have any questions about CBT and our rehab programme, please don’t hesitate to get in touch

Frequently asked questions

What type of addictions is CBT used for?
CBT can be used to treat all types of addiction, including drug and alcohol addictions, behavioural addictions and eating disorders. On top of this, CBT is also highly effective in the treatment of co-occurring mental health disorders. CBT is a widely-used therapeutic intervention for this reason.
How long does it take for CBT to work?
Most of our clients find themselves noticing the benefits of CBT after only a few sessions. It is important to note, however, that changing ingrained thought patterns is an incredibly difficult task. While some people may be able to implement changes straight away, for others it may take a little longer. The focus in CBT should be progress and not perfection.
How much does CBT cost?
The cost of CBT will vary depending on the therapist you see, your location and the number of sessions you need. Banbury Lodge offers CBT as part of our inpatient rehab programme and this is included in the price of your stay.
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Who am I contacting?

Calls and contact requests are answered by admissions at

UK Addiction Treatment Group.

We look forward to helping you take your first step.

0203 553 3757