Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Sadly, some individuals with a substance use disorder may also have a co-occurring mental disorder such as depression or anxiety. There is nothing to be ashamed of if you are suffering from substance use and a co-occurring disorder. This is actually a fairly common situation, and those individuals are given a dual diagnosis. However, to help individuals manage their addiction and prevent relapse, patients should undergo a CBT treatment plan for substance abuse. CBT stands for Cognitive-behavioral therapy, and it is one of the forms of treatment offered in Little Creek, Pennsylvania. You are in the right place if you want to get help for your addiction and enter rehab. This article will explain how CBT treatment Pennsylvania can help you achieve and maintain sobriety.

You must realize that relapse is a common theme in addiction recovery. Detox and addiction treatment can help people recover initially, but it may not stop them from relapsing. Cognitive-behavioral therapy can help individuals recognize why they start abusing substances. Getting to the root of your substance use issues can allow you to manage your addiction. Also, CBT helps individuals choose a different action other than using drugs when presented with the opportunity to relapse.

Identifying harmful thoughts and behavioral patterns that may be subconscious is what makes CBT for substance abuse so effective. In fact, a study found that 60% of addiction treatment patients with a cocaine use disorder were able to maintain sobriety even after 52 weeks after taking CBT. Are you asking yourself, “where can I find cognitive-behavioral therapy near me for addiction?” Look no further than Little Creek Recovery, located in Lake Ariel, Pennsylvania.

What is Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy? 

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a form of talk therapy that focuses on changing self-destructive thought patterns and behaviors. CBT aims to change cognitive distortions that prevent individuals from healthy emotional regulation. Through skills training, patients can develop healthy coping skills that help them channel their thoughts and emotions towards productive behaviors. Although it was initially developed to treat mental disorders, CBT has proven to be effective at helping patients avoid relapse. Now, CBT is used to supplement addiction treatment since it allows patients to maintain their sobriety after leaving rehab.

Since its inception, CBT has been scientifically proven to help a wide variety of mental health disorders. However, CBT can also help with difficult problems in life and various negative behaviors. Examples of problems that CBT for substance abuse can help with include:

  • Addiction
  • Mood disorders
  • Overall stress
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Eating disorders
  • Upsetting break-ups
  • Healing from traumatic events

Indeed, CBT for substance abuse can help with a range of issues because it’s backed by both clinical practice and copious amounts of research. Tackling behavioral issues without addressing what caused them has made other therapies fail in the past. Therefore, we offer our patients a comprehensive clinical program that is carried out over 3 stages of care. We guide our patients from the initial steps of understanding addiction to the application of the skills learned in rehab.

Making a conscious effort to change how one thinks is what produces actionable changes in real life. For CBT or any other form of therapy to be effective, individuals must be determined to devote themselves to treatment. To help patients minimize outside distractions and focus on recovery, we offer residential stay in our men-only inpatient treatment facility.

Man asking for help with his addiction.
Get help and develop a CBT treatment plan for substance abuse.

The Pillars of CBT

According to the American Psychological Association (APA), several pillars define the basis of cognitive-behavioral therapy. They are as follows:

  1. Unhelpful and self-destructive ways of thinking play a part in mental illness.
  2. Psychological problems partially stem from negative learned behaviors.
  3. Those who suffer from psychological problems can find healthy ways to cope in order to reduce symptoms of mental illness and live normal lives.

CBT usually starts by acknowledging the unhelpful thinking patterns individuals have internalized. These harmful thought patterns can lead to psychological problems causing individuals to struggle and sink deeper into addiction. Harmful patterns can often be based on learned behavior individuals pick up from their immediate surroundings. Unfortunately, unlearning harmful thought patterns and behaviors is challenging, and individuals can rarely accomplish this alone. Thankfully, with the help of licensed therapists, it is possible to achieve a measurable improvement in behavior.

Undoing the harm of negative learned behaviors and changing thought patterns can help individuals overcome a mental illness or other struggles in their lives. Yet, many people don’t realize that specific thought patterns affect how they feel about themselves and their behaviors that don’t benefit them. CBT addresses these subconscious thoughts and changes them into more positive ones.

However, patients must be willing to accept their behaviors and accept responsibility for their actions. CBT is a form of therapy where patients can face their fears instead of avoiding them. This is a necessary step in overcoming the patterns of addictive behavior.

What is the History of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy? 

Addiction is a complex health condition. Because of this, medical professionals from decades ago didn’t understand how thoughts could transform into behaviors later on. For many years psychologists and behavioral therapists relied on the work of Sigmund Freud to help their patients overcome mental illness. The modern roots of CBT stem from Aaron Beck, a Pennsylvania psychiatrist regarded as the father of cognitive therapy.

In the 1960s, a psychiatrist at the University of Pennsylvania named Dr. Aaron T. Beck tried to help individuals overcome depression. In the process, he found that the theory developed by Sigmund Freud wasn’t comprehensive. Dr. Beck noticed that his patients had subconscious, automatic thoughts that affected the way they felt about themselves and, in turn, their mental health. Eventually, Dr. Beck found that depressed individuals “experienced streams of negative thoughts that seemed to arise spontaneously.

Thus, Dr. Beck developed a theory that would change therapy forever. He grouped these “automatic” thoughts into three categories:

  1. Negative thoughts about themselves 
  2. Negative thoughts about the present world
  3. Negative thoughts about the future

After this observation, Dr. Beck found that he could help depressed patients by helping them identify their subconscious, negative thoughts. Through this process, Dr. Beck showed his depressed patients that their automatic, negative thoughts were untrue. As the patients began to think more realistically and, in turn, positively, they were able to stop the vicious cycle of automatically thinking negative thoughts and lead more normal lives.

Since Dr. Beck created cognitive behavioral therapy, CBT has evolved and adapted. Over 2,000 studies have analyzed the efficacy of CBT and shown how, with CBT, patients can become their own therapists by the end of treatment. CBT has been around for about 60 years and helps thousands of individuals take back their lives.

How Does CBT for Substance Abuse Work? 

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy can be used to treat many addictive behaviors, including substance use disorder. The main goal of CBT is to break up patterns of maladaptive thoughts and replace them with productive, healthy alternatives. The negative thoughts and behaviors CBT tackles are denial, minimizing the risk of certain actions, catastrophizing, and focusing only on the negative and avoidant behavior.

CBT for substance abuse works by helping patients understand every factor that leads up to the act of doing drugs and alcohol. By knowing what factors trigger addiction, rehab patients that are also CBT patients can figure out how to deal with them. Ultimately, therapists who specialize in CBT for addiction show their patients how to deal with painful emotions in a positive way.

In the initial treatment sessions, therapists will work with patients to develop a CBT treatment plan for substance abuse. From there, the earliest steps in CBT demonstrate that harmful actions and emotions are not logical or rational. Patients will learn how to analyze their thoughts and actions and realize how that can lead to substance use. When patients manage to understand and establish a link between negative patterns and substance use – overcoming addiction becomes easier.

Often, individuals with substance use disorders also suffer from mental illness. When a person suffers from both a substance use disorder and a mental illness at the same time, that person suffers from a dual diagnosis or co-occurring disorder. CBT can help individuals overcome their co-occurring substance use and mental health disorders by giving them healthy alternatives.

Little Creek can offer a CBT treatment plan for substance abuse.
CBT can help with co-occurring mental disorders.

Components of a CBT Treatment Plan for Substance Abuse 

Although there are many similarities, CBT for addiction is different than CBT for other health disorders. CBT for substance use relies on a rigid and regular structure, which is generally recommended for patients in recovery. Therapists will guide patients to identify the goals they wish to achieve and set a clear agenda. Frequently therapists will give patients assignments or homework in order to focus their introspection and understanding. This approach can be especially helpful for patients who have trouble applying CBT techniques outside of their therapeutic sessions.

That said, CBT for substance abuse still relies on the key cognitive behavioral therapy components. Two main CBT components are pillars in the foundation of cognitive-behavioral therapy. They are functional analysis and skills training.

Functional Analysis 

A fundamental tenet of CBT is all human core beliefs revolve around self, others (the world), and the future. This is often called a negative thought (cognitive) triad. Analyzing and understanding these thoughts break down negative patterns and begin their process of healing. Both the therapist and the patient must have a good understanding of possible cognitive biases.

Patients must identify their self-destructive thoughts about themselves, the world, and the future before treatment can work. It may be difficult at first to realize what thoughts are floating across one’s mind. Functional analysis is a crucial component of the early stages of CBT.

CBT therapists specialize in finding out what’s going on in their patients’ heads. Functional analysis is used to identify triggers that later lead to unhealthy behaviors. That way, CBT therapists can help their patients identify the unrealistic and negative thoughts that they’re thinking that are causing them to exhibit self-destructive actions. Once these negative thoughts are identified, CBT patients and therapists work together to narrow down these harmful thoughts.

Man with alcohol addiction drinking to avoid problems.
Some individuals use substances as an unhealthy coping mechanism.

Understanding the Motives for Drug and Alcohol Use

CBT for addiction not only helps patients realize what thoughts of theirs may lead to self-destructive actions and what outside factors may trigger such actions. Thus, therapists who specialize in CBT may ask their patients if there are any patterns between people, places, and things that may cause them to start to crave substances.

For instance, someone with a cocaine addiction may want to consume drugs around friends who are doing it. Therefore, being around friends that are substance users or in social environments in which substances are used could be an addiction trigger that leads to harmful thoughts and actions. Once an addiction trigger such as this is identified, CBT therapists and their patients will together figure out ways for the patients to cope with the addiction trigger in a positive manner.

Patients can discuss possible ways to avoid situations that will tempt them to use again. This can include avoiding places where drugs are sold or breaking contact with former friends who will encourage drug use. Developing this type of stimulus control is a necessary first step in achieving abstinence.

Functional analysis can also help the therapist determine where the patient’s drug use stems from:

  • Social pressures. Individuals may begin their drug use because their friends are using it. Peer pressure plays a significant role in drug use in younger individuals. This is often the case with substances that are legal, making alcohol addiction widespread in young adults.
  • Enhancing positive activities. Some individuals consume drugs recreationally because they like the sensation. On the other hand, individuals can abuse substances as performance enhancers. This is common for individuals suffering from chronic pain and may lead to prescription drug addiction.
  • A coping mechanism. Individuals with unhealthy coping skills can turn to substance use when facing difficult situations or emotions.

Skills Training 

Skills training is another important component of CBT theory. During CBT skills training, therapists and their patients will work on developing strategies to help the patients regulate stress, maintain mental wellness, and respond positively to addiction triggers. The skills targeted in CBT therapy are interpersonal or social skills, emotional regulation, and problem-solving skills. Learning positive coping and communication skills is a necessary component of any CBT treatment plan for substance abuse.

CBT therapists ultimately use skills training to teach their patients life skills that they can use to help them face addiction triggers and difficult circumstances without turning to substance use to cope.The patients that are using CBT for substance abuse will practice the strategies suggested by their therapist. Interpersonal skills can be put to the test in group therapy which gives patients the opportunity to form healthy friendships.

CBT therapists may ask their patients about their hobbies, and they may also ask their patients how much time they spend outside and if they exercise at all. Physical activity is linked to mental health, which is why we put a strong emphasis on our recreational therapy programs.

Cognitive-behavioral therapists will then get their patients to understand the ways that they can improve their mental health through self-care.

Once this happens, CBT patients suffering from substance use disorders may make lose self-care schedules. Such self-care schedules make sure that CBT patients have healthy bodies and minds. Such self-care schedules, plus the other positive life skills that CBT teaches also help prevent addiction treatment patients from relapsing.

Varios drugs
Prescription medication addiction can be treated with CBT.

What Forms of Addiction Can CBT Treat

Substance addiction often involves consuming an illegal or dangerous substance and taking other compulsive actions. The consequences of such behavior are negative and detrimental to an individual’s physical and mental well-being. CBT can be used to help the treatment of numerous addictive behaviors such as gambling, compulsive shopping, food addiction, video game, or internet addiction… Besides treating addiction, CBT can also be used to treat co-occurring mental disorders.

However, when it comes to substance use disorder, CBT is often used alongside medically assisted therapy. This approach allows clinicians to treat symptoms of withdrawal and cravings through the use of medications. Meanwhile, patients can learn to control their thoughts and emotions and avoid substance use in CBT therapeutic sessions.

CBT works by letting individuals change their substance use habits, which can be incredibly beneficial for addictions to hard drugs. Substances like heroin are extremely addictive and present a significant risk of relapse even after patients complete heroin addiction therapy. By attending CBT, patients will learn to manage their cravings long-term and reduce the risk of relapse.

CBT can also help when it comes to substances such as marijuana, which is becoming legal in many states. Regardless of its legal status, marijuana can lead to addiction, just like many other socially acceptable substances. During CBT sessions, patients and their therapists can get to the root causes of the addictive behavior. This allows patients to determine and understand the causes of their addiction and substance use. Individuals can then choose healthy alternatives and break cycles of compulsive behavior and the negative thoughts and emotions they experience.

Man attending CBT treatment Pennsylvania, representing CBT treatment plan for substance abuse
Individual therapy sessions are the basis of CBT.

What Makes the Little Creek CBT Treatment Plan for Substance Abuse Successful

At the Little Creek Treatment Center in Lake Ariel, we believe that each patient should receive a personalized treatment program. Although addiction does not discriminate, a one-size-fits-all approach to therapy rarely works. For this reason, we treat every patient as a unique individual. It is our priority to make each patient feel seen, heard, and respected.

One-on-one time with a CBT therapist during individual therapy sessions can help the therapist identify key points to focus on. You will start therapy by talking to your therapist about your addiction and the thoughts behind your actions. This will give them the information they need to come up with a personalized CBT treatment plan for substance abuse.

Group therapy is also an essential component of CBT treatment Pennsylvania. Participating in group therapeutic sessions allows patients to hear the experiences of others. This can be an incredibly liberating experience since patients will realize they are not alone in their struggles. You will understand that your thoughts are normal for people with addiction. Hearing that others have managed to overcome their addiction can inspire you to commit fully to getting better. Group sessions also allow individuals to listen to others before opening themselves up.

Patients sometimes need to see that there is no judgment when talking about addiction. However, group therapy sessions let individuals witness firsthand how effective talking about one’s problems can be. Of course, patients will continue to work with a therapist in individual sessions, allowing the therapist to monitor their progress.

What Other Treatments Are Available in Little Creek?

Patients staying in our facility will have access to numerous treatment programs and therapeutic activities. The Little Creek Treatment Center also offers additional forms of behavioral therapy besides a CBT treatment plan for substance abuse. Namely, we also provide Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR).

As a form of therapy, CBT is focused on the idea that thoughts and behaviors can influence feelings. Therefore, changing how we think can help us feel better. On the other hand, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy can be used to help co-occurring mental disorders such as BPD. Borderline Personality Disorder can lead to thoughts of self-harm or suicide and must be addressed immediately.

DBT can help patients understand and accept their negative thoughts and emotions. Individuals can learn to focus their attention on positive thoughts and constructive behaviors. DBT relies on skills such as mindfulness to help patients regulate their emotions. If you are unsure what form of therapy is best for you, our therapists will conduct introductory sessions and create an appropriate DBT or CBT treatment plan for substance abuse suited to your needs.

Some patients who struggle with addiction may also develop an anxiety disorder. In these situations, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing therapy is recommended. EMDR can help patients focus their attention on external stimuli while recollecting past trauma. This process of desensitization can eliminate unwanted physical reactions and reduce anxiety. Over time, the brain can be taught and reprocessed to handle traumatic memories in a way that causes less stress. Patients who undergo EMDR commonly feel a sense of closure and are much more comfortable discussing their past trauma.

Therapy That Helps Long-Term Sobriety

CBT is focused on providing patients with skills they can use to prevent relapse in the long run. However, at Little Creek, we also employ a variety of evidence-based therapeutic techniques to aid patients in their recovery. We offer our clients the opportunity to develop new skills and explore exciting activities through recreational therapy.

One of our most successful and popular programs is our outdoor adventure therapy. Here patients have the opportunity to take part in exciting outdoor activities. Spending time in the sun and physical exercise are proven to have beneficial effects on brain chemistry. Additionally, learning new hobbies is fun, and those activities can represent future healthy coping mechanisms. Our outdoor activities usually take the form of fun exercise that improves patients’ physical and mental well-being. Often these take the form of group activities that also present great bonding opportunities with other patients.

Music therapy is also incredibly beneficial for patients who are undergoing CBT. Addiction stifles creativity, and art can be the perfect medium for self-discovery. Patients often use music and other non-verbal forms of expression to explore their complex emotions during recovery.

Patients participating in these programs have a noticeable decrease in their anxiety levels and depression. There is also an improvement in self-confidence, and patients are more willing to take on the responsibility of self-care. Group activities also promote building positive relationships with others and cooperation to achieve goals and face challenges. These factors are the main reasons why recreational activities are often paired with CBT. They represent healthy coping skills that can be used to manage stress.

Man discussing a CBT treatment plan with his therapist, representing CBT treatment plan for substance abuse
Patients will learn healthy alternatives for coping with their negative thoughts and feelings.

How to Attend CBT Treatment Pennsylvania

If you wish to attend the Little Creek Treatment Center, you will need to go through our admissions process. You can contact our admission coordinators, who will gladly explain everything about entering rehab. Bear in mind that you will need to meet several criteria for rehab admissions.

We offer inpatient treatment to men only, but women are welcome to join our outpatient treatment programs. Additionally, all incoming patients must complete their medical detox, and they must have medical clearance to participate in our programs. We expect all residents of Little Creek Lodge to be motivated and willing to conform to a structured living environment.

If you plan to use insurance to cover the costs of your treatment, you can submit an insurance verification form. We can check your insurance and inform you which benefits you are eligible for and which services are covered. Little Creek accepts coverage from most major health insurance providers. However, you also have the option to cover the costs of treatment out of pocket.

We can help organize transportation services to our facility in Lake Ariel, Pennsylvania. Upon your arrival, our friendly and welcoming staff will greet you. For your stay in our inpatient facility, you will be provided 24/7 care by licensed clinicians. We offer our patients care according to the highest healthcare standards and practices.


Q: What is CBT?
A: CBT is a form of behavioral therapy that is widely used to reduce the symptoms of mental disorders such as depression or anxiety. CBT can be used to treat the co-occurring disorders that typically follow addiction.

Q: Can CBT help with addiction?
A: A CBT treatment plan for substance abuse can help you avoid relapse. It functions by helping you recognize and deal with negative thoughts regarding substance use.

Q: What are the core components of CBT for substance use?
A: CBT for substance use relies on traditional cognitive behavioral components, which are functional analysis and skill training.

Q: Is CBT a valid form of therapy?
A: Yes, studies have shown that CBT is a proven and effective treatment for substance use disorder. Patients who have undergone CBT skills training have a higher chance of maintaining sobriety.

Q: Can CBT help with other forms of addiction?
A: CBT has also proven to be effective in preventing and managing pathological gambling, smoking, and internet addiction.

Q: Is CBT safe?
A: CBT is a non-invasive psychotherapy that typically occurs in group or individual sessions. All Little Creek CBT treatment Pennsylvania therapeutic sessions are perfectly safe and are conducted by licensed staff.

Achieve Recovery Through CBT for Substance Abuse

We hope that you now understand how effective CBT can be in treating substance abuse. Behavioral therapy can help patients maintain their sobriety and live rich and fulfilling lives. By learning the core skills of CBT, you will be able to prevent relapse and deal with your negative thoughts. You will learn how to choose a better option than turning to drugs when you are exposed to addiction triggers.

If you are looking for facilities that offer CBT treatment Pennsylvania, you can turn to Little Creek Lodge. Feel free to contact us and we can create a CBT treatment plan for substance abuse suited to your needs. Help is available, but you must gather the strength and courage to seek treatment. Regardless if you are inquiring for yourself or a loved one, our staff will greet you with kindness and understanding. We can answer any of your general questions regarding CBT or rehab and get you on the fast track to a successful recovery.


“Adventure trek is always popular”

Little creek lodge is such an amazing place for people who want to make a serious change in their life. I’ve watched my loved one grow immensely through his recovery with the help of the caring staff and engaging programs. Adventure trek is always popular on the agenda!

Annabelle Stiso |

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Little Creek Lodge 359 Easton Turnpike Hamlin, PA 18427