As with any other therapy program for addiction, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy – or CBT – is best tailored to the individual, dealing with their own specific wants, needs, fears, and behavior patterns. Although short courses are usually sufficient – therapy is usually complete in between 12 and 16 one hour sessions – sometimes other aspects of the patient’s psychological makeup can benefit from further sessions, or even variants on their original therapy, to address separate issues which may influence their addictive behaviors.

For the person willing to undergo cognitive behavioral therapy as part of their recovery program, the willingness to address addictive and harmful thought processes is the key to their recovery. Together with their therapist, breaking the cycle of thoughts, impulses and harmful actions, plus putting new thought patterns and ideas in place to give the patient tools to avoid relapses are essential.

However, if the person undergoing therapy has emotional or mental health issues which may have led to them seeking normality in drugs or alcohol in the first place, the cognitive behavioral sessions to deal with their addiction can be compared to wiping the nose of someone with a common cold and considering them cured.

In these cases, it is worth being completely open and honest with your therapist; a behavior pattern which can be quite difficult for a disorder which is so often based in secrecy to protect friends and family. For example, if a willingness to “fit in” was instrumental in triggering addiction in the first place, further sessions might be necessary to put plans in place address these thoughts.

Cognitive behavioral therapy is there to help; if at the end of the initial set of sessions there is a feeling of other triggers not having been addressed, there is no shame in saying “I am not cured, yet.”