Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in Pennsylvania

Medically Reviewed by Dr. Elizabeth Drew, MD
Last Updated: June 28, 2022

People in need of addiction treatment in Pennsylvania should consider rehab programs that offer cognitive behavioral therapy. It has shown to be incredibly helpful at changing destructive patterns of thinking, which can lead to dangerous behaviors, such as abusing drugs and alcohol.

Cognitive behavioral therapy is a method of therapy that looks at the connection between a person’s thoughts and beliefs, and their behaviors and actions. It’s a versatile form of therapy that’s useful for treating a variety of cases. This versatility makes cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT, one of the most common forms of therapy practiced today.

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People who show unhealthy or destructive patterns of behavior tend to carry negative beliefs about themselves and the world. CBT helps to guide these individuals through the process of gaining awareness of their thoughts and then assists in changing their thoughts and mindsets. Through changing one’s mindset, a change in behavior tends to follow as well.

Why is cognitive behavioral therapy such a useful treatment method? How does it work and who can it help? Could CBT provide you or your loved one the help you need? Are you looking for cognitive behavioral therapy in Pennsylvania? Continue reading to learn more about CBT and how it’s used today.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in Pennsylvania

The Need for Quality Addiction Treatment in the PA

There has never been a greater need for quality drug and alcohol rehab programs in Pennsylvania, namely in Philadelphia and the surrounding area, than there is right now. The statistics tell the whole story.

According to the City of Philadelphia’s Department of Public Health:

  • Like the rest of the country, Philadelphia is facing a health crisis because of the number of people who have overdosed on drugs.
  • In 2014, more than 47,000 people in the U.S. died of drug overdoses.
  • This number is more than double what it was in the year 2000.
  • In Philadelphia in 2019, 1,150 people died from drug overdoses.
  • 80% of these deaths involved the use of opioid drugs.

The City of Philadelphia also lists the following statistics:

  • In 2010, there were a total of 297 drug overdose deaths that involved opioids.
  • Over the years, that number steadily climbed, and in 2019, there were 963 people who died because of opioid overdoses.
  • The highest number of opioid overdoses involved white, non-Hispanic males between the ages of 45 and 55.
  • Even so, every subpopulation in Philadelphia has experienced the loss of life because of the opioid epidemic.
  • As far as drug seizures go, in 2019, heroin was responsible for 19% of them.
  • Fentanyl and Fentanyl analogs were found in close to 40% of them.
  • Cocaine was found in around 36% of them.
  • In 2020, close to 10 emergency room visits out of every 1,000 were because of overdoses on opioids, heroin or other drugs.

SAMHSA further reports that:

  • 25.7% of people in the Philadelphia/Camden/Wilmington metro area participate in binge drinking.
  • This is slightly higher than the rate in the State of Pennsylvania, which is 24.9%.
  • Is also higher than the national rate, which is 23.2%.
  • 9.5% of people who live in the Philadelphia area have a substance use disorder.
  • This percentage is higher than the rate in Pennsylvania, which is 8.3%.
  • It is only slightly higher than the national rate of 9%.

Drug and alcohol abuse have been problems in Philadelphia for a very long time. Addiction treatment can help, and cognitive behavioral therapy is a form of treatment that has been shown to have excellent results.

Understanding Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Analytical psychotherapy was popular in the 1960s when Dr. Aaron Beck created cognitive behavioral therapy. He noticed the inner dialogue that ran through his patients’ heads during their day to day life. He questioned the impact of this internal narration on their behavior, and how much of it they weren’t even conscious of.

He used the term “automatic thoughts” to describe the almost rapid-fire way the mind interprets what is happening in a person’s outside world. He noticed that if they viewed themselves, their friends and family, and their world in a negative light, they displayed negative behavior. Conversely, those who carried positive beliefs about their surroundings usually showed positive actions.

Beck realized that it isn’t always the event itself that affects a person, but the way they interpret and perceive that event. They assign meaning to it, whether positive or negative, that determines the way it affects them moving forward. Beck shifted the entire focus of psychotherapy from the analysis of the past to one focused on the present moment.

How Does Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Work?

Most people have little awareness of the extent of their thought life and the impact it has. When someone struggles with a person or an issue in their life, they have dozens of thought patterns connected to those struggles.

People think about it regularly in one way or another, whether or not they realize it. These thought patterns, oftentimes irrational or catastrophic beliefs, affect the way people approach and look at their life.

A therapist using a CBT approach may spend some time on their patient’s history to get an idea of who they are. But CBT is a solution-focused therapy modality that emphasizes the importance of timely results. The main focus of treatment is not on the past, it’s on the way the patient views the world around them today.

Therapists teach their patients to notice these automatic, unhelpful thought patterns. Patients learn to identify specific ideas and question how those ideas make them feel. Then the therapist and patient work together to reframe these negative interpretations.

The goal of the therapist is to help change the meanings that a patient has assigned to certain events, situations, and people. As their view of these things change, they start experiencing a shift in the way they conduct themselves.

The Need for Quality Addiction Treatment in the PA

Who Can CBT Help?

CBT is a versatile form of therapy because of its simple focus on thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. These affect every single person, from those with relationship problems to those with serious mental illnesses.

Cognitive behavioral therapy helps people struggling with a variety of issues by teaching people how to:

  • Identify harmful beliefs and resulting emotions
  • Change negative automatic thought patterns
  • Develop coping skills for dealing with difficult situations
  • Learn more effective ways of communication
  • Establish healthier relationships with those around them

CBT can help individuals who live with a wide range of mental health issues, such as:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Substance or alcohol use disorder
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Eating disorders
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Phobias
  • Schizophrenia
  • Sleep disorders

Some research has also found that CBT helps patients who live with chronic pain, fatigue, or other medical illnesses.

Finding Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in Pennsylvania

Do you think you or a loved one may benefit from CBT? Are you looking for cognitive behavioral therapy in Pennsylvania? Whether you’re navigating a relationship struggle, mental health problem, or even substance or alcohol abuse, CBT can help.

If you’re struggling with alcohol or substance use disorder, cognitive behavioral therapy is an important part of well-rounded treatment. Numerous facilities, such as Peace Valley Recovery, offer CBT as part of their drug and alcohol treatment programs.

Cognitive behavioral therapy in Pennsylvania is only one call away. No matter what problems you might be facing, you can learn to navigate them. Take back control of your life today with the guidance of cognitive behavioral therapy.

A Helpful Addition to Rehab Programs

Many people with addictions also suffer from co-occurring disorders. This is a term that simply means they have a mental health issue that is contributing in some way to their substance abuse problem. Some examples of co-occurring disorders include:

  • Depressive disorder
  • Anxiety disorder
  • Panic disorder
  • PTSD
  • Bipolar disorder

Therapists use CBT to help people identify their negative “automatic thoughts.” This means that their thoughts are based on impulses that typically come from internalized feelings of self-doubt and fear. The thoughts are painful, which is why people will often turn to drugs and alcohol as a way to self-medicate.

Automatic thoughts are often the root cause of co-occurring disorders. CBT addresses those thoughts, revisits painful memories, and helps to reduce the pain that is caused by them.

Cognitive behavioral therapy can also help people to change their thought patterns for the better. In doing so, they learn new, positive behaviors that do not include the misuse of substances.

CBT Programs Can Help People Manage Triggers

After identifying poor thinking patterns, the goal of CBT is to change the behaviors that result from them. This is done using specific skills, which are often completely new to the person receiving treatment.

  • Recognizing the trigger – Clients learn to identify the situations and circumstances that led them to use drugs or drink alcohol excessively.
  • Avoiding the trigger – Clients are able to learn how to remove themselves from these triggering situations whenever it is possible to do so.
  • Coping with the trigger – Cognitive behavioral therapy techniques are used to relieve the emotions that have led to substance abuse in the past.