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Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Addiction and Mental Disorders

Our Doctors at Fifth Avenue Psychiatry draw from several forms of psychotherapy to provide our patients with the best-fit care. Cognitive behavioral therapy is a practical psychological treatment that our psychologists use to help patients with addiction, drawing on its key principles for best results.

What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is an evidence-based treatment used to reduce the symptoms of mental health disorders and addiction. It’s one of the most effective treatments and a commonly practiced behavioral therapy to treat depression, anxiety, and substance abuse. CBT aims to address the underlying cognitive and behavioral patterns that can exacerbate addiction and mental health. By working to change these patterns, you’re focusing on the present rather than the past and overcoming immediate barriers.

Does CBT Help With Addiction?

CBT is one of the primary therapies used in addiction treatment. Despite etiology, addiction in all forms is fueled by specific patterns of thinking and behaving. CBT works to change the underlying negative thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that contribute to the addiction, as well as teaches healthy coping skills to overcome relapse urges and improve mental health.

Our Approach to CBT in the Treatment of Addiction

Our psychologists have extensive training in the cognitive behavioral method for treating addiction that complements the treatment styles of our psychiatrists, Dr. Glazer and Dr. Megwinoff. Our team works with each patient to learn to recognize and change thought patterns and behaviors that contribute to addiction.

Getting Treatment for A Family Member

Hope is only a phone call away. Our team specializes in treating addiction of varying severity levels. If you or a loved one is suffering from alcoholism, gambling, or any type of addiction that has negatively impacted their life, we may have the tools and expertise to help. Please contact us today to learn more about our addiction treatment and psychiatry. We hope to hear from you soon.


Many therapists believe that dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) is actually a branch of cognitive behavioral therapy. Despite having some similarities, cognitive behavioral therapy and dialectical behavioral therapy vary in their approaches to overcoming addiction and mental illness. CBT looks to identify and change harmful thoughts and behavioral patterns fuelling the problem. DBT, on the other hand, works to understand how individuals interact with the world around them, themselves, and others in their lives. More specifically, DBT teaches mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotional regulation, and interpersonal skills.

Cognitive behavioral therapy may include closely examining how thoughts can trigger specific feelings and actions. Thoughts are then assessed for being either healthy or maladaptive, and maladaptive thoughts can be challenged and changed. Some clients may even choose to engage in homework where they journal and explore these thoughts outside of sessions.

CBT was most commonly used to treat depression and anxiety disorders. However, it is extremely versatile and shows excellent evidence in the treatment of a lot of other disorders, including post-traumatic stress disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and addiction, amongst other things.

How long it takes to see the efficacy of cognitive behavioral therapy varies for each patient. Some patients may see the benefits of CBT after a month, while others may take longer to see results. These therapy sessions typically occur one to two times a week for 45 minutes but may be more frequent or longer-lasting, depending on the patient’s goals, the severity of the underlying mental health disorder, the nature of the addiction, and professional guidance.

Addiction both influences and is a result of cognitive processes. Addiction is, in part, a learned behavior, and with it, it affects and is affected by memory, how one learns, what one pays attention to, how one processes and interprets environmental stimuli, as well as how one solves problems. As addiction becomes more severe and over time, these cognitive effects become greater and more fixed.