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What Is Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy?

Victory Bay

Cognitive-behavioral therapy, or CBT, is a form of psychotherapy that aims to change clients’ negative thoughts, beliefs, and behaviors to improve functioning and overall quality of life. CBT is shown to effectively treat conditions like addiction, depression, anxiety disorders, eating disorders, relationship issues, phobias, and other mental health issues.

CBT is a gold standard in treating substance abuse disorders and one of the foundations of our unique, person-centered treatment approach at Victory Bay Recovery Center. Call us today at [Direct] to learn more about Victory Bay and how our specialized treatment programs can help you or your loved one.

What is Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy?

Cognitive-behavioral therapy is used in treating addiction and examines the negative thought patterns that lead to negative emotional and behavioral responses.

CBT teaches clients alternative ways of thinking, resulting in an increased ability to regulate distressing emotions and modify negative responses and behaviors. By restructuring negative thought patterns and allowing a new interpretation of circumstances, clients can step out of the destructive addiction cycle.

Simultaneously, as the client is learning strategies to reframe negative thoughts, they are also learning behavioral strategies to move them forward in their recovery. This two-pronged process can provide clients with a sense of empowerment and control over their change process.

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy Techniques

CBT techniques focus on changing negative or unwanted thoughts and behavior patterns. Clients learn to recognize and reevaluate cognitive distortions, develop problem-solving and coping skills, and increase self-awareness and self-esteem. These goals are accomplished using various methods, including:

  • Cognitive restructuring
  • Exposure therapy
  • Guided discovery
  • Roleplaying
  • Journaling
  • Activity scheduling
  • Successive approximation
  • Mindfulness practices

CBT clients discover how their distorted thoughts and perceptions negatively affect behavior and perpetuate unwanted patterns. Once discovered, those thoughts can be examined and reframed to create more positive and productive perceptions and behavior patterns.

Stinking Thinking – CBT and Cognitive Distortions

Cognitive distortions are negative or irrational thoughts and perceptions that cause a person to have an inaccurate view of reality. In 12-Step programs, cognitive distortions are often referred to as “stinking thinking.” These distorted beliefs cause unwanted behaviors and results.

Polarized Thinking

Thinking in absolutes and extremes, using words like “always” and “never.” Also called all-or-nothing or black and white thinking.


Drawing broad conclusions based on a single experience and applying it to all experiences.


Fearing the worst in everyday situations.

Mind Reading

Assuming one knows what another person is thinking.

Fortune Telling

Assuming or expecting that a situation will turn out badly without having evidence.


Believing one is responsible for events outside of their control, making events “all about me.”

Emotional Reasoning

Basing reality on emotions, believing that one’s emotions are the truth.

Mental Filtering

Ignoring the positive and focusing only on the negative factors in a situation, event, or relationship.

Discounting the Positive

Discounting positive outcomes as accidents or flukes and explaining them away.

Therapeutic Options at Victory Bay Recovery Center

Victory Bay Recovery Center is an outpatient behavioral health facility located in Southern New Jersey. Our highly effective programs utilize a unique blend of addiction treatment methods that include social support, life skills training, and evidence-based modalities such as cognitive-behavioral therapy to craft truly individualized, effective recovery treatment plans. This multi-pronged approach affords our clients the best possible chance of maintaining lasting sobriety. Our therapeutic options are available across all our addiction treatment programs and mental health support.

At Victory Bay Recovery Center, we know recovery because we live recovery. We offer outpatient drug and alcohol addiction treatment that works. Call us today at [direct] or contact us online to learn how our skilled clinicians and staff can help you or your loved one achieve sobriety.

Recovery with Victory Bay

At Victory Bay we’re here to help you achieve a new life with a new start in recovery. To learn more about the variety of treatment programs we offer, including mental health, eating disorders, and substance use, contact us today by calling 855.239.5099.