Cognitive Behavioral Theory as Addiction Treatment | Free Essay Example

Cognitive Behavioral Theory as Addiction Treatment

Words: 587
Topic: Psychology

There are different procedures through which patients with addiction problems can be treated. Two of these procedures are Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Motivational Interviewing. Cognitive-behavioral therapy is a type of psychotherapy that emphasizes the role of thinking when it comes to people’s feelings and actions. This is a beneficial fact as one can change how they think or act, even if a particular situation remains the same. CBT addictive behavior can be attributed to predisposing and precipitating factors, which eventually lead to a dysregulation in the functioning of an addict’s body. The dysregulation affects the affective, cognitive, and behavioral systems (Farmer, & Chapman, 2008). The treatment of a client with addiction involves several factors, such as the conceptualization of the client’s case. Here, the therapist should ensure that he fully understands the client’s addiction before any treatment commences. He should also make sure that time is well managed and that the process is solution-based.

Even though CBT is a well known and used method for treating addictive behavior, the rates of recovery, and compliance when it comes to procedures of treatment are often less optional. The use of preparatory intervention can result in a boost in the response rates concerning the treatment process, as well as increase one’s level of engagement with the therapy procedures. Such preparatory intervention includes motivational interviewing. Motivational interviewing is a person-centered process through which a counselor or service provider seeks to encourage the client to make the personal decision of making a change. Motivational interviewing aims at understanding an individual’s reference frame, especially through reflective participation. It is also used to express affirmation and acceptance by clients with addiction. Motivational interviewing can also be used to reinforce selectively, as well as to elicit the addict’s motivational statement (Miller, & Rollnick, 2002). It can also be used in expressing the fact that they recognize that they have an addiction. Through this process, clients are also able to express their concerns, intentions, and desire to change, as well as their ability to change if they are given the opportunity. Through motivational interviews, a therapist can examine how ready a client is to change and work towards the attainment of that change. The MI process involves a brief meeting with the client. The MI provider should be collaborative, evocative, and have respect for the autonomy of the client. The approach also has aspects that are client-centered and provides a guide to the client to help them in dealing with their addiction.

From the above discussion, CBT can be greatly influenced by MI if the two are combined. The rationale that is behind combining these two strategies is that CBT provides an elaborate structure that can be used for treatment. Apart from being performed on an individual addict, the combination of these two approaches can be extended to a group (Berg, Landreth, &, Fall, 2004). This treatment procedure is not effective without the client being fully involved. On the other hand, the MI procedure is quite effective when it comes to engaging clients. The process is relatively brief and can fit effectively with other models. There are various ways through which CBT and MI can be combined; MI can be used before CBT as it acts as a guide, or it can be used at points that are predetermined in between a CBT procedure. A treatment process can be efficient if both approaches are combined, a reason why I chose by combining the two to get better results in the treatment of clients with drug addiction.


Berg, R., Landreth, G. &, Fall, K. (2004). Group counseling concepts and procedures. London. American Psychological Association.

Farmer, R. F., & Chapman, A. L. (2008). Behavioral interventions in cognitive behavior therapy: practical guidance for putting theory into action. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Miller, W. R. & Rollnick, S. (2002). Motivational interviewing: preparing people for change. New York: Guilford Press.