Can Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) Treat Addiction?


Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a psychotherapy approach that can be used to help treat substance use disorders. CBT is commonly used to treat depression, anxiety disorders, phobias, and other mental disorders, but it has also been shown to be valuable in treating alcoholism and drug addiction. This is especially true when it’s part of an overall program of recovery.

CBT helps people learn to better identify the negative and self-defeating thoughts and actions that can contribute to substance use. It is a short-term, focused therapeutic approach to helping drug-dependent people become abstinent.

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy

Karina Santillo, Clinical Director

At Oak Forest Recovery we believe that in order for our clients to sustain long term sobriety and recovery they must address the underlying issues that led them to abuse substances and alcohol. Often times unprocessed trauma can be the culprit. EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) Therapy is used to address these traumas so that the client can experience significant relief from symptoms of depression, anxiety, PTSD, addiction and panic disorders. EMDR is extensively researched and proven to be an effective psychotherapy to help people recover from trauma and other distressing life experiences.

EMDR employs a body-based technique called bilateral simulation during which a therapist will guide a client through through eye movements, tones, or taps in order to move a memory that has been incorrectly stored to a more functional part of the brain. The American Psychiatric Association, the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs/Dept. of DefenseThe Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, and the World Health Organization among many other national and international organizations recognize EMDR therapy as an effective treatment.