CBT for Adolescent Addiction Recovery Treatment in Los Angeles

CBT for Adolescent Addiction Recovery Treatment in Los Angeles

Addiction is a mental health condition that affects behavior and brain development; the neurotoxic effects of addiction are pronounced in adolescence. Adolescent exposure to alcohol and illegal drugs can disrupt brain development and associated cognitive and behavioral processes. Substance abuse can have a detrimental impact on the complex changes in the brain and body that occur during adolescence.

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is one of the best treatments available for those with mental health diagnoses and substance use disorders. It is a method of psychotherapy that can be applied to treat drug use issues. In addition to being used to treat phobias, anxiety disorders, depression, and other mental health issues, CBT teen residential treatment centers have also been demonstrated to be effective in treating drug and alcohol addiction. It is a brief, targeted treatment strategy that assists those who have substance addiction recover and achieve sobriety.

For a treatment center that serves teenagers in addiction recovery, it must have a comprehensive program. 

What exactly is CBT

Cognitive behavioral therapy investigates the connection of thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, as well as the ways in which these three factors influence an individual’s life. One can start to determine what triggers harmful behaviors, like adolescent substance use, by investigating the thoughts and emotions that give rise to these actions. Studies have looked at how teenagers with substance use disorders respond when CBT is paired with other different therapies, including multidimensional family therapy (MDFT) and motivational enhancement techniques (MET).

According to a study by Ramchad et al. (2010), It has been interesting to use CBT in conjunction with other strategies. In another follow-up study by Hendriks et al. (2011), younger adolescents (13–17 years old) seemed to profit more from MDFT, whereas older adolescents (17–18 years old) seemed to benefit more from CBT. Age-appropriate care and supplementary research are clearly needed, according to this study. Mindfulness inclusion holds potential in addition to fostering a relationship with them and assisting teenagers in developing greater awareness through CBT.

How Does CBT work

CBT helps adolescent become conscious of their automatic negative thought patterns and replaces them with more realistically optimistic ones. In essence, CBT seeks to address the mistaken basic ideas about others, the future, and oneself that teenagers may unintentionally hold. Cognitive-behavioral therapy gives adolescents the confidence to talk about the things that really bother them. When a patient is experiencing problems, their thoughts are frequently negative and future-focused. 

A patient can focus on what is happening in the current moment rather than what has happened or what could happen, which helps them see their difficulties from a different angle with the help of their therapist. It can assist a patient in maintaining a more optimistic perspective by altering the way they approach and think about their problems. Because of its greater logic and reason, this viewpoint gives the patient more control over their thoughts and responses to their problems.

There are two primary components of CBT when it comes to treating drug and alcohol addictions: Functional Analysis and skills training.

Functional Analysis

Examining a behavior’s causes and effects is a step in the CBT process known as functional analysis. The therapist and the patient collaborate to pinpoint the ideas, emotions, and situations that preceded and followed drinking or using. This aids in identifying the dangers that could result in a relapse.

In order to get insight into a person’s thoughts or feelings prior to the behaviors, a therapist may use functional analysis to ask each question. Functional analysis can also be used to understand the underlying causes of their drug or alcohol use. Adolescents can look at the circumstances, feelings, and ideas that led them to use drugs or alcohol. This makes it easier to see what circumstances the person finds tough to cope with.

Skills Training

People occasionally turn to drug or alcohol abuse as a coping mechanism when they are dealing with challenging circumstances, life stress, trauma, anxiety, despair, or other issues. It’s likely that if someone is at the point in their addiction that they require professional treatment, their primary coping mechanism of choice is probably alcohol or drugs. Relearning or learning more effective coping mechanisms is the aim of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). 

Types of CBT

Several kinds of addiction recovery therapies are provided by the CBT program in Los Angeles to aid in the mental and emotional healing of teenagers. Among the programs are the following ones:

Individual Counseling

Working one-on-one, the therapist gets to know the adolescent’s particular needs, struggles, and experiences. Based on these discoveries, the therapist will create a customized addiction recovery program.

Group Counseling

Group therapy offers a comforting setting where clients can open up to other people going through similar struggles about their experiences. These sessions help teenagers feel less alone by fostering a sense of community and belonging.

Training to Replace Aggression

Teenagers who struggle to manage their anger benefit from this treatment. It teaches adolescents healthy ways to control their rage.

Teens who receive cognitive behavioral therapy benefit from numerous areas, such as improved problem-solving skills, decreased negative behavior and enhanced emotional regulation. When CBT is a component of a larger program, such as those provided by adolescent residential treatment programs for troubled teen institutions, these advantages may occasionally be amplified.


Treatment experts and researchers are concentrating on best practices in treating adolescents with substance use disorders. According to a 2014 NIDA study, late teens are the age group most likely to use drugs. Teenagers have easy access to a variety of drugs; therefore, treatment providers need to match each client’s drug of choice with appropriate, research-based treatment. Teen treatment solutions offered by Key Healthcare include CBT for teenagers.

Implications for treatment providers are included because it is important to pay close attention to how these suggested strategies are implemented in the treatment of adolescent substance use disorders. Patients will take part in CBT-based individual and teen group therapy sessions to address their dual diagnosis of substance abuse and addiction. The foundation of CBT is the idea that thoughts and behaviors are directly related. One can alter a conduct by recognizing negative beliefs and swapping them out for more positive ones. Treatments for substance use disorders, anxiety, depression, and trauma have all been found to benefit from CBT.

About the author
Mrs. Hatland is a 30-something married, mom of 7 and the face behind the popular online publication, Motherhood Defined. Known as the Iowa Mom blogger by her local peers and “The Fairy Blogmother” worldwide. She has professional experience in working closely with clients on brand ambassadorships, client outreach services, content creation and creative social media advertising exposure.

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