Regain Control of Thoughts in Addiction Recovery

Recovery is hard work that will result in major and positive change. CBT can help you free yourself from the cognitive distortions which can hinder recovery and discover a completely different way of life. The following are the 5 most common cognitive distortions which must be recognized, acknowledged, and treated in order to avoid a delay in recovery. Thinking errors affect recovery because our thoughts influence our feelings and behavior. For example, if you think you are working hard at work, you might feel confident and proud of your accomplishments and work harder to impress your superiors. On the contrary if you believe that a family member is mistreating you, you might feel anger or irritation and behave towards them in a way that is damaging to your relationship.

When you make assumptions you consider definitive with little to no evidence. For instance, you “mind read” by inferring your friend’s intentions and emotions from their behavior or body language. You take precautions to avoid the worst-case-scenario you’ve created in your head.

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Maybe you’ve met some pretty great people or your therapist is really astute or you discovered that you really love hiking. When you feel like you’re too focused on the negatives, try broadening your scope. It will not only improve your treatment experience, but it will make you happier overall. Perfectionism is a form of addictive thinking that leads to a negative cycle. You feel bad or inadequate about past mistakes, compensate by setting goals too high, make a mistake, and then feel inadequate once again.

Since 2016 Jay has served on the board of directors of the National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers (NAATP). As past chair of NAATP’s Ethics Committee, Jay was instrumental in important changes made to the organization’s code of ethics. In addition, Jay serves as Treasurer/Secretary of the Foundation of Recovery Science and Education. He has Top 5 Questions to Ask Yourself When Choosing Sober House also served on an advisory committee with LegitScript, certification that lets search engines know which treatment centers operate safely and legally. If you find yourself feeling upset, try using the list above to identify your distortion. Once you have put a name to the sensation, it loses its power and you can begin taking steps to improve your mood.

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If you convince yourself that your feelings are true – even the most extreme ones – then your perception can become quite skewed. In addition to the other skills learned in CBT, you’ll also learn how to manage your emotions. This will allow you to prevent the heightened emotional state that typically accompanies cognitive distortions. Negative filtering is where you completely discount the positive aspects of an experience or situation in favor of an exclusive focus on the negative. This distortion causes the development of increasing amounts of anxiety because it affects your entire frame of mind about a situation.

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