Best CBT Techniques for Improved Mental Health

cognitive behavioral therapy

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a common form of talk therapy. It is considered a short-term treatment, taking anywhere from a few weeks to a few months to see results. While other forms of talk therapy focus on the past, CBT is more focused on solving problems in the present. 

If you plan on entering a drug rehab in AZ, CBT will likely be part of your treatment plan. During your sessions, you will learn how your negative thoughts lead to certain negative feelings and actions, such as the use of drugs or alcohol. You will also learn how to implement positive changes into your life. 

Let’s cover some of the CBT techniques that your therapist may use to support your recovery. 

Cognitive Restructuring 

Also known as reframing, cognitive restructuring requires you to take a hard look at your negative thought patterns. You might be prone to over-generalizing, for example, always thinking that the worst will happen. Your therapist will use cognitive restructuring to help you reframe the negative thoughts into more positive, productive ones. 

Guided Discovery

Guided discovery encourages you to see things from other perspectives. This can help you stay grounded and choose a more beneficial path. To be effective, your therapist will get to know you and your viewpoints. They will also challenge your assumptions, not to argue, but to show you that there are many ways to look at things.

Stress Reduction Techniques

Stress is a major motivator for drug and alcohol use, and it’s a major trigger for relapse. To protect your recovery following rehab in Arizona, you’ll want to know how to manage your stress. In CBT, you will learn how to utilize stress reduction techniques such as deep breathing, muscle relaxation and guided imagery. 


Writing is an effective way to get in touch with your thoughts and feelings. You can write in a journal by hand or by typing online. The benefit in using an online journal is that all of your entries are password protected. The key is to list your negative thoughts and consider how you can make them positive. It’s also motivating to look back and see how far you’ve come. 

Exposure Therapy 

If you are dealing with phobias and fears that are taking a toll on your mental health, exposure therapy can be helpful. Your therapist will slowly expose you to the things that provoke fear and anxiety, while showing you how to respond in a healthy manner. This type of therapy can be done in small increments, encouraging you to feel stronger, more resilient and less vulnerable. 

Role Playing 

Not just for kids, role playing can help you work through different behaviors in potentially challenging situations. Through role playing, you can ease anxiety and develop more confidence and self-control. Role playing may be used for practicing social skills, improving communication skills, strengthening problem solving and increasing assertiveness. 

Start Cognitive Behavioral Therapy 

Cognitive behavioral therapy has shown to be an effective way to treat mental health and substance use disorders. The skills learned in this type of therapy can be used throughout your everyday life. Wolf Creek Recovery is a rehabilitation center in Arizona that regularly practices CBT. Contact our team today to learn more about our comprehensive outpatient treatment programs.