Drinking is common in the professional world. If you’re a working professional, you may often go out for a drink or enjoy alcohol at an office party. While a drink here and there is not problematic, alcohol abuse is. If you or a loved one is suffering from alcohol use disorder (AUD), treatment is important. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is one method of treatment that is effective in helping working professionals to recover from addiction.
Treating AUD is complex and not a one-size-fits-all formula. There are many ways in which you or a loved one can recover from AUD. When you do seek recovery in some form, it can improve your well-being in several ways. Learning how to live a sober life can improve both your work and home life.
AUD in Working Professionals
AUD is a form of substance use disorder (SUD) that impacts many individuals. SUD is a chronic brain disease that makes a person crave alcohol. Due to the changes in the brain, those with AUD cannot control their drinking, regardless of knowing it is negatively impacting their lives.
The symptoms of alcoholism include the following:
- Suffering from physical withdrawal when not drinking
- Needing to drink more and more to feel the effect of alcohol
- Replacing activities you’ve enjoyed with drinking
- Drinking to the point of blacking out regularly
- Being unable to stop or cut down on drinking
- Commonly drinking more than you had planned
Alcoholism is very different than social drinking. While drinking is common in the world of working professionals, it is important to know whether you have a physical or emotional dependency on alcohol. The good news is that there are treatments that can help you recover.
CBT as a Treatment for Alcoholism
CBT is a form of psychotherapy. At its root, CBT is a combination of cognitive therapy and behavioral therapy. Cognitive therapy is focused on forming a clear understanding of your thoughts, attitudes, and expectations. Behavioral therapy is focused on recognizing how your behaviors impact your life.
CBT plays an important role in AUD treatment. While it does not address physical dependency, it helps you acknowledge how your thoughts and behaviors play a role in cravings and addiction.
CBT Addresses Maladaptive Coping Mechanisms
Addiction is a combination of physical dependency and emotional dependency. Emotional dependence is the need for drugs or alcohol to cope with emotions or stress. In this way, addiction is a maladaptive coping mechanism. As a legal and commonly used substance, many turn to alcohol as a way to self-medicate. Thus, certain emotions, situations, and stressful events can trigger alcohol use.
As a working professional, your job can be stressful. It can also invoke many emotions that are challenging to manage. This may include conversations with coworkers or bosses that cause frustration or deadlines that make you feel stressed about your ability to succeed. Regardless of the feelings, they can be triggers that have led you to drink in the past.
To recover from AUD, these maladaptive coping mechanisms need to be addressed. When they are addressed, you can heal from your physical and emotional dependency. Thus, you can learn how to cope with situations in a new and sober way. As you learn how to manage without using alcohol, you can feel confident that you can live a sober life.
Is CBT Effective?
CBT is a commonly used therapy for addiction treatment. Researchers have found that CBT is highly effective in the treatment of AUD. CBT helps those with addictions to make behavioral changes, increase motivation, and address barriers that inhibit change. As you continue to become aware of thoughts and behaviors, you can make favorable changes. These changes improve over time as you are positively rewarded for them.
Living a sober life requires making many changes. You must learn how to deal with life without the use of substances. In treatment, you will learn the foundational skills needed to do so. This includes increased awareness of feelings and stressors and methods for managing them.
CBT in Conjunction With Other Treatments
Addiction treatment is different for each individual. This is because every person has many intricacies that have led them to use substances. Also, both physical addiction and behavioral patterns must be addressed.
Detoxification is often the first step of treatment. However, treatment is most effective with a combination of therapeutic techniques. CBT works well with other types of therapy, as it manages the patterns that will lead you back to alcohol if not addressed.
As a working professional, CBT will help you to build new patterns and skills. You will learn how to manage stress in healthier ways. You may need to address emotions that you have not been able to process. Regardless of the specifics of your situation, CBT is a worthwhile tool that facilitates lasting change. This therapy can help you to make the necessary changes that will help you live a sober life while succeeding as a working professional.
Alcohol is a very common substance in our culture. As a working professional, you will likely be around alcohol at parties or when socializing with coworkers after work. While social drinking is not problematic, alcohol abuse is. At Pacific Sands Recovery Center, we work with working professionals to help them heal from addiction and mental health disorders. In treatment, you will be surrounded by like-minded professionals who can empathize with your situation. We offer CBT as one option to learn new skills that can help you live a sober life. If you are struggling with alcoholism, drug addiction, or mental health issues we can help. Call (714) 492-1119 today to learn more about our programs.