A course of CBT sessions is relatively short term and can be offered in the preset rehab time frames lasting 30-days, 45-days or 90-days. Despite that, the CBT emphasizes on long-term maintenance. Therapists need to teach patients a new set of attitudes and skills on which to rely for the long run, which tend to improve patients’ sense of self-efficacy and lead to a reduction in life stressors that might otherwise increase the risk of relapse.
An important skill that is focused on is learning how to delay and distract in response to cravings, by engaging in constructive activities, such as writing, communicating with supportive others, going to meetings, etc. It also helps in identifying dysfunctional ways of thinking and thinking and writing effective responses. It takes cognitive reprogramming to get into practicing
a repertoire of appropriately assertive comments with which to politely turn down offers of a fix/drink. Another important skill learned is practicing the behaviors and attitudes of self-respect, and counteracting beliefs that belittle or undermine oneself and lead to feeling depressed and despondent. CBT’s main goal is to help patients in making lifestyle changes that support sobriety and self-efficacy, which includes having a healthy daily routine, controlling anger, engaging in meaningful hobbies, and promoting spirituality and serene activities. The patient’s response and involvement in CBT can vary some are quite committed to giving up their addictive behaviors, and are ready for change, but others are reluctant and even stubborn. It takes a skilful to identify this variation and adapt accordingly, which leads to a more
personalized approach and a higher chance of success.