Alcohol use disorder (AUD) is a chronic illness characterized by excessive alcohol use, inadequate control over alcohol intake, and an adverse feelings state when not using. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) estimates that roughly 17 million individuals in the United States have an alcohol use problem.

Using behavioral therapies for alcoholism tries to identify and address the behaviors that contribute to excessive drinking. Fortunately, effective therapy for alcohol consumption disorder is available.

Behavioral therapy is predicated on the idea that human behavior can be learned, unlearned, and managed to learn in new ways. The first step in behavioral therapy is determining if a certain behavioral habit is having a negative influence on your life. If this is the case, the next step is to concentrate on changing the harmful behaviors related to the recognized cycle of thoughts and emotions.

‘Cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) are two of the most widely used psychotherapies for treating alcoholism,’ confirms URP Alcohol Rehab California’s CEO Bryan Alzate. The URP services have been successfully implementing these therapies in their programs for a long time, and the results are extremely positive.

Let’s get into how using behavioral therapies for alcoholism can turn your life around.

Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT)

Cognitive-behavioral treatment can assist you in recognizing the sensations and events (also known as “cues” or “triggers”) that cause you to drink excessively, as well as managing the stress that may lead to a relapse. It alters the thinking processes that contribute to drinking and teaches them how to deal with stressors. Cognitive-behavioral treatment for alcoholism may be done in a group setting or one-on-one with a therapist.

The focus on long-term maintenance is a major advantage of cognitive therapy in the treatment of drug use disorders. Because people struggling with alcoholism and other drug users often relapse, therapists must teach patients an alternative range of attitudes and abilities on which to depend in the long term.

These attitudes and abilities not only promote patients’ feeling of self-efficacy but also reduce life stresses that may otherwise raise the chance of relapse.

Using behavioral therapies for alcoholism differs from other types of treatment in that it emphasizes the attitudes that underpin addiction. It attempts to replace unhealthy behavior or mental patterns with good ones. It assists persons suffering from alcoholism in understanding those detrimental behaviors and learning coping techniques to avoid them.


According to research, when combined with other therapies, such as a normal outpatient program or alcohol therapy, Cognitive-behavioral treatment successfully cures alcohol addiction. Its effects are also more long-lasting than those of other medicines.

CBT offers effective therapy for a variety of mental health issues. According to empirical research, cognitive therapy has proven to be a useful treatment for alcohol and other drug use disorders, particularly in adult patients with concomitant mood disorders and youth.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)

Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) was developed to assist patients with borderline personality disorder who had suicidal thoughts and had trouble adhering to previous forms of treatment. DBT has now been shown to be beneficial in the treatment of a variety of other issues, including trauma and alcoholism, as well as other types of drug use disorder.

Patients with mental illnesses, such as those prone to severe emotional eruptions, are more likely to participate in drug addiction as a kind of self-medication. Addiction treatment facilities are increasingly incorporating Dialectical behavior therapy into their treatment plans.

Some of DBT’s key concepts, such as increasing communication skills, coping skills, and self-image, are crucial in assisting persons suffering from addiction to wean themselves off of drugs.

Dialectical behavior therapy has various distinguishing traits that allow it to reach patients who would have been hard to treat using other techniques. The word “dialectical” refers to the simultaneous presentation of two conflicting concepts. Acceptance and change are two opposed ideas.

To assist in developing life skills, the following four categories are taught:

  • Emotional regulation is the capacity to control and modify strong emotions.
  • Distress tolerance is the ability to tolerate uncomfortable feelings rather than seeking to avoid them.
  • Mindfulness is defined as the capacity to accept and be attentive in the present moment.
  • Interpersonal effectiveness entails enhancing one’s ability to communicate with others.

It focuses on modifying attitudes and actions to alleviate symptoms such as self-harm, trouble controlling emotions, impulsive or dangerous conduct, and interpersonal issues. Working on these abilities may aid in the development of a healthy lifestyle.


DBT uses a variety of change strategies to treat drug and alcohol addiction, all with the same purpose in mind: to provide clients with skills to help them build a better mentality.

The primary concept for using behavioral therapies for alcoholism is that patients who display self-destructive behaviors and inclinations cannot manage the issues that are causing their actions. Destructive behaviors will be reduced by replacing them with abilities that are beneficial and create good development.


Using behavioral therapies for alcoholism has proven to be quite effective. CBT and DBT are one of the most common types of psychotherapy being used.

  1. Cognitive-behavioral treatment works in identifying the root causes of emotions that cause you to resort to alcohol
  2. Cognitive-behavioral treatment works on changing the unhealthy thought cycles and taking measures that prevent you from coping with alcohol.
  3. Dialectical behavior therapy focuses on holding both extremes at the same time.
  4. Dialectical behavior therapy focuses on being present in the moment and lessening the symptoms.
  5. Both of these psychotherapies have proven to be very effective.

If you or a loved one is suffering from alcoholism, these treatment programs can be life-saving.

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