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Cognitive Therapy


For Addiction

The success of sobriety is due to the way we think about our past, present, and future. It involves the way we process our thoughts, our relationship with a higher power, our relationship with ourselves and others. Below are some tools that are beneficial, add your cognitive / rational recovery notes directly into the addiction avert app for iPhone and Android.

Addiction app, stop abuse sign.
Cognitive / rational therapy

- REBT was developed by Albert Ellis

Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy postulates that we ultimately disturb ourselves because we have irrational thoughts that cause unhealthy negative emotions. Unhealthy negative emotions ultimately engage us in self-defeating behaviors. This is referred to as the cycle of self- defeat. REBT is a useful tool for those who suffer from addiction. REBT techniques can be added into the addiction app and recalled at a time of addiction craving.

Cycle of Self - defeat

Unhealthy, negative emotions:

shame, depression, anxiety,

jealousy and rage


Consequences: jail, institution, death, STD's scars


Self-defeating behavior:

drug abuse, self - mutilation, gambling and unsafe sex


Break the cycle of self-defeat by using REBT.

In REBT there is an Activating event or a situation of some kind. This can be past, present, or future. It can be real or imagined. Ask yourself, "What is the activating event?"


Next comes Irrational beliefs - thought or attitudes about the activating event or situation.  These beliefs give the activating event its emotional charge. Ask "What am I telling myself about the Activating event?"


Emotional and Behavioral Outcomes. Unhealthy negative emotions include anxiety, depression, shame/ embarrassment, rage and jealousy. Healthy, negative emotions include disappointment, concern, annoyance, sadness, regret and frustration. Ask "What are the emotions and behaviors associated with what I am telling myself?"


DISPUTATION- is the most important part of REBT is to challenge the belief about the activating event or situation. An Activating event is undisputable and, in my opinion, so are emotional and behavioral outcomes. There are 3 ways to dispute or challenge irrational beliefs; practical, logical, and empirical/ scientific.


PRACTICAL- Ask yourself: 1.  Is this belief helpful or hurtful? 2. How will holding onto this belief help you achieve the goal? Why are you disturbing yourself with...?


LOGICAL- Ask yourself: 1. How does it make sense....?  2. How is it logical to think....?  Examples: How does it make sense that just because I made a "D" on the test that I will not graduate? How is it logical to think that just because you got divorced that you will never find another person to marry?


EMPIRICAL SCIENTIFIC- Ask yourself: 1. Where is the evidence....? 2. Where is the proof that ......? Examples: Where is the evidence to support that I am a failure because I made an "F"?  Where is the proof that you must actually have this person in your life in order to be happy?


New Effective Philosophy- comes into play when you have learned to dispute irrational beliefs. This becomes the new belief, which leads to behavior change.

Activating Event




Irrational Thought / Belief

* I am a failure.

*I will never be able to get a job.

*I am worthless and no good.

* See, I told you people do not like me and this proves it.

* I never do anything right.

* I should not have gotten fired.







Emotional / Behavioral Outcomes

*Rage alcohol and drug abuse







Old Philosophy

* I always get the short end of the stick.

* If I didn't have bad luck, I would not have any luck at all.

* They tell me I am the problem. This is not true; everyone is out to get me.




Disputing the Belief

* Being fired doesn't mean that I am a failure or worthless; it means I am jobless.

* Being fired is not the end of the world.

* Perhaps I should look at what I did and make improvements.

* Where is the evidence that I will never work again?





NEW Emotional Behavioral Outcomes

* Disappointment, sadness, manageable anger / frustration.

* Call old friends or sponsor to discuss situation; go jogging or work out.




New Effective Philosophy

* Just because I experience failures or disappointments in life, I do not have to become enraged over them.

* Failures do not make me a failure because I am a fallible human being.

* When I suffer setbacks in life it's not horrible or awful. I can endure them because it is not the end of the world.

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