Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)

At Oasis Runcorn, we believe that the journey to recovery involves realigning your thoughts and behaviours to work in harmony, like the well-oiled gears of a machine. This is why we have embedded principles of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) into the fabric of our rehab treatment programmes. We guide you to develop healthier coping mechanisms and become resilient using these CBT-inspired techniques.

Our CBT-informed approach

Our approach is heavily informed by CBT, a therapeutic model that highlights the interconnectedness of:

  • Thoughts
  • Feelings
  • Behaviours

The theory behind CBT for addiction recovery is that you can also influence others by modifying one of those three. This principle is vital in treating various forms of addiction, including alcohol, drug and behavioural dependencies.

Why is CBT for addiction recovery effective?

A treatment programme informed by CBT principles can effectively address the root factors that have led to the development of your substance use disorder or compulsive behaviour. Our CBT-informed techniques can help you:

Recognise triggers…

Learn to identify situations and emotions that trigger your addictive behaviour, so you can learn new ways of coping with them. For example, CBT techniques for drug addiction recovery will enable you to develop new coping strategies to prevent drug relapse when challenges arise in your recovery.

Replace negative thoughts…

Challenge and replace irrational beliefs contributing to your dependencies with healthier ones. For instance, in CBT therapy for alcohol addiction, you learn to challenge beliefs like “I need alcohol to have a good time” or “If I quit drinking, I will lose all my friends.” Our CBT-based approach to rehab treatment challenges any beliefs that are a negative force in your life so you can move forward in recovery.

Develop better self-control…

A CBT for addiction approach can also help you acquire techniques to resist cravings, reduce the risk of relapse and increase your chances of long-term recovery. This is crucial both while you are staying at Oasis Runcorn, during aftercare and beyond when your old stressors and triggers arise.

Different CBT-informed strategies for recovery

There are various techniques that can be used in addiction recovery. Some of the CBT-led approaches we employ include:

  • Exposure strategies: By simulating environments that previously led to substance use, you can confront and overcome your response. For example, if a person is battling an alcohol dependency, spending time in places or situations where drinking is common can help build resilience.
  • Behavioural experiments: This approach involves assessing addiction-related presumptions in carefully controlled settings. Suppose you believe that you cannot enjoy a concert without being under the influence of substances. An experiment can be set up where you attend a live performance sober to help you see that you can enjoy the experience without drugs or alcohol.
  • Cognitive restructuring: This strategy is aimed at recognising and reshaping damaging thought processes that contribute to addiction. Let’s say you are struggling with internet addiction and harbour thoughts like “I cannot relax without spending hours online.” Our therapists can work with you to identify this thought pattern and help restructure it to something healthier, like “I can find relaxation in other offline activities too.”

Oasis Runcorn’s CBT for addiction framework

Our recovery pathway, underpinned by CBT-based principles, comprises six progressive stages:

  • Preliminary assessment: This involves a thorough investigation of your addiction history, triggers, thought patterns and behavioural tendencies. It allows your therapists to plan your therapy sessions so that they focus on your specific needs.
  • Reconceptualisation: This provides insight into how your thoughts and patterns of behaviour influence and are influenced by your addiction. Through these insights, you can come to recognise that you don’t have to act on those thoughts or let them define you.
  • Skills acquisition: As it sounds, during this stage, you will develop and begin to practise new skills that help you deal with stress, negative thoughts and other triggers without turning to alcohol, drugs or harmful behaviours.
  • Skills consolidation and application training: Once you have developed the skills, you can then begin to employ and hone them in real-life scenarios.
  • Generalisation and maintenance: This involves embedding the new skills into your everyday routines to ensure sustainability. You will identify potential challenges in recovery, create plans of action to overcome those challenges and practise your new skills in a range of different contexts.
  • Post-treatment follow-up: This is where your progress will be assessed so that any unresolved issues can be addressed and your skills can be further developed and reinforced where necessary.

How is CBT used in unison with other addiction therapies?

At Oasis Runcorn, our CBT-inspired approach melds seamlessly with other therapeutic modalities:


CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) and DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy) are often combined in addiction treatment to provide a comprehensive and effective approach. CBT targets distorted thought patterns and behaviours related to addiction, helping individuals recognise triggers and develop healthier coping strategies. DBT complements this by emphasising emotional regulation and interpersonal skills, aiding individuals in managing intense emotions that can contribute to addictive behaviours while fostering a supportive therapeutic environment.

CBT and trauma therapy

Unaddressed trauma frequently serves as a significant root cause of addiction, and confronting these underlying issues is crucial for recovery. Merging our CBT-inspired techniques with trauma-specific therapies like Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR) can facilitate the processing of traumatic memories and nurture the development of healthier ways to cope.

Take, for instance, a person who endured trauma during their early years, perhaps in the form of abuse. It’s not uncommon for such persons to resort to substance use to dull their emotional pain. By addressing the trauma using EMDR and concurrently cultivating new coping skills inspired by CBT, the person has the potential to disrupt the cycle of addiction and discover more wholesome strategies to manage their emotional wellbeing.

How to start CBT at Oasis Runcorn

If you’re grappling with addiction and want to benefit, our CBT-informed approach can help transform your life. Our experienced, compassionate team is committed to delivering treatments grounded in scientific evidence, all designed to help you reclaim your life. Embark on your journey towards a healthier, free-from-addiction future by connecting with Oasis Runcorn today.

Frequently asked questions

Is a CBT approach scientifically proven?
Yes, a CBT-inspired approach to recovery has a strong scientific foundation. Numerous studies have demonstrated its effectiveness in transforming harmful thought patterns and behaviours linked to addiction. Our treatment strategies are influenced by the principles of CBT, providing a scientifically validated path to recovery.