June 9, 2022 – With a newfound desire to make changes in their lives, individuals must make what are often difficult decisions. In CBT, we support individuals in making decisions by doing a cost-benefit analysis. The cost/benefit analysis helps elucidate the relative positive and negative elements of engaging and not engaging in a particular action. By conducting a cost-benefit analysis, individuals gain clarity about the things they value. Accordingly, individuals may make decisions about people with whom it is in their interests to associate, which places to frequent to further their goals, and what things they can do to help them move in a positive direction.

In the throes of addiction, individuals often lose their ability to manage their schedules. In CBT, we help individuals develop schedules with a focus on 2 types of activities. One type of activity increases their level of mastery of things they either need to do or want to do. These activities could include everything from basic hygiene to developing expertise in a profession. The second type of activity increases a person’s experience of pleasure, without engaging in substance use. Individuals who suffer from addiction have often lost their ability to experience pleasure when not using drugs. A CBT therapist will help individuals select activities that match their interests and include them on a master schedule designed to include all the different activities they need to do. Having scheduled activities allows less time for the individual to seek out and use substances. The feelings of mastery and pleasure serve as positive reinforcement for engaging in the various activities.


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