Epiphany Wellness New Jersey: Pioneers Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Treating Addiction

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(Newswire.net — September 25, 2022) — Earlier this year, the governor of New Jersey signed into law a series of bills seeking to reduce the suffering caused by the opioid epidemic. These bills dedicated massive amounts of public funding and logistical support to the aid of people who are suffering from the opioid crisis.

But it is not just opioid addicts alone that benefit from this. A large component of the support goes to the addiction recovery infrastructure of New Jersey in general. As a result, many recovery centers are expanding their operations to accommodate the growing number of patients they are receiving, and the even larger number they can expect in the coming months.

One of the methodologies that Epiphany Wellness is beginning to utilize more is a type of therapy called “Cognitive Behavioral Therapy”. This tool for treating the unwell is nothing new to psychotherapy, but it is considered cutting-edge regarding addiction recovery treatment.

So, what is cognitive behavioral therapy? How does it work? And why is Epiphany Wellness starting to focus on it as a primary method of treating people with addictions? 

What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?

Cognitive behavioral therapy is a form of psychotherapy that came about in the mid-1900s. The central ideas behind it come from the originator of “behavioral therapy”, a psychologist named B.F. Skinner. Skinner was a taciturn man who believed that humans were strictly animals.

However, those ideas do not stand alone. Many people reject Skinner’s premise, which is why cognitive behavioral therapy is considered distinct from his beliefs. Therefore, understanding cognitive behavioral therapy also means understanding Freud and Jung’s psychotherapy.

Behavioral Therapy

In that belief was the presumption that animals are essentially reactive. They learn how to behave in social settings for survival reasons, but all of their behaviors can essentially boil down to efforts to survive and live comfortably in their context. This idea was as revolutionary as it was controversial, as it rejected long-standing arguments of how the human unconscious worked.

But that only covers the “behavioral” part of “cognitive behavioral therapy”. What about the cognitive part? Interestingly, that element of the therapy comes from the exact foundations of psychotherapy that Skinner rejected when he developed behavioral therapy.

If a person is just an animal reacting to threats to their security, then all you have to do to heal them is change how they react. That means changing the associations one has with trauma.


Before Skinner, there was Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud. These men essentially built what we recognize as modern psychology by focusing on cognition: The way people think about themselves and the world and using “psychotherapy” to change that way of thinking.

The idea behind psychotherapy is that people form a pattern of behavior during childhood that they carry with them into their adult years. That idea is the influence of Freud, whose studies and beliefs revolved around that childhood development. But Jung would go a step further and assert that while childhood development was important, it could be changed later.

In short, cognitive behavioral therapy is a combination of those two beliefs. It takes Jung and Freud’s belief in the importance of cognition and the part one’s developmental years has on it, as well as its ability to change, and combines it with B.F. Skinner’s ideas of how to alter a person’s behavior by changing the associations that person has in their mind.

How is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Used in Addiction Treatment?

All that history might make cognitive behavioral therapy sound complicated. But in reality, it is probably the most intuitive form of therapy out there. Here is a good example of cognitive behavioral therapy: Consider how you react to yourself when you make a mistake.

Most people react to making mistakes with mild frustration if even that. They say, “Oh darn,” and then move on with their day. But some people react with disdain for themselves. 

At some point, they learned that a mistake had to be met with harsh criticism. Maybe they call themselves stupid, hit something, or exhibit some other toxic behavior. The first part of cognitive behavioral therapy is recognizing this pattern and the fact that it’s harmful.

The second part is training oneself to correct that behavior. Once a person knows that they don’t need to (and shouldn’t) yell at themselves for making a mistake, they can then notice when they are doing that reflexively and change that reflex to better themselves.

Applying This to Addiction

This relates to addiction treatment in two ways. First, there is the apparent change in behavior from “reacting to stress by abusing a substance” to “noticing that pattern and avoiding it.” 

But it goes one step further during recovery. A big part of recovery is dealing with the guilt of getting addicted in the first place. An addict can’t just give up whatever they are addicted to and be fine. They also need to not beat themselves up over getting into that position.

This is why Epiphany Wellness is using cognitive behavioral therapy to help recovering addicts. Addicts that make use of this form of therapy have a far lesser chance of relapsing, as it helps mitigate the psychological stress of dealing with addiction by keeping them mindful of what they are doing, why they are doing it, and (most importantly) how it is making them feel.

If an addict knows that their addiction is bad, then they also know to avoid any negative thoughts or behaviors that might lead them right back into their addiction.


As we said before, cognitive behavioral therapy is not new in the world of therapy. Lots of people use it every day. The reason why it has not been used for addicts specifically all that much is that so much of our culture think that addiction is a purely physical ailment.

But addiction is a mental health concern. And if you need help dealing with it, do not be afraid to get in contact with us here: https://epiphanywellness.com/dual-diagnosis-treatment-centers-nj/