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Fortune Telling Error, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

In working with the residents at the AToN center a empirically based treatment modality we use is called Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.  This form of psychotherapy can help with addictions but also help address underlying mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, OCD, panic and others.  CBT can assist people in identifying and changing distorted thought patterns that can lead to exaggerated emotional responses and unhealthy behaviors.  One of these thought patters can be called “Fortune Telling Error” or another way of putting it is “Self-Fulfilling Prophecies.” 

If stuck in this process a person may have thoughts like “I’ll never be able to quit, I can’t do it, nothing will ever change for the better, I’m destined to relapse.”  These thoughts create their own reality that may be different from the actual situation you are facing.  When a person is convinced of a given outcome they will conceded and act appropriately. Resolving this distortion involves taking a more objective view of one’s situation and potential.   

Using CBT techniques a person can influence their thinking with more accurate and positive perspectives on their difficulties.  Instead of the examples above a person can learn to say to themselves “I can not use this day, hour, minute; change for the better is possible, I can put effort into the task, today hasn’t happened yet, sobriety can happen.”  These messages create the possibility for improvement and change and can propel someone towards taking constructive steps in their recovery. 

Chad K. Cox PsyD PSY23320
AToN Center 888-535-1516