Relapse Prevention: Cognitive Bahavioral Therapy

At North Bay Recovery Center, Relapse Prevention Groups are a central component of our 30 & 90-Day Treatment Programs.  These sessions are topic-driven forums in which Clients receive and share information about relapse prevention.  Clients complete assignments and receive assistance with issues complicating recovery and relapse avoidance.  Relapse Prevention Group therapy at North Bay Recovery Center is based on the following premises:

  • Relapse is a process, not an event
  • The process of relapse follows identifiable and predictable patterns
  • With planning, identification and management skills, relapse can be interrupted or avoided altogether

The Relapse Prevention Group setting allows for Clients heading toward relapse to be redirected, and those on a sound course of recovery to be encouraged and celebrated.

Recognizing and managing relapse “triggers”

Lots of things can trigger a relapse, including difficult emotional events such as a divorce or death of a loved one. Oftentimes, however, the subtle things can bring on a relapse, including anxiety, anger, irritability, mood swings, isolation and poor eating/sleeping habits. These emotional and behavioral triggers only grow more powerful if left unaddressed. For example, poor eating and sleeping habits can lead to exhaustion, which can prompt the desire to escape, which can then bring on thoughts of using again. But it’s not enough to identify possible relapse triggers. The addict must also alter how he or she responds to them. For example, an alcoholic can avoid bars or parties that trigger the desire to resume drinking. If work-related stress is a relapse trigger, an addict can learn how to say no to extra projects, limit their total workweek to 45 hours or try meditation and relaxation exercises to unwind. Most importantly — when addicts need help, they must ask for it.  At the end of the day, a relapse is an indication that something has interrupted the Client’s recovery process — it doesn’t mean the Client can’t stay clean. But the problem must be identified and fixed.