Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is a treatment for psychological problems that seeks to address the thinking or behaviour patterns of a person with a mental health condition.
Cognitive behavioural therapy, or CBT, is a method of psychological and psychiatric counselling invented by Dr. Aaron T. Beck in the 1960s.
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Cognitive-Behavioural therapy is helpful to people to address any problematic thoughts and feelings which they could have in order to overcome addiction.
Cognitive-Behavioural therapy is presently in use during the treatment of addictions. Patients undergoing CBT treatment are taught to recognize the triggers in their minds, emotions, and behaviour that lead to them taking the drugs. This makes it easy to work on recovery.
Some addiction patients also have other issues concurrently occurring with the addiction problems like:
State of panic
Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
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Lack of proper reason or sense is what causes people to behaviour in a certain tragic way and this explanation is according to Cognitive Behavioural therapy. Such feelings and behaviours may be caused by either environmental effect or experiences from the past.
It is the job of counsellors to help recovering addicts identify their negative feelings and actions, which are also known as "automatic thoughts." An automatic thought is impulse-based; it often comes from misrepresentations and internally generated feelings such as self-doubt and fear. The abuse of drugs or alcohol is in many cases an attempt to get rid of these negative thoughts.
Addicts find it easier to overcome their addiction when they begin to understand why they are acting or feeling in a certain manner and how their feelings and actions are leading them to the use of prohibited substances.
It has also been noticed that making an attempt to visit the painful memories it becomes possible for recovering addicts to reduce the pain which is caused by them. The addicts then get a fresh opportunity to learn positive behaviours in order to replace their addiction for alcohol or drugs.
Use Of Cbt In Addiction Treatment
It is Automatic negative thoughts that are often the major cause of various depressions and anxiety disorders, which commonly occur together with addiction.
This clearly indicates that the automatic thoughts within the mind can make an individual susceptible to drug abuse and alcoholism as well.
It may be hard for a person trying to stop drug addiction to do so when they are in the same environment that led them to that behaviour in the first place. As alleged by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, CBT helps people recovering from addictions deal with their triggers in three main ways.
Cbt Helps Patients To Get Past Drug Addiction And Alcoholism By
The false beliefs and insecurity issues that causes substance abuse can be resolved using CBT.
Strengthen the patient with better ways of self-motivation.
Teaching the individual effective skills at communicating.
How To Control The Triggers
Learn to identify what makes you want to take drugs or drink.
Stay away from places and situations that make you want to drink or take the drugs.
The emotions and thoughts that lead to the abuse of substances can be elevated by using the techniques provided by CBT.
You don't have to be at the centres to try using the CBT techniques of overcoming addiction. Whether you are at home or in a group, there are many situations that you can use to practice the CBT exercises.
Some of the self-help exercises taught in support groups such as SMART - Self Management and Recovery Training incorporate certain aspects of CBT.
Methods Used In Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
There are different practices that are used to overcome an addiction using CBT.
Some of the exercises are:
Keeping Thought Records
Patients recovering from addiction review their automatic negative thoughts and search for solid evidence that proves and contradicts these thoughts.
The patients make a list of advantages and disadvantages of keeping or discarding the thoughts.
The aim is to help them think positive, productive thoughts.
Example "my manager thinks I'm useless." I need to have a drink to feel better" turns into "It's ok to make mistakes, and I will learn from them. If I learn from my mistakes and heed my manager's advice, she will appreciate it. I do not need alcohol to get a better feeling of myself.
By evaluating these thoughts, one gets to understand the better behaviours to follow.
Some patients better respond to self-kindness; others - to self-criticism.
The whole point of behavioural experiments is in finding out what works best for the particular individual.
For example: "If I am harsh to myself after drinking to excess, I'll drink less" vs. "If I am kind to myself after drinking to excess, I will drink less."
Imagery Based Exposure
This exercise requires recovering addicts to think about a memory that can instigate powerful negative feelings.
They capture their every emotion, sight, sound, impulse and thought they felt at that moment.
The anxiousness caused by certain negative experiences can be lessened by going over these experiences over and over.
Example: A person revisits a traumatic event from their childhood. He presently recalls every detail and emotion of the particular moment. The consistent exposure to his past begins to cause him less pain and reduces the requirement to self-medicate with the use of alcohol or drugs.
Pleasant Activity Plan
This is a method used to reduce the monotony of routines by planning activities that are enjoyable and healthy at certain times.
These activities must be modest and stress-free while at the same time inspiring constructive feelings.
Planning the positive activities contributes to the reduction of negative feelings being generated and a resultant urge to indulge in drinking or drug use.
Example: A financial advisor working in a high stress environment can take 15 minutes off the job to do something relaxing instead of turning to alcohol or drugs when overwhelmed. Instead, during this time he enjoys a song from the singer he likes very much.
The Difference Between Cognitive Behavioural Therapy And Other Psychotherapies
As compared to some therapies which do not offer a set of engaging activities, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy will provide an hands-on alternative.
Addicts more often than not speak to their counsellors during a CBT meeting while the therapists listen attentively. The addicts and the therapists will be working with each other to treat the addiction.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is based on actions and faster recovery. Most of the 60 - 90 day rehab programs have CBT as a component that equips addicts with immediate techniques to help in coping.
Some kinds of psychotherapy can take years until they produce a reliable result. Positive results in CBT may be visible in as little as sixteen sessions.
CBT therapy can be adapted to make it effective in outpatient or inpatient programs as well as in counselling sessions for groups or an individual. A lot of rehabilitation facilities and addiction therapists use CBT as a part of their treatment programs.