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Cognitive Behavioural Therapy As A Treatment

Learning About Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

Over Dependency on drugs and other ailments can be treated by changing the thinking mentality and emotions of a person and this is the core of cognitive behavioural therapy.

A classification of mental health counselling is cognitive-behavioural therapy which was founded in the 1960s by Dr. Aaron T. Beck.


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Cognitive behavioural therapy helps people deal with dysfunctional thoughts and feelings and to recover from addiction.


Nowadays, CBT has become a common part of treating 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.

Apart from addiction, CBT is also used for treating co-occurring disorders such as:

  • Anxiety of various kinds
  • ADD or Attention Deficit Disorder
  • Various forms of bipolar disorder
  • Various forms of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • Loss of appetite
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

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How Cbt Works

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. Our environment and experiences in the past may be the cause of these actions and behaviours.

Cognitive behavioural therapists work with patients to identify potentially thoughts that lead to self-destructive or unhealthy behaviours. Fear, self doubt and other internalized feelings together with misconceptions are what usually cause these automatic negative thoughts. People often drink or abuse drugs in an attempt to mitigate these afflictive thoughts and feelings.


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.

The pain caused by certain experiences may be lessened if these events are revisited often and addressed. The addiction can also be eliminated when these thoughts are substituted with new thought.


The Role Of Cbt In Treating Addiction

Most users are found to be suffering from deep despair and hopelessness which in the first place were caused by bad or distrustful thoughts.

It means that automatic thoughts can make a person more likely to take drugs and drink alcohol.

How to identify what brings on the urge for the drug or alcohol on a day to day basis. As alleged by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, CBT helps people recovering from addictions deal with their triggers in three main ways.


Cbt Aids People In Overcoming Their Drug Addiction And Alcoholism By

  • The false beliefs and insecurity issues that causes substance abuse can be resolved using CBT.
  • Providing the tools needed for self-help to improve their moods.
  • Training people how to speak up about their feelings to others.

Skills For Managing Triggers

  • Recognise
  • You need to recognise the things that make you start using the drugs.
  • Avoid The Triggers
  • This involves distancing yourself from your triggers as much as possible.
  • Confront
  • This involves dealing with the thoughts and feelings that cause you to abuse the substance using methods learnt in CBT.

You don't have to be at the centres to try using the CBT techniques of overcoming addiction. CBT patients can use the techniques at home, office or join a support group.

SMART and other such like Addiction Support groups employ the CBT techniques to help their members remain sober.


Techniques Applied In Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

In order to help with addiction recovery cognitive behavioural therapists are known to utilise specific exercises.

Some of these practices are:

  • Thought Records
  • Recovering addicts are required to examine their automatic negative thoughts and to look for objective evidence either supporting or disproving the thoughts.
  • They are required to list the evidence in favour of or against the automatic thoughts and indulge in a comparison and a contrast to the thoughts.
  • This helps them eliminate the bad thoughts and stick with the good thoughts.

For example, a person may think that a supervisor at work doesn't think highly of them. In this case, CBT will help the person move from a mindset where they feel they need to drink to feel better about themselves to one where they see mistakes as a normal part of the learning process. My supervisor may in fact think highly of me for being able to learn from my mistakes. I don't need any alcohol to bolster my self-esteem."

  • CBT 'Behavioural Experiments' Technique
  • Here the exercises involve comparing negative thoughts and positive thoughts to see which influence good behaviour more.
  • It is well-known that some people respond better to self-kindness while others could display better responses to self-criticism.
  • One needs to identify the behaviours that work best with them.

Example: " "If I talk kindly to myself after binge drinking, I'll binge drink less." vs "If I'm hard on myself after binge drinking, I'll binge drink less."

  • Imagery Based Exposure
  • The people can overcome their feelings by thinking of a past experience that was unpleasant.
  • During this moment, they are required to take note of every sight, emotion, sound, thought and impulse.
  • By reliving painful memories again and again, the addict can gradually mitigate the anxiety caused by these past experiences.

Example: A person revisits a traumatic event from their childhood. Everything they went through at that time is clear as day to them. Following constant experience, the recollection lessens the pain and thereby decreasing the craving for alcohol or drugs.

  • Pleasant Activity Plan
  • This is a technique that is executed by drawing up a schedule of fun yet healthy activities to provide recreation and breaks from the everyday routine.
  • 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. He or she can begin to use the extra time at their desk to enjoy some new music from a melodious artist.


How Cognitive-Behavioural Therapies Differ From Other Psychotherapies

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy take a more practical approach to therapy as compared to other methods.

The addicts who are recovering can have an active session with their therapists who will be willing to listen not just passively. Both the therapist and the patient are actively involved in the therapy session and work together.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is based on action oriented, quick treatment. Lots of mid length rehabilitation programs that last from 60 to 90 days include CBT techniques to give patients more opportunities to cop? with their problems.

Some kinds of psychotherapy can take years until they produce a reliable result. In sharp contrast, CBT just requires 16 sessions before meaningful results can be seen.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy can be adapted to make it effective during inpatient and outpatient sessions, along with individual and group counselling environments. Most counsellors and addiction medical facilities incorporate CBT as a section of their recovery programs.