Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Against Addictions therapies-related

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy And Understanding It

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) addresses morbid thoughts and feelings for the purpose of treating addiction and psychiatric disorders.

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 (CBT) addresses the problem areas of thoughts and behaviour resulting from drug addiction.


Many of the groups and rehabs are utilising Cognitive behavioural therapy in the recovery processes. Getting in control of your thoughts and perception about life an addiction will help in overcoming this behaviours and this is something the patients are trained on at CBT.

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

  • Apprehension
  • Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • Loss of appetite
  • PTSD or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

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How Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Helps

CBT recognizes that many behaviours and feeling are dangerous and make no sense. Such feelings and behaviours may be caused by either environmental effect or experiences from the past.

With the help of cognitive behavioural therapists, recovering addicts can fetch out negative "automatic thoughts" of their own. Involuntary ideas from a sudden urge and frequently emanates from a mistaken belief and a subconscious way of thinking based on low esteem 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.

These addiction can be gradually minimised if they address the past experiences and thoughts. The addicts then get a fresh opportunity to learn positive behaviours in order to replace their addiction for alcohol or drugs.


Treatment For Addiction And Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

It is Automatic negative thoughts that are often the major cause of various depressions and anxiety disorders, which commonly occur together with addiction.

What this says is dark thoughts have a higher possibility of making a person start abusing substances.

One of the main things that prevent people from staying clean are triggers and these are things, situations or people that bring about a strong urge to use. The National Institute On Drug Abuse has mentioned that help can be received by recovering addicts from cognitive-behavioural therapy to deal with the triggers which result in the cravings.


How Cbt Works In Helping Patients Overcome Addiction

  • Helping to dispel my persuasions and feeling of insecurity, which result in substance abuse, from the patient's mind.
  • To improve moods, CBT can provide tools that the recovering user can employ on their own.
  • Training the patient on how to express themselves better.

How To Control The Triggers

  • Recognise
  • Identify the circumstances which can lead to the use of drugs and alcohol.
  • Avoid The Triggers
  • Abstract oneself from trigger situations whenever it's possible.
  • Deal With Them (Cope)
  • Using CBT techniques, examine and mitigate emotions and thoughts that provoke substance use.

The techniques provided by the cognitive-behavioural therapists can be practiced beyond the office of the therapist. Patients can do a lot of CBT exercises all by themselves - at a group meeting and at home.

The techniques of CBT are also being used in the SMART programs and other self help groups on addiction.


Cbt Therapy Principles

Therapists that practice CBT use special exercises to facilitate addiction recovery.

Here are some examples of CBT techniques that are widely used in treatment of addictions

  • 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.
  • The objective is to assist them to think in a balanced manner and critically evaluate their thoughts to feel constructive about themselves.

For example "My boss thinks I'm worthless. 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 feel so much better with a clear mind; I can do without a drink."

  • Behavioural Experiments
  • These exercises are helpful in contrasting negative thoughts with the positive ones to understand which one is better effective for changing behaviour.
  • Where some people may respond to self-criticism, others may prefer self-kindness.
  • The whole point of behavioural experiments is in finding out what works best for the particular individual.

Example "I'm likely to binge drink less if I am hard on myself during and after the binge drinking" vs. "I'll probably have fewer drinks if I am talking to myself kindly after the session of binge drinking."

  • Creating Images In Your Mind
  • 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.
  • Regularly re-enacting that moment in their minds, the patient can deal with the pain and nervousness brought about by the memory.

Example Painful childhood memories haunt an individual who constantly focuses on them. He recollects every information and feeling during that time. Following constant experience, the recollection lessens the pain and thereby decreasing the craving for alcohol or drugs.

  • Schedule for Pleasant Activities
  • This is a method used to reduce the monotony of routines by planning activities that are enjoyable and healthy at certain times.
  • The key is to have activities that are uncomplicated and easy to execute while bringing out positive feelings.
  • Enlisting - and carrying out - these activities helps patients avoid negative automatic thoughts, so these people do not need to drink or take drugs for this purpose anymore.

Example In the place of drinking or indulging in drugs while working, a worn-out financial advisor unwinds at his desk for quarter an hour daily. Instead, the break is used to listen to a recently released song from a new music sensation.


How Cbt Or Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Varies From Other Therapies

As compared to some therapies which do not offer a set of engaging activities, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy will provide an hands-on alternative.

The addicts who are recovering can have an active session with their therapists who will be willing to listen not just passively. In its place, addiction victims and therapists work collectively to overcome dependency.

The foundation of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy focuses on action-based treatment, which will be rapid. A number of 60 to 90-day rehabilitation programs also include CBT within the package to provide people an opportunity to learn instant coping techniques.

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.

Due to it's highly adaptable nature, CBT is used in both private and group counselling and it is also used in residential and non-residential rehab programs. A lot of rehabilitation facilities and addiction therapists use CBT as a part of their treatment programs.