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Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Overview

Unmasking Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

CBT is a method used to treat mental illnesses and addiction by addressing negative thoughts and feelings.

Cognitive behavioural therapy, or CBT, is a method of psychological and psychiatric counselling invented by Dr. Aaron T. Beck in the 1960s.


Getting The Addiction Tackling Resources

Overcoming addiction calls for many resources and people. You can recover successfully with the help of either residential or non-residential treatment. You can also learn the skills you need to stay sober from available psychological counsellors.

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They can get over any form of addiction by changing their mentality about it.


Today, cognitive behavioural therapy is widely used to treat addictions. 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.

Some addiction patients also have other issues concurrently occurring with the addiction problems like:

  • State of panic
  • Attention Deficit Disorder [ADD]
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Various forms of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • Eating disorders
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

If you suffer from addiction or any of those issues listed, please look for a CBT treatment facility for help.


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How Cbt Works

CBT recognizes that many behaviours and feeling are dangerous and make no sense. The nature of the place where a person is living and even their history may play a part in their behaviour.

It is the job of counsellors to help recovering addicts identify their negative feelings and actions, which are also known as "automatic thoughts." A person's feelings play a very big part in the life of a person and their addiction. Trying to suppress the pain inflicted by these experiences people self-medicate with alcohol and drugs.


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.

Recovering addicts can soothe the pain caused by distressful memories by repeatedly revisiting them. The addicts then get a fresh opportunity to learn positive behaviours in order to replace their addiction for alcohol or drugs.


Dependency Treatment 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.

A person may be more likely to abuse alcohol or drugs when experiencing these negative thoughts.

Triggers - certain situations that provoke, i.e. "trigger", cravings for substance during the day - prevent many addicts from living a sober life. 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.
  • Providing the tools needed for self-help to improve their moods.
  • Carrying out training on effective communication skills.

How To Control The Triggers

  • Know Them (recognize)
  • Learn to identify what makes you want to take drugs or drink.
  • Avoid
  • Abstract oneself from trigger situations whenever it's possible.
  • Deal With Them (Cope)
  • 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. Engaging with others can help you practice some of the things that you learn at CBT.

To encourage people to stay sober, various support groups such as SMART (Self-Management and Recovery Training) program also make use of CBT when creating their self-help exercises.


Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Practices

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

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 write down of pros and cons of their automatic thoughts to compare and set up the former against the latter.
  • The aim is to help people switch to more balanced and less rough thoughts by taking stock of what they are thinking.

For example: "My boss thinks I'm worthless. I need to have a drink to feel better' becomes 'it's normal to commit mistakes, and I can learn from the example. My supervisor may in fact think highly of me for being able to learn from my mistakes. I can change without having to use alcohol."

  • Behavioural Experiments
  • 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.
  • This will involve assessing all the features such as feelings and the responses they had to that particular feeling.
  • By reliving painful memories again and again, the addict can gradually mitigate the anxiety caused by these past experiences.

Example: A young man emphasises on uncomfortable memories of his childhood. He replays it in his mind remembering every feeling and detail of the event. Following constant experience, the recollection lessens the pain and thereby decreasing the craving for alcohol or drugs.

  • Comfortable 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 who works a lot, finds fifteen minutes every day to relax at his desk instead of drinking alcohol or using drugs at work. Instead, during this time he enjoys a song from the singer he likes very much.


How Cognitive-Behavioural Therapies Differ From Other Psychotherapies

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

At CBT sessions, recovering addicts do not just talk, and their therapists do not just listen passively to patients. The addicts and the therapists will be working with each other to treat the addiction.

Focused and quick treatment that is based on actions is what Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is all about. Most of the 60 - 90 day rehab programs have CBT as a component that equips addicts with immediate techniques to help in coping.

Certain psychoanalytic methods may take many years before showing any tangible results. More often than not, CBT needs 16 meetings to deliver significant results.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy can easily be adapted, which makes it very idyllic in both outpatient and inpatient situations as well as group and private counselling atmospheres. A lot of rehabilitation facilities and addiction therapists use CBT as a part of their treatment programs.