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Cognitive Behavioural Therapy For Addictions

Knowledge Of 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.

Dr. Aaron T. Beck started Cognitive Behavioural Therapy in the 60s which is a branch of mental health counselling.


Getting The Addiction Tackling Resources

Help and resources from many people are required if you are looking to overcome an addiction. Drug addiction treatment programs, both outpatient and residential, will help you avoid relapses and stay sober afterwards. You can also learn the skills you need to stay sober from available psychological counsellors.

Make adjustments now by getting a suitable medical facility.


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


CBT is now an internationally accepted mode of treatment for 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 of the other behaviours that can be eliminated aside from dependency on drugs include:

  • Panicking
  • Various forms of Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder [OCD]
  • Loss of appetite
  • 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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Cognitive Behavioural Therapy And How It Works

CBT recognizes that many behaviours and feeling are dangerous and make no sense. Such reactions and feelings may be brought on by traumatic occurrence or background.

The patients can easily get to know the thoughts that are turning them to drug abuse through the help of the therapists. 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. It has been observed that many people look forward to be self-medicating themselves to overcome the painful thoughts and feelings with the help of alcohol or by abusing substances.


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.


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.

This clearly indicates that the automatic thoughts within the mind can make an individual susceptible to drug abuse and alcoholism as well.

Triggers are situations that can "trigger" cravings within the individual throughout the day and keep many people who could be addicted from improving to remain sober. Based on the National Institute on Drug Abuse, CBT employs three keys to help those battling addiction resist triggers.


Drug Addiction And Alcoholism Can Be Overcome With The Help Of Cbt Because

  • The false beliefs and insecurity issues that causes substance abuse can be resolved using CBT.
  • Using techniques that are bound to help the patient up boost moral.
  • Training people how to speak up about their feelings to others.

How To Manage Triggers

  • Identification
  • Identify which factor provokes taking drugs or drinking alcohol.
  • Avoid
  • Abstract oneself from trigger situations whenever it's possible.
  • Manage
  • The emotions and thoughts that lead to the abuse of substances can be elevated by using the techniques provided by CBT.

Patients can well practice CBT techniques even at the places other than the therapist's office. Recovering addicts do not need to visit a specialist for advice but can indulge in several CBT exercises by themselves either from home or in a group setting.

Some of the self-help exercises taught in support groups such as SMART - Self Management and Recovery Training incorporate certain aspects of CBT.


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
  • One way to overcome these behaviour is keeping in check your thoughts in order to avoid negative thinking.
  • The patients make a list of advantages and disadvantages of keeping or discarding the thoughts.
  • The aim is to help people switch to more balanced and less rough thoughts by taking stock of what they are thinking.

Example: "My manager thinks I'm useless." I feel better when I drink, I'll take a drink right now " becomes " it is okay to make mistakes as now I know what not to do. 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
  • Exercises of this kind contrast negative and positive thoughts against each other in order to see which ones are more effective in changing the patient's behaviour.
  • It is well-known that some people respond better to self-kindness while others could display better responses to self-criticism.
  • These experiments are useful in finding out what causes an individual to improve their behaviour.

Example: "when I criticize myself after indulging in too much drink, I drink less" vs. "when I encourage myself that I am better off without so much drinking, I drink less."

  • Imagery Based Exposure
  • Here, the patients are encouraged to remember something bad that happened before that causes them to feel terrible.
  • They write down every experience at that moment including sight, sound, emotion, thought and the impulse of the moment.
  • Regularly re-enacting that moment in their minds, the patient can deal with the pain and nervousness brought about by the memory.

Example: A person revisits a traumatic event from their childhood. He reproduces every feeling and emotion which he experienced at that moment. Eventually, repeatedly remembering this episode gives him less pain, and he doesn't feel the need to take drugs or drink alcohol to ease this pain.

  • Comfortable Activity Plan
  • This is a practice involving creating a healthy weekly list, entertaining practices to halt an individual's daily activities.
  • The tasks included should encourage positive emotions while being uncomplicated and easy to perform.
  • By scheduling these simple activities that individuals can easily reduce some of the negative and automatic thoughts within the mind and gain control over the subsequent need to indulge in the use of drugs or alcohol.

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 utilises that moment to get and appreciate a fresh song from a new singer.


Difference Between Other Therapies And Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

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

Addicts more often than not speak to their counsellors during a CBT meeting while the therapists listen attentively. In its place, addiction victims and therapists work collectively to overcome dependency.

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.

Certain psychoanalytic methods may take many years before showing any tangible results. Just sixteen sessions of CBT is often enough to obtain considerable improvement.

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. Most counsellors and addiction medical facilities incorporate CBT as a section of their recovery programs.