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Cognitive Behavioural Therapy As A Treatment

What Is 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.

In the 1960s Dr. Aaron T. Beck founded a type of mental health counselling known as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.


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It takes both people and resources to deal with substance dependency. Drug addiction treatment programs, both outpatient and residential, will help you avoid relapses and stay sober afterwards. There are mental health specialists on hand to help you learn life skills that will keep you on the path to recovery.

Begin making a change today by finding a treatment centre suitable for you.


Cognitive-Behavioural therapy is helpful to people to address any problematic thoughts and feelings which they could have in order to overcome addiction.


Many of the groups and rehabs are utilising Cognitive behavioural therapy in the recovery processes. Through CBT, the patients are shown how to connect their actions to their thoughts and feelings so they can be aware of how these factors are affecting their recovery.

Along with addictions, CBT also facilitates treating various co-occurring disorders, such as the following:

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

There are many rehab centres that provide CBT and you can find one near you today.


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How Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Helps

CBT clearly shows that a good deal of destructive emotions and actions are neither reasonable nor logical. The feelings and behaviours of people could be coming as a direct result from past experiences and factors related to the environment.

It is the job of counsellors to help recovering addicts identify their negative feelings and actions, which are also known as "automatic thoughts." Automatic thoughts are generally impulsive and often as a result of misconceptions and internal feelings of fear and self-doubt. People start to use some of the rugs in an effort to cover up these thoughts.


A person may be better able to deal with their addiction if they know what causes them to feel as they do and how these emotions and behaviours lead to the use of a drug or alcohol.

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 positive behaviours that are learnt through CBT can thereafter be used instead of using drugs or alcohol.


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. There are three ways in which CBT can help recovering users deal with triggers according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.


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

  • Helping to dispel my persuasions and feeling of insecurity, which result in substance abuse, from the patient's mind.
  • Strengthen the patient with better ways of self-motivation.
  • Training the patient on how to express themselves better.

Keys For Controlling Triggers

  • Identification
  • Learn to identify what makes you want to take drugs or drink.
  • Evade
  • Abstract oneself from trigger situations whenever it's possible.
  • Deal With Them (Cope)
  • This involves dealing with the thoughts and feelings that cause you to abuse the substance using methods learnt in CBT.

Even when outside the treatment centre, you can still practice the methods learnt in CBT. Patients can do a lot of CBT exercises all by themselves - at a group meeting and at home.

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


Methods Used In Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

There are exercises peculiar to CBT-based treatment for addicted patients.

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

  • Thought Records
  • This involves dispelling automatic negative thoughts by finding proof that shows these thoughts to be false.
  • For comparison purposes, you can even list the proof for and against these negative thoughts.
  • The idea is that by critically evaluating your thoughts, you will be able to have thoughts that are less harsh and are more rational.

For example, a person may think that a supervisor at work doesn't think highly of them. 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. I'll do better next time, and my manager will be happy with me. This will lead them to realize that they don't need alcohol to feel better.

  • Behavioural Experiments
  • These exercises are helpful in contrasting negative thoughts with the positive ones to understand which one is better effective for changing behaviour.
  • One person may react better when they self-criticize while another will do great when they self-motivated.
  • Behavioural experiments help individuals figure out whether they are self-motivators or self-critics.

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."

  • Imagery Based Exposure
  • This involves bringing up memories that cause highly negative feelings.
  • This will involve assessing all the features such as feelings and the responses they had to that particular feeling.
  • This will get rid of any nervousness they have been feeling.

Example: A difficult childhood memory is the focus of a young man's thoughts. He recollects every information and feeling during that time. The more he replays it in his mind, the less painful it is and this leads to a lower need to indulge in alcohol and drugs as a way of self medication.

  • The Schedule of Pleasant Activities
  • This is a practice involving creating a healthy weekly list, entertaining practices to halt an individual's daily activities.
  • All the activities on the list should be easy to do, simple, and trigger positive emotions.
  • 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: An accountant who is feeling overworked could schedule a few minutes of relaxation everyday during his work hours instead of drinking while working. He utilises that moment to get and appreciate a fresh song from a new singer.


How Cbt Or Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Varies From Other Therapies

While others therapies may be less hands-on, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy provides an approach that is much more attentive.

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.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is based on action oriented, quick treatment. 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.

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

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.