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.
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Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) addresses the problem areas of thoughts and behaviour resulting from drug addiction.
Nowadays, CBT has become a common part of treating 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:
ADD or Attention Deficit Disorder
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
Various forms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
There are many rehab centres that provide CBT and you can find one near you today.
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. People start to use some of the rugs in an effort to cover up these thoughts.
Being able to isolate these feelings and emotions and recognize what brings them on empowers the addicted person to fight the addiction.
These addiction can be gradually minimised if they address the past experiences and thoughts. The positive behaviours that are learnt through CBT can thereafter be used instead of using drugs or alcohol.
Use Of Cbt In Addiction Treatment
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. Based on the National Institute on Drug Abuse, CBT employs three keys to help those battling addiction resist triggers.
Cbt Helps Patients To Get Past Drug Addiction And Alcoholism By
Aids the patient to take control of their life, rejecting past thoughts and beliefs that trigger low self-esteem and feelings of rejection.
Providing the tools needed for self-help to improve their moods.
Training the patient on how to express themselves better.
The Skills Necessary For Managing Triggers
Recognize Triggers In Time
Identify which factor provokes taking drugs or drinking alcohol.
Keep Away From Them (Avoid)
Stay away from places and situations that make you want to drink or take the drugs.
This involves dealing with the thoughts and feelings that cause you to abuse the substance using methods learnt in CBT.
Patients can well practice CBT techniques even at the places other than the therapist's office. Patients can do a lot of CBT exercises all by themselves - at a group meeting and at home.
Support groups for addiction such as Self-Management And Recovery Training [SMART] are also incorporating CBT principles within their self-help exercises as an encouragement for continued sobriety.
Cbt Therapy Principles
There are different practices that are used to overcome an addiction using CBT.
Examples of CBT techniques which are generally utilised in the treatment of addictions include the following:
This involves dispelling automatic negative thoughts by finding proof that shows these thoughts to be false.
The participants are supposed to evaluate their thoughts critically to see the downsides it is causing to their lives.
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 need to have a drink to feel better" turns into "It's ok to make mistakes, and I will learn from them. 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.
Here the exercises involve comparing negative thoughts and positive thoughts to see which influence good behaviour more.
Where some people may respond to self-criticism, others may prefer self-kindness.
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 Technique
Here, the patients are encouraged to remember something bad that happened before that causes them to feel terrible.
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 young man emphasises on uncomfortable memories of his childhood. He recollects every information and feeling during that time. The consistent exposure to his past begins to cause him less pain and reduces the requirement to self-medicate with the use of alcohol or drugs.
Pleasant Activity Plan
This is a method used to reduce the monotony of routines by planning activities that are enjoyable and healthy at certain times.
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: An accountant who is feeling overworked could schedule a few minutes of relaxation everyday during his work hours instead of drinking while working. 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.
The CBT sessions aren't simply about the therapist quietly listening while the patient goes on and on about their lives. Both the therapist and the patient are actively involved in the therapy session and work together.
Focused and quick treatment that is based on actions is what Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is all about. CBT has become a standard part of many long term rehab programs since they provide the patients with ways of coping.
Other psychotherapy approaches could take up to a number of years to produce results. Just sixteen sessions of CBT is often enough to obtain considerable improvement.
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.