Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) addresses morbid thoughts and feelings for the purpose of treating addiction and psychiatric disorders.
In the 1960s Dr. Aaron T. Beck founded a type of mental health counselling known as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.
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CBT helps people to fight addiction by helping them to deal with the negative thoughts and feelings behind the 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.
Other mental health problems that can be addressed using this method include:
Anxiety of various kinds
ADD or Attention Deficit Disorder
OCD or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
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.
Lack of proper reason or sense is what causes people to behaviour in a certain tragic way and this explanation is according to Cognitive Behavioural therapy. The feelings and behaviours of people could be coming as a direct result from past experiences and factors related to the environment.
Cognitive behavioural therapists work with patients to identify potentially thoughts that lead to self-destructive or unhealthy behaviours. Fear, self doubt and other internalized feelings together with misconceptions are what usually cause these automatic negative thoughts. People often drink or abuse drugs in an attempt to mitigate these afflictive thoughts and feelings.
A person can stop their over dependency on drugs if they identify the thoughts and emotions that lead them to abuse drugs or behaviour in a certain way.
Facing these sensitive areas often leads a patient to get over the acute pain they cause. The addicts then get a fresh opportunity to learn positive behaviours in order to replace their addiction for alcohol or drugs.
Use Of Cbt In Addiction Treatment
The root causes of depression and anxiety which are common among people, and are co-occurring disorders with addiction emanate from the automatic thoughts which have imbibed themselves within the individual.
It means that automatic thoughts can make a person more likely to take drugs and drink alcohol.
Triggers - certain situations that provoke, i.e. "trigger", cravings for substance during the day - prevent many addicts from living a sober life. 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 them dismiss misconceived notions and insecurities that have possibly led to substance abuse.
To improve moods, CBT can provide tools that the recovering user can employ on their own.
Carrying out training on effective communication skills.
The Skills Necessary For Managing Triggers
Know Them (recognize)
Know the things that create an urge to use drugs or alcohol.
Abstract oneself from trigger situations whenever it's possible.
Cope With Triggers
This involves dealing with the thoughts and feelings that cause you to abuse the substance using methods learnt in CBT.
You can practice CBT behaviour techniques anywhere and everywhere. 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.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Methods
Therapists that practice CBT use special exercises to facilitate addiction recovery.
Some of the exercises are:
Evaluation Of Thoughts
The patients are encouraged to stop and evaluate their thoughts see if they are worth keeping them or if they are better discarded.
The patients make a list of advantages and disadvantages of keeping or discarding the thoughts.
The aim is to help them think positive, productive thoughts.
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. My supervisor may in fact think highly of me for being able to learn from my mistakes. I don't need any alcohol to bolster my self-esteem."
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.
Some people can better judge themselves while others can complement themselves.
These experiments are useful in finding out what causes an individual to improve their behaviour.
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
The people can overcome their feelings by thinking of a past experience that was unpleasant.
This will involve assessing all the features such as feelings and the responses they had to that particular feeling.
Regularly re-enacting that moment in their minds, the patient can deal with the pain and nervousness brought about by the memory.
Example: A young guy focuses on some painful experience from 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.
The Schedule of Pleasant Activities
This is a method used to reduce the monotony of routines by planning activities that are enjoyable and healthy at certain times.
All the activities on the list should be easy to do, simple, and trigger positive emotions.
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: 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.
Addicts more often than not speak to their counsellors during a CBT meeting while the therapists listen attentively. Instead of this, therapists and addicts carry out joint activities aimed at overcoming the addiction.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is based on actions and faster recovery. Most 60 to 90 day rehab programs incorporate CBT to give individuals instant ways of coping.
It may takes years to see tangible results with most psychotherapy methods. In most cases, 16 sessions of CBT will yield tangible results.
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. CBT is a regular part of the treatment program as far as many rehab centres and addiction specialists are concerned.