Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) addresses morbid thoughts and feelings for the purpose of treating addiction and psychiatric disorders.
Dr. Aaron T. Beck in the 1960s founded the Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) as a means of treating mental illnesses.
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Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) addresses the problem areas of thoughts and behaviour resulting from drug addiction.
CBT is now an internationally accepted mode of treatment for addictions. 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.
Some of the other behaviours that can be eliminated aside from dependency on drugs include:
Various forms of Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder [PTSD]
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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.
Cognitive behavioural therapists work with patients to identify potentially thoughts that lead to self-destructive or unhealthy behaviours. A person's feelings play a very big part in the life of a person and their addiction. People often drink or abuse drugs in an attempt to mitigate these afflictive thoughts and feelings.
Being able to isolate these feelings and emotions and recognize what brings them on empowers the addicted person to fight the addiction.
Facing these sensitive areas often leads a patient to get over the acute pain they cause. Once they can cope with the issues without freaking out, they are then taught how to cultivate healthy habits in place of the substances they were addicted to.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy And Treatment For Addiction
Most users are found to be suffering from deep despair and hopelessness which in the first place were caused by bad or distrustful thoughts.
Someone is bound to start using drugs or be addicted to alcohol if they constantly have negative thoughts and feelings of depression.
It may be hard for a person trying to stop drug addiction to do so when they are in the same environment that led them to that behaviour in the first place. 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.
Alcoholism And Other Drugs Can Be Eliminated By Cbt Including
The false beliefs and insecurity issues that causes substance abuse can be resolved using CBT.
Providing DIY techniques to lift the patients' spirits.
Teaching the individual effective skills at communicating.
Keys For Controlling Triggers
You need to recognise the things that make you start using the drugs.
Avoid The Triggers
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.
Even when outside the treatment centre, you can still practice the methods learnt in CBT. Whether you are at home or in a group, there are many situations that you can use to practice the CBT exercises.
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 Methods
To help a user to recover, there are special methods that are utilized in CBT.
Some of these practices are:
Patients recovering from addiction review their automatic negative thoughts and search for solid evidence that proves and contradicts these thoughts.
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.
For example, a person may think that a supervisor at work doesn't think highly of them. 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 do not need alcohol to get a better feeling of myself.
CBT 'Behavioural Experiments' Technique
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 are just about understanding what works best for a particular individual to a situation.
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 Technique
This involves bringing up memories that cause highly negative feelings.
The person then carefully notes what they were seeing, hearing, feeling and thinking in that moment.
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 reproduces every feeling and emotion which he experienced at that moment. The person will become less inclined to use drugs or alcohol because as they revisit the event more often, the trauma of the event is felt less.
Schedule for Pleasant Activities
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.
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: 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.
Difference Between Other Therapies And Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
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. 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. 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.
It may takes years to see tangible results with most psychotherapy methods. Just sixteen sessions of CBT is often enough to obtain considerable improvement.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy can be adapted to make it effective during inpatient and outpatient sessions, along with individual and group counselling environments. Numerous therapists and addiction treatment centres are commonly including CBT along with the recovery plans which are offered by them.