CBT is a method used to treat mental illnesses and addiction by addressing negative thoughts and feelings.
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.
Today, cognitive behavioural therapy is widely used to treat 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.
Apart from addiction, CBT is also used for treating co-occurring disorders such as:
Anxiety of various kinds
Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
PTSD or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
The CBT centres are everywhere and you can attend anyone to get help today.
Many of the things we do or feel that harm us are not actually rational and CBT can help us to know this. 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. Automatic thoughts are generally impulsive and often as a result of misconceptions and internal feelings of fear and self-doubt. People often drink or abuse drugs in an attempt to mitigate these afflictive thoughts and feelings.
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.
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.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy And Treatment For Addiction
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.
A person may be more likely to abuse alcohol or drugs when experiencing these negative thoughts.
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
Helping them dismiss misconceived notions and insecurities that have possibly led to substance abuse.
Using techniques that are bound to help the patient up boost moral.
Carrying out training on effective communication skills.
How To Control The Triggers
Know Them (recognize)
Learn to identify what makes you want to take drugs or drink.
Try as much as possible to get away from these trigger situations.
Using CBT techniques, examine and mitigate emotions and thoughts that provoke substance use.
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.
The techniques of CBT are also being used in the SMART programs and other self help groups on addiction.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Methods
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:
Evaluation Of Thoughts
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.
For example, a person may think that a supervisor at work doesn't think highly of them. In this case, CBT will help the person move from a mindset where they feel they need to drink to feel better about themselves to one where they see mistakes as a normal part of the learning process. My manager will appreciate that I am learning from my mistakes and heeding his or her advice. I can change without having to use alcohol."
Here the exercises involve comparing negative thoughts and positive thoughts to see which influence good behaviour more.
One person may react better when they self-criticize while another will do great when they self-motivated.
One needs to identify the behaviours that work best with them.
For example: "If I am harsh to myself after drinking to excess, I'll drink less" vs. "If I am kind to myself after drinking to excess, I will drink less."
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.
Frequently by visiting the painful memories a recovering addict can reduce the anxiety caused by the memories over a period of time.
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.
Pleasant Activity Program
It is a technique that involves working out a list for the week to come, filling it with fun and healthy, activities; it helps a person break the monotony of everyday routine.
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: An accountant who is feeling overworked could schedule a few minutes of relaxation everyday during his work hours instead of drinking while working. He or she can begin to use the extra time at their desk to enjoy some new music from a melodious artist.
The Difference Between Cognitive Behavioural Therapy And Other Psychotherapies
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy take a more practical approach to therapy as compared to other methods.
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.
Focused and quick treatment that is based on actions is what Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is all about. Most of the 60 - 90 day rehab programs have CBT as a component that equips addicts with immediate techniques to help in coping.
It may takes years to see tangible results with most psychotherapy methods. More often than not, CBT needs 16 meetings to deliver significant results.
Cognitive behavioural therapy techniques are also very flexible, which makes them well usable for treatment both in a clinic and on outpatient basis, and CBT can be applied both during individual counselling and in groups. Numerous therapists and addiction treatment centres are commonly including CBT along with the recovery plans which are offered by them.