Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is a treatment for psychological problems that seeks to address the thinking or behaviour patterns of a person with a mental health condition.
A classification of mental health counselling is cognitive-behavioural therapy which was founded in the 1960s by Dr. Aaron T. Beck.
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Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) addresses the problem areas of thoughts and behaviour resulting from drug addiction.
Cognitive-Behavioural therapy is presently in use during the treatment of addictions. CBT educates recovering addicts to establish connections between their thoughts, feelings and actions and to increase awareness about how these matters can have an impact on recovery.
Apart from addiction, CBT is also used for treating co-occurring disorders such as:
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. Our environment and experiences in the past may be the cause of these actions and behaviours.
The patients can easily get to know the thoughts that are turning them to drug abuse through the help of the therapists. 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.
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.
The pain caused by certain experiences may be lessened if these events are revisited often and addressed. The positive behaviours that are learnt through CBT can thereafter be used instead of using drugs or alcohol.
Dependency Treatment And Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
Over Dependency on the drugs is also associated with behaviours such as feeling sad and nervous and this are caused by the bad thoughts.
This clearly indicates that the automatic thoughts within the mind can make an individual susceptible to drug abuse and alcoholism as well.
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. As alleged by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, CBT helps people recovering from addictions deal with their triggers in three main ways.
How Cbt Works In Helping Patients Overcome Addiction
The false beliefs and insecurity issues that causes substance abuse can be resolved using CBT.
To improve moods, CBT can provide tools that the recovering user can employ on their own.
Training the patient on how to express themselves better.
How To Control The Triggers
Identify the circumstances which can lead to the use of drugs and alcohol.
Avoid The Triggers
Abstract oneself from trigger situations whenever it's possible.
Deal With Them (Cope)
The emotions and thoughts that lead to the abuse of substances can be elevated by using the techniques provided by 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:
The patients are encouraged to stop and evaluate their thoughts see if they are worth keeping them or if they are better discarded.
For comparison purposes, you can even list the proof for and against these negative thoughts.
The aim is to help them think positive, productive thoughts.
For example: "My boss thinks I'm worthless. 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. 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."
These exercises are helpful in contrasting negative thoughts with the positive ones to understand which one is better effective for changing behaviour.
It is well-known that some people respond better to self-kindness while others could display better responses to self-criticism.
Behavioural experiments help individuals figure out whether they are self-motivators or self-critics.
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."
Creating Images In Your Mind
During this exercise, patients have to think about a past experience that causes severe 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. Everything they went through at that time is clear as day to them. 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
Enjoyable activities which can help break up regular routines can be learned by people simply by making a list of the healthy activities because the technique requires them to do so.
The key is to have activities that are uncomplicated and easy to execute while bringing out positive feelings.
The need to use drugs or alcohol can be reduced with the help of these activities since they will help to curb the negative thoughts that tend to creep up automatically.
Example: A financial advisor working in a high stress environment can take 15 minutes off the job to do something relaxing instead of turning to alcohol or drugs when overwhelmed. Instead, during this time he enjoys a song from the singer he likes very much.
What Is The Difference Between Cbt Vs Other Kinds Of Psychotherapy
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy provides a perfect alternative to less effective and engaging treatment techniques.
Addicts in treatment are expected to go beyond just talking to the therapist during the CBT sitting and the therapist is not just a passive listener. The addicts and the therapists will be working with each other to treat the addiction.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy applies fruitful, action-focused techniques aimed at quick result. Lots of mid length rehabilitation programs that last from 60 to 90 days include CBT techniques to give patients more opportunities to cop? with their problems.
Certain psychoanalytic methods may take many years before showing any tangible results. Positive results in CBT may be visible in as little as sixteen sessions.
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.