Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Against Addictions therapies-related

Learning About Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

The problem of treating addiction and mental illness, which can be a result of unhealthy thoughts and feelings can be addressed by cognitive-behavioural therapy.

Dr. AAron T. Beck started Cognitive Behavioural Therapy in the 60s which is a branch of mental health counselling.


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Cognitive-Behavioural therapy is helpful to people to address any problematic thoughts and feelings which they could have in order to overcome 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

  • Nervousness
  • Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)
  • Bipolar disorder
  • OCD or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
  • Eating disorders
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

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How Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Helps

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 nature of the place where a person is living and even their history may play a part in their behaviour.

A recovering user may have certain negative thoughts that automatically come to mind and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy can help to identify them. An automatic thought is impulse-based; it often comes from misrepresentations and internally generated feelings such as self-doubt and fear. It has been observed that many people look forward to be self-medicating themselves to overcome the painful thoughts and feelings with the help of alcohol or by abusing substances.


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. After that they can learn other, favourable behaviours that will replace those leading to drug or alcohol use.


Dependency Treatment And Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

Whenever there is an addiction, there is usually another mental issue such as depression and anxiety disorders and these usually stem from automatic negative thoughts.

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. As alleged by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, CBT helps people recovering from addictions deal with their triggers in three main ways.


Cbt Aids People In Overcoming Their Drug Addiction And Alcoholism By

  • Getting rid of all the negative thought that lead people to addiction.
  • Using techniques that are bound to help the patient up boost moral.
  • Carrying out training on effective communication skills.

Keys For Controlling Triggers

  • Recognise
  • Identify which factor provokes taking drugs or drinking alcohol.
  • Avoid
  • Stay away from places and situations that make you want to drink or take the drugs.
  • Cope
  • 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. CBT patients can use the techniques at home, office or join a support group.

Some of the self-help exercises taught in support groups such as SMART - Self Management and Recovery Training incorporate certain aspects of CBT.


Methods Used In Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

To help a user to recover, there are special methods that are utilized in CBT.

Some of these practices are

  • Evaluation Of Thoughts
  • Patients recovering from addiction review their automatic negative thoughts and search for solid evidence that proves and contradicts these thoughts.
  • The patients make a list of advantages and disadvantages of keeping or discarding the thoughts.
  • The objective is to assist them to think in a balanced manner and critically evaluate their thoughts to feel constructive about themselves.

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 manager will appreciate that I am learning from my mistakes and heeding his or her advice. I do not need alcohol to get a better feeling of myself.

  • Behavioural Experiments
  • These exercises are helpful in contrasting negative thoughts with the positive ones to understand which one is better effective for changing behaviour.
  • One person may react better when they self-criticize while another will do great when they self-motivated.
  • Behavioural experiments help individuals figure out whether they are self-motivators or self-critics.

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
  • The people can overcome their feelings by thinking of a past experience that was unpleasant.
  • The person then carefully notes what they were seeing, hearing, feeling and thinking in that moment.
  • The anxiousness caused by certain negative experiences can be lessened by going over these experiences over and over.

Example Painful childhood memories haunt an individual who constantly focuses on them. Everything they went through at that time is clear as day to them. Following constant experience, the recollection lessens the pain and thereby decreasing the craving for alcohol or drugs.

  • Schedule for Pleasant Activities
  • This is a practice involving creating a healthy weekly list, entertaining practices to halt an individual's daily activities.
  • 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. He or she can begin to use the extra time at their desk to enjoy some new music from a melodious artist.


What Is The Difference Between Cbt Vs Other Kinds Of Psychotherapy

As compared to some therapies which do not offer a set of engaging activities, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy will provide an hands-on alternative.

The addicts who are recovering can have an active session with their therapists who will be willing to listen not just passively. Instead of this, therapists and addicts carry out joint activities aimed at overcoming the addiction.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy applies fruitful, action-focused techniques aimed at quick result. CBT has become a standard part of many long term rehab programs since they provide the patients with ways of coping.

Certain psychoanalytic methods may take many years before showing any tangible results. In most cases, 16 sessions of CBT will yield tangible 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. A lot of rehabilitation facilities and addiction therapists use CBT as a part of their treatment programs.