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CBT Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

Knowledge Of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

Over Dependency on drugs and other ailments can be treated by changing the thinking mentality and emotions of a person and this is the core of cognitive behavioural therapy.

In the 1960s Dr. Aaron T. Beck founded a type of mental health counselling known as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.


Getting The Addiction Tackling Resources

Getting rid of an addiction needs certain resources and people. Outpatient or Inpatient addiction treatment programs will help you achieve sobriety and keep from relapsing. Mental health counsellors will help you learn the skills you need to apply in your life to ensure complete recovery.

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Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) addresses the problem areas of thoughts and behaviour resulting from drug 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.

Apart from addiction, CBT is also used for treating co-occurring disorders such as:

  • Anxiety of various kinds
  • Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • Loss of appetite
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder [PTSD]

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How Cbt Works

CBT clearly shows that a good deal of destructive emotions and actions are neither reasonable nor logical. Such feelings and behaviours may be caused by either environmental effect or experiences from the past.

The patients can easily get to know the thoughts that are turning them to drug abuse through the help of the therapists. Automatic thoughts are generally impulsive and often as a result of misconceptions and internal feelings of fear and self-doubt. People start to use some of the rugs in an effort to cover up these thoughts.


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


The Role Of Cbt In Treating Addiction

It is Automatic negative thoughts that are often the major cause of various depressions and anxiety disorders, which commonly occur together with addiction.

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. There are a couple of ways that these triggers can be prevented from causing relapse.


Cbt Aids People In Overcoming Their Drug Addiction And Alcoholism By

  • Aids the patient to take control of their life, rejecting past thoughts and beliefs that trigger low self-esteem and feelings of rejection.
  • Providing DIY techniques to lift the patients' spirits.
  • Training people how to speak up about their feelings to others.

Keys For Controlling Triggers

  • Recognise
  • Know the things that create an urge to use drugs or alcohol.
  • Avoid The Triggers
  • Try as much as possible to get away from these trigger situations.
  • Cope
  • The techniques of getting rid of these feeling you have learnt from CBT will come in handy in this place.

Even when outside the treatment centre, you can still practice the methods learnt in CBT. 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.

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

In order to help with addiction recovery cognitive behavioural therapists are known to utilise specific exercises.

Some of the exercises are:

  • Evaluation Of Thoughts
  • Recovering addicts are required to examine their automatic negative thoughts and to look for objective evidence either supporting or disproving the 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. For that, I need to use alcohol to get over this feeling "can be changed to " I accept my mistake and will rectify it next time. I'll do better next time, and my manager will be happy with me. I can change without having to use alcohol."

  • Behavioural Experiments
  • Here the exercises involve comparing negative thoughts and positive thoughts to see which influence good behaviour more.
  • Some people can better judge themselves while others can complement themselves.
  • Behavioural experiments are just about understanding what works best for a particular individual to a situation.

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 Technique
  • This involves bringing up memories that cause highly negative feelings.
  • They write down every experience at that moment including sight, sound, emotion, thought and the impulse of the moment.
  • 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 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.

  • Pleasant Activity Program
  • 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.
  • Enlisting - and carrying out - these activities helps patients avoid negative automatic thoughts, so these people do not need to drink or take drugs for this purpose anymore.

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. He utilises that moment to get and appreciate a fresh song from a new singer.


Difference Between Other Therapies And Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy take a more practical approach to therapy as compared to other methods.

Addicts more often than not speak to their counsellors during a CBT meeting while the therapists listen attentively. The therapist and addict are instead expected to treat the addiction by working hand in hand.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is based on actions and faster recovery. CBT has become a standard part of many long term rehab programs since they provide the patients with 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. Most counsellors and addiction medical facilities incorporate CBT as a section of their recovery programs.