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Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Against Addictions

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.

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


Get The Resources You Need To Overcome Dependency

It takes both people and resources to deal with substance dependency. You would be able to become sober and avoid the chances of a relapse by using inpatient and outpatient drug addiction treatment centres. You can also learn the skills you need to stay sober from available psychological counsellors.

Make adjustments now by getting a suitable medical facility.


CBT helps people to fight addiction by helping them to deal with the negative thoughts and feelings behind the addiction.


Today, cognitive behavioural therapy is widely used to treat addictions. Getting in control of your thoughts and perception about life an addiction will help in overcoming this behaviours and this is something the patients are trained on at CBT.

Some of the other behaviours that can be eliminated aside from dependency on drugs include:

  • Apprehension
  • ADD or Attention Deficit Disorder
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • Various forms of eating disorders
  • PTSD or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

If you suffer from addiction or any of those issues listed, please look for a CBT treatment facility for help.


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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 reactions and feelings may be brought on by traumatic occurrence or background.

It is the job of counsellors to help recovering addicts identify their negative feelings and actions, which are also known as "automatic thoughts." Involuntary ideas from a sudden urge and frequently emanates from a mistaken belief and a subconscious way of thinking based on low esteem and fear. People start to use some of the rugs in an effort to cover up these thoughts.


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.


Treatment For Addiction And Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

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.

It means that automatic thoughts can make a person more likely to take drugs and drink alcohol.

One of the main things that prevent people from staying clean are triggers and these are things, situations or people that bring about a strong urge to use. Based on the National Institute on Drug Abuse, CBT employs three keys to help those battling addiction resist triggers.


Alcoholism And Other Drugs Can Be Eliminated By Cbt Including

  • Getting rid of all the negative thought that lead people to addiction.
  • Strengthen the patient with better ways of self-motivation.
  • Teaching the individual effective skills at communicating.

How To Control The Triggers

  • Know Them (recognize)
  • Learn to identify what makes you want to take drugs or drink.
  • Evade
  • Try as much as possible to get away from these trigger situations.
  • Manage
  • 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. CBT patients can use the techniques at home, office or join a support group.

The techniques of CBT are also being used in the SMART programs and other self help groups on addiction.


Methods Used In Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

There are exercises peculiar to CBT-based treatment for addicted patients.

Examples of CBT techniques which are generally utilised in the treatment of addictions include the following:

  • Thought Records
  • 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.
  • This helps them eliminate the bad thoughts and stick with the good thoughts.

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 don't need any alcohol to bolster my self-esteem."

  • CBT 'Behavioural Experiments' Technique
  • 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.
  • The whole point of behavioural experiments is in finding out what works best for the particular individual.

Example: " "If I talk kindly to myself after binge drinking, I'll binge drink less." vs "If I'm hard on myself after binge drinking, I'll binge drink less."

  • Imagery Based Exposure
  • During this exercise, patients have to think about a past experience that causes severe negative feelings.
  • During this moment, they are required to take note of every sight, emotion, sound, thought and impulse.
  • The anxiousness caused by certain negative experiences can be lessened by going over these experiences over and over.

Example: A difficult childhood memory is the focus of a young man's thoughts. He presently recalls every detail and emotion of the particular moment. 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 Program
  • This is a method used to reduce the monotony of routines by planning activities that are enjoyable and healthy at certain times.
  • All the activities on the list should be easy to do, simple, and trigger positive emotions.
  • 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

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

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. Both the therapist and the patient are actively involved in the therapy session and work together.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy applies fruitful, action-focused techniques aimed at quick result. Most 60 to 90 day rehab programs incorporate CBT to give individuals instant ways of coping.

Certain psychoanalytic methods may take many years before showing any tangible results. In sharp contrast, CBT just requires 16 sessions before meaningful results can be seen.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy can be adapted to make it effective during inpatient and outpatient sessions, along with individual and group counselling environments. CBT is a regular part of the treatment program as far as many rehab centres and addiction specialists are concerned.