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Cognitive Behavioural Therapy For Addictions

What Is 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.

Cognitive behavioural therapy, or CBT, is a method of psychological and psychiatric counselling invented by Dr. Aaron T. Beck in the 1960s.


Finding The Resources You Need To Beat Addiction

Getting rid of an addiction needs certain resources and people. Drug addiction treatment programs, both outpatient and residential, will help you avoid relapses and stay sober afterwards. There are mental health specialists on hand to help you learn life skills that will keep you on the path to recovery.

Make the life changing step today and find an addiction treatment facility.


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


Nowadays, CBT has become a common part of treating addictions. CBT trains recovering addicts to find connections between their feelings, thoughts, and actions and increase their awareness of how these things affect their recovery.

Other mental health problems that can be addressed using this method include:

  • Anxiety of various kinds
  • ADD or Attention Deficit Disorder
  • Various forms of bipolar disorder
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder [OCD]
  • 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 Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Helps

CBT recognizes that many behaviours and feeling are dangerous and make no sense. Such reactions and feelings may be brought on by traumatic occurrence or background.

A recovering user may have certain negative thoughts that automatically come to mind and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy can help to identify them. A person's feelings play a very big part in the life of a person and their addiction. People start to use some of the rugs in an effort to cover up these thoughts.


Addicts find it easier to overcome their addiction when they begin to understand why they are acting or feeling in a certain manner and how their feelings and actions are leading them to the use of prohibited substances.

Recovering addicts can soothe the pain caused by distressful memories by repeatedly revisiting them. The addicts then get a fresh opportunity to learn positive behaviours in order to replace their addiction for alcohol or drugs.


Treatment For Addiction 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.

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

How to identify what brings on the urge for the drug or alcohol on a day to day basis. Based on the National Institute on Drug Abuse, CBT employs three keys to help those battling addiction resist triggers.


Cbt Aids People In Overcoming Their Drug Addiction And Alcoholism By

  • Getting rid of all the negative thought that lead people to addiction.
  • Strengthen the patient with better ways of self-motivation.
  • CBT can show the recovering user how to communicate better.

How To Control The Triggers

  • Know Them (recognize)
  • You need to recognise the things that make you start using the drugs.
  • Avoid The Triggers
  • Try as much as possible to get away from these trigger situations.
  • Cope With Triggers
  • The emotions and thoughts that lead to the abuse of substances can be elevated by using the techniques provided by CBT.

Patients can well practice CBT techniques even at the places other than the therapist's office. 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:

  • Keeping 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.
  • The patients make a list of advantages and disadvantages of keeping or discarding the thoughts.
  • This helps them eliminate the bad thoughts and stick with the good thoughts.

Example "my manager thinks I'm useless." 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."

  • CBT 'Behavioural Experiments' Technique
  • By evaluating these thoughts, one gets to understand the better behaviours to follow.
  • One person may react better when they self-criticize while another will do great when they self-motivated.
  • Behavioural experiments are just about understanding what works best for a particular individual to a situation.

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."

  • Imagery Based Exposure
  • The people can overcome their feelings by thinking of a past experience that was unpleasant.
  • 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 replays it in his mind remembering every feeling and detail of the event. 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 Plan
  • 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.
  • All the activities on the list should be easy to do, simple, and trigger positive emotions.
  • 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: It will be better for an overworked financial advisor to consider relaxing at his or her desk for 15 minutes every day, rather than indulging in drugs or alcohol on the job. He or she can begin to use the extra time at their desk to enjoy some new music from a melodious artist.


Difference Between Other Therapies And Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

While others therapies may be less hands-on, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy provides an approach that is much more attentive.

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.

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.

Some kinds of psychotherapy can take years until they produce a reliable result. 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. A lot of rehabilitation facilities and addiction therapists use CBT as a part of their treatment programs.