What Is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
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.
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 helps people deal with dysfunctional thoughts and feelings and to recover from addiction.
CBT is now an internationally accepted mode of treatment for 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 addiction patients also have other issues concurrently occurring with the addiction problems like
- ADD or Attention Deficit Disorder
- Various forms of bipolar disorder
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder [OCD]
- Eating disorders
- PTSD or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
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How Cbt Works
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. 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. 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.
When persons suffering from addiction realize the reason why they feel or act in a definite way and how these feelings and actions trigger drug use, they are better armed to combat their addictions.
The pain caused by certain experiences may be lessened if these events are revisited often and addressed. Once they can cope with the issues without freaking out, they are then taught how to cultivate healthy habits in place of the substances they were addicted to.
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.
Someone is bound to start using drugs or be addicted to alcohol if they constantly have negative thoughts and feelings of depression.
How to identify what brings on the urge for the drug or alcohol on a day to day basis. The National Institute On Drug Abuse has mentioned that help can be received by recovering addicts from cognitive-behavioural therapy to deal with the triggers which result in the cravings.
Alcoholism And Other Drugs Can Be Eliminated By Cbt Including
- Helping to dispel my persuasions and feeling of insecurity, which result in substance abuse, from the patient's mind.
- Using techniques that are bound to help the patient up boost moral.
- 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.
- Abstract oneself from trigger situations whenever it's possible.
- Using CBT techniques, examine and mitigate emotions and thoughts that provoke substance use.
Even when outside the treatment centre, you can still practice the methods learnt in CBT. Patients can do a lot of CBT exercises all by themselves - at a group meeting and at home.
Support groups for addiction such as Self-Management And Recovery Training [SMART] are also incorporating CBT principles within their self-help exercises as an encouragement for continued sobriety.
Techniques Applied In Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
To help a user to recover, there are special methods that are utilized in CBT.
Some of the exercises are
- Evaluation Of Thoughts
- The patients are encouraged to stop and evaluate their thoughts see if they are worth keeping them or if they are better discarded.
- The participants are supposed to evaluate their thoughts critically to see the downsides it is causing to their lives.
- 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 supervisor may in fact think highly of me for being able to learn from my mistakes. I don't need any alcohol to bolster my self-esteem."
- Behavioural Experiments
- Exercises of this kind contrast negative and positive thoughts against each other in order to see which ones are more effective in changing the patient's behaviour.
- Some people can better judge themselves while others can complement themselves.
- These experiments are useful in finding out what causes an individual to improve their behaviour.
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.
- They capture their every emotion, sight, sound, impulse and thought they felt at that moment.
- This will get rid of any nervousness they have been feeling.
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 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.
- Schedule for Pleasant Activities
- 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.
- 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 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. Instead, the break is used to listen to a recently released song from a new music sensation.
How Cognitive-Behavioural Therapies Differ From Other Psychotherapies
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy take a more practical approach to therapy as compared to other methods.
The addicts who are recovering can have an active session with their therapists who will be willing to listen not just passively. 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. 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.
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. Numerous therapists and addiction treatment centres are commonly including CBT along with the recovery plans which are offered by them.