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Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Against Addictions

Unmasking Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) addresses morbid thoughts and feelings for the purpose of treating addiction and psychiatric disorders.

Dr. Aaron T. Beck in the 1960s founded the Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) as a means of treating mental illnesses.


Finding The Resources You Need To Beat Addiction

Overcoming addiction calls for many resources and people. You would be able to become sober and avoid the chances of a relapse by using inpatient and outpatient drug addiction treatment centres. In order to maintain the skills that are required along with the recovery you can get help from mental health counsellors.

Check into a rehab today and change your life.


Cognitive behavioural therapy helps people deal with dysfunctional thoughts and feelings and to recover from addiction.


Today, cognitive behavioural therapy is widely used to treat addictions. 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.

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

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

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How Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Helps

CBT recognizes that many behaviours and feeling are dangerous and make no sense. The nature of the place where a person is living and even their history may play a part in their behaviour.

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.


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.

These addiction can be gradually minimised if they address the past experiences and thoughts. 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

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.

Someone is bound to start using drugs or be addicted to alcohol if they constantly have negative thoughts and feelings of depression.

Triggers are situations that can "trigger" cravings within the individual throughout the day and keep many people who could be addicted from improving to remain sober. There are three ways in which CBT can help recovering users deal with triggers according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.


How Cbt Works In Helping Patients Overcome Addiction

  • 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.
  • Teaching the individual effective skills at communicating.

Keys For Controlling Triggers

  • Identification
  • Learn to identify what makes you want to take drugs or drink.
  • Avoid The Triggers
  • Abstract oneself from trigger situations whenever it's possible.
  • Confront
  • The techniques of getting rid of these feeling you have learnt from CBT will come in handy in this place.

You don't have to be at the centres to try using the CBT techniques of overcoming addiction. CBT patients can use the techniques at home, office or join a support group.

SMART and other such like Addiction Support groups employ the CBT techniques to help their members remain sober.


Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Practices

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

Some of the exercises 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 participants are supposed to evaluate their thoughts critically to see the downsides it is causing to their lives.
  • This helps them eliminate the bad thoughts and stick with the good thoughts.

For example: "My boss thinks I'm worthless. 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 will have a chance to prove my worth to my supervisor by rectifying my mistake. 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.
  • Some patients better respond to self-kindness; others - to self-criticism.
  • The whole point of behavioural experiments is in finding out what works best for the particular individual.

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
  • 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.
  • This will get rid of any nervousness they have been feeling.

Example: A young man emphasises on uncomfortable memories of his childhood. 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
  • 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: An accountant who is feeling overworked could schedule a few minutes of relaxation everyday during his work hours instead of drinking while working. They may choose to use that time to listen to some music or read on something interesting.


The Difference Between Cognitive Behavioural Therapy And Other Psychotherapies

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

The CBT sessions aren't simply about the therapist quietly listening while the patient goes on and on about their lives. Both the therapist and the patient are actively involved in the therapy session and work together.

Focused and quick treatment that is based on actions is what Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is all about. 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. Just sixteen sessions of CBT is often enough to obtain considerable improvement.

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. Most counsellors and addiction medical facilities incorporate CBT as a section of their recovery programs.