What Is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
CBT is a method used to treat mental illnesses and addiction by addressing negative thoughts and feelings.
A classification of mental health counselling is cognitive-behavioural therapy which was founded in the 1960s by Dr. AAron T. Beck.
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CBT helps people to fight addiction by helping them to deal with the negative thoughts and feelings behind the addiction.
Many of the groups and rehabs are utilising Cognitive behavioural therapy in the recovery processes. CBT educates recovering addicts to establish connections between their thoughts, feelings and actions and to increase awareness about how these matters can have an impact on recovery.
Other mental health problems that can be addressed using this method include
- Anxiety of various kinds
- Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)
- Bipolar disorder
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder [OCD]
- Eating disorders
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder [PTSD]
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How Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Works
Many of the things we do or feel that harm us are not actually rational and CBT can help us to know this. The feelings and behaviours of people could be coming as a direct result from past experiences and factors related to the environment.
With the help of cognitive behavioural therapists, recovering addicts can fetch out negative "automatic thoughts" of their own. Fear, self doubt and other internalized feelings together with misconceptions are what usually cause these automatic negative thoughts. People often drink or abuse drugs in an attempt to mitigate these afflictive thoughts and feelings.
A person may be better able to deal with their addiction if they know what causes them to feel as they do and how these emotions and behaviours lead to the use of a drug or alcohol.
Facing these sensitive areas often leads a patient to get over the acute pain they cause. The positive behaviours that are learnt through CBT can thereafter be used instead of using drugs or alcohol.
Use Of Cbt In Addiction Treatment
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.
Triggers - certain situations that provoke, i.e. "trigger", cravings for substance during the day - prevent many addicts from living a sober life. Based on the National Institute on Drug Abuse, CBT employs three keys to help those battling addiction resist triggers.
Cbt Helps Patients To Get Past Drug Addiction And Alcoholism By
- Getting rid of all the negative thought that lead people to addiction.
- Providing the tools needed for self-help to improve their moods.
- Training people how to speak up about their feelings to others.
Keys For Controlling Triggers
- Identify which factor provokes taking drugs or drinking alcohol.
- Stay away from places and situations that make you want to drink or take the drugs.
- The techniques of getting rid of these feeling you have learnt from CBT will come in handy in this place.
You can practice CBT behaviour techniques anywhere and everywhere. Patients can do a lot of CBT exercises all by themselves - at a group meeting and at home.
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 Practices
There are different practices that are used to overcome an addiction using CBT.
Examples of CBT techniques which are generally utilised in the treatment of addictions include the following
- Though Records
- Recovering addicts are required to examine their automatic negative thoughts and to look for objective evidence either supporting or disproving the thoughts.
- They are required to list the evidence in favour of or against the automatic thoughts and indulge in a comparison and a contrast to the thoughts.
- The idea is that by critically evaluating your thoughts, you will be able to have thoughts that are less harsh and are more rational.
For example, a person may think that a supervisor at work doesn't think highly of them. In this case, CBT will help the person move from a mindset where they feel they need to drink to feel better about themselves to one where they see mistakes as a normal part of the learning process. My manager will appreciate that I am learning from my mistakes and heeding his or her advice. I feel so much better with a clear mind; I can do without a drink."
- Behavioural Experiments
- To see the one that has a greater effect on behaviour, the effects of positive thoughts can be compared to those of negative ones.
- Some patients better respond to self-kindness; others - to self-criticism.
- Behavioural experiments are just about understanding what works best for a particular individual to a situation.
For example, some people may drink less if they criticize themselves more while others may drink less if they encourage themselves more.
- Imagery Based Exposure
- Here, the patients are encouraged to remember something bad that happened before that causes them to feel terrible.
- This will involve assessing all the features such as feelings and the responses they had to that particular feeling.
- By reliving painful memories again and again, the addict can gradually mitigate the anxiety caused by these past experiences.
Example A young guy focuses on some painful experience from his childhood. He reproduces every feeling and emotion which he experienced at that 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 practice involving creating a healthy weekly list, entertaining practices to halt an individual's daily activities.
- The key is to have activities that are uncomplicated and easy to execute while bringing out positive feelings.
- Planning the positive activities contributes to the reduction of negative feelings being generated and a resultant urge to indulge in drinking or drug use.
Example A financial advisor who works a lot, finds fifteen minutes every day to relax at his desk instead of drinking alcohol or using drugs at work. Instead, the break is used to listen to a recently released song from a new music sensation.
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. The therapist and addict are instead expected to treat the addiction by working hand in hand.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy applies fruitful, action-focused techniques aimed at quick result. CBT has become a standard part of many long term rehab programs since they provide the patients with ways of coping.
It has been observed that some techniques of psychotherapy can take many years before a strong impact is seen. More often than not, CBT needs 16 meetings to deliver significant results.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy can be adapted to make it effective during inpatient and outpatient sessions, along with individual and group counselling environments. Numerous therapists and addiction treatment centres are commonly including CBT along with the recovery plans which are offered by them.