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Cognitive Behavioural Therapy For Addictions

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.

A classification of mental health counselling is cognitive-behavioural therapy which was founded in the 1960s by Dr. Aaron T. Beck.


Get The Resources You Need To Overcome Dependency

Defeating addiction calls for input from many people and the deployment of a lot of resources. Outpatient and inpatient substance addiction treatment may assist you to regain your sobriety and avoid reverting to drug use. You can also learn the skills you need to stay sober from available psychological counsellors.

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


Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) addresses the problem areas of thoughts and behaviour resulting from drug addiction.


CBT is now an internationally accepted mode of treatment for addictions. 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.

Along with addictions, CBT also facilitates treating various co-occurring disorders, such as the following:

  • Apprehension
  • Attention Deficit Disorder [ADD]
  • Various forms of bipolar disorder
  • OCD or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
  • Loss of appetite
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Find a treatment centre for addiction specialising in CBT today.


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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. The nature of the place where a person is living and even their history may play a part in their behaviour.

A recovering user may have certain negative thoughts that automatically come to mind and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy can help to identify them. An automatic thought is impulse-based; it often comes from misrepresentations and internally generated feelings such as self-doubt and fear. The abuse of drugs or alcohol is in many cases an attempt to get rid of these negative 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.

Facing these sensitive areas often leads a patient to get over the acute pain they cause. After that they can learn other, favourable behaviours that will replace those leading to drug or alcohol use.


Cognitive Behavioural Therapy And Treatment For 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.


Cbt Aids People In Overcoming Their Drug Addiction And Alcoholism By

  • Aids the patient to take control of their life, rejecting past thoughts and beliefs that trigger low self-esteem and feelings of rejection.
  • Providing DIY techniques to lift the patients' spirits.
  • Training people how to speak up about their feelings to others.

How To Control The Triggers

  • Identification
  • Learn to identify what makes you want to take drugs or drink.
  • Avoid The Triggers
  • This involves distancing yourself from your triggers as much as possible.
  • Deal With Them (Cope)
  • Apply the CBT skills you have learned to sort through your thoughts and emotions to beat the urge to indulge.

You don't have to be at the centres to try using the CBT techniques of overcoming addiction. Patients can do a lot of CBT exercises all by themselves - at a group meeting and at home.

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


Cbt Therapy Principles

To help a user to recover, there are special methods that are utilized in CBT.

CBT methods that are important in treating addiction include:

  • 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.
  • 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 aim is to help them think positive, productive thoughts.

Example "my manager thinks I'm useless." 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
  • These exercises are helpful in contrasting negative thoughts with the positive ones to understand which one is better effective for changing behaviour.
  • It is well-known that some people respond better to self-kindness while others could display better responses to self-criticism.
  • Behavioural experiments are just about understanding what works best for a particular individual to a situation.

For example: "If I am harsh to myself after drinking to excess, I'll drink less" vs. "If I am kind to myself after drinking to excess, I will drink less."

  • Imagery Based Exposure
  • This exercise requires recovering addicts to think about a memory that can instigate powerful negative feelings.
  • They write down every experience at that moment including sight, sound, emotion, thought and the impulse of the moment.
  • This will get rid of any nervousness they have been feeling.

Example: A young man emphasises on uncomfortable memories of his childhood. He recollects every information and feeling during that time. The more he replays it in his mind, the less painful it is and this leads to a lower need to indulge in alcohol and drugs as a way of self medication.

  • Pleasant Activity Plan
  • This is a method used to reduce the monotony of routines by planning activities that are enjoyable and healthy at certain times.
  • The tasks included should encourage positive emotions while being uncomplicated and easy to perform.
  • 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: 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

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy provides a perfect alternative to less effective and engaging treatment techniques.

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 is based on actions and faster recovery. 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 most cases, 16 sessions of CBT will yield tangible results.

CBT therapy can be adapted to make it effective in outpatient or inpatient programs as well as in counselling sessions for groups or an individual. A lot of rehabilitation facilities and addiction therapists use CBT as a part of their treatment programs.