Learning About Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) addresses morbid thoughts and feelings for the purpose of treating addiction and psychiatric disorders.
Cognitive behavioural therapy, or CBT, is a method of psychological and psychiatric counselling invented by Dr. AAron T. Beck in the 1960s.
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Cognitive behavioural therapy helps people deal with dysfunctional thoughts and feelings and to recover from addiction.
Nowadays, CBT has become a common part of treating addictions. Patients undergoing CBT treatment are taught to recognize the triggers in their minds, emotions, and behaviour that lead to them taking the drugs. This makes it easy to work on recovery.
Along with addictions, CBT also facilitates treating various co-occurring disorders, such as the following
- State of panic
- Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)
- Bipolar disorder
- Various forms of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
- Loss of appetite
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
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 Works
CBT recognizes that many behaviours and feeling are dangerous and make no sense. Such feelings and behaviours may be caused by either environmental effect or experiences from the past.
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. The abuse of drugs or alcohol is in many cases an attempt to get rid of these negative thoughts.
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.
Recovering addicts can soothe the pain caused by distressful memories by repeatedly revisiting them. The addiction can also be eliminated when these thoughts are substituted with new thought.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy And Treatment For 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.
One of the main things that prevent people from staying clean are triggers and these are things, situations or people that bring about a strong urge to use. There are three ways in which CBT can help recovering users deal with triggers according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
Drug Addiction And Alcoholism Can Be Overcome With The Help Of Cbt Because
- Helping to dispel my persuasions and feeling of insecurity, which result in substance abuse, from the patient's mind.
- Providing the tools needed for self-help to improve their moods.
- Training the patient on how to express themselves better.
Skills For Managing Triggers
- Identify the circumstances which can lead to the use of drugs and alcohol.
- Try as much as possible to get away from these trigger situations.
- Using CBT techniques, examine and mitigate emotions and thoughts that provoke substance use.
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.
The techniques of CBT are also being used in the SMART programs and other self help groups on addiction.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Methods
Therapists that practice CBT use special exercises to facilitate addiction recovery.
Some of the exercises 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.
- They write down of pros and cons of their automatic thoughts to compare and set up the former against the latter.
- This helps them eliminate the bad thoughts and stick with the good thoughts.
For example, a person may think that a supervisor at work doesn't think highly of them. 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. I'll do better next time, and my manager will be happy with me. I don't need any alcohol to bolster my self-esteem."
- 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 help individuals figure out whether they are self-motivators or self-critics.
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
- This involves bringing up memories that cause highly negative feelings.
- During this moment, they are required to take note of every sight, emotion, sound, thought and impulse.
- Regularly re-enacting that moment in their minds, the patient can deal with the pain and nervousness brought about by the memory.
Example Painful childhood memories haunt an individual who constantly focuses on them. He presently recalls every detail and emotion of the particular moment. Following constant experience, the recollection lessens the pain and thereby decreasing the craving for alcohol or drugs.
- Pleasant Activity Plan
- This is a technique that is executed by drawing up a schedule of fun yet healthy activities to provide recreation and breaks from the everyday routine.
- The key is to have activities that are uncomplicated and easy to execute while bringing out positive feelings.
- Preparing these lovely exercises assists to low negative involuntary feelings and the ensuing desire to drink or abuse drugs.
Example In the place of drinking or indulging in drugs while working, a worn-out financial advisor unwinds at his desk for quarter an hour daily. He utilises that moment to get and appreciate a fresh song from a new singer.
The Difference Between Cognitive Behavioural Therapy And Other Psychotherapies
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy provides a perfect alternative to less effective and engaging treatment techniques.
At CBT sessions, recovering addicts do not just talk, and their therapists do not just listen passively to patients. Instead of this, therapists and addicts carry out joint activities aimed at overcoming the addiction.
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.
Some kinds of psychotherapy can take years until they produce a reliable result. In sharp contrast, CBT just requires 16 sessions before meaningful results can be seen.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy can be adapted to make it effective during inpatient and outpatient sessions, along with individual and group counselling environments. There are many addiction treatment clinics and professionals who incorporate CBT in their treatment programs.