Unmasking Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
Over Dependency on drugs and other ailments can be treated by changing the thinking mentality and emotions of a person and this is the core of cognitive behavioural therapy.
In the 1960s Dr. AAron T. Beck founded a type of mental health counselling known as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.
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CBT helps people to fight addiction by helping them to deal with the negative thoughts and feelings behind the addiction.
Nowadays, CBT has become a common part of treating 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.
Other mental health problems that can be addressed using this method include
- ADD or Attention Deficit Disorder
- Bipolar disorder
- OCD or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
- 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 Does Cbt Work
CBT recognizes that many behaviours and feeling are dangerous and make no sense. 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. 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.
Being able to isolate these feelings and emotions and recognize what brings them on empowers the addicted person to fight the addiction.
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
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.
It means that automatic thoughts can make a person more likely to take drugs and drink alcohol.
It may be hard for a person trying to stop drug addiction to do so when they are in the same environment that led them to that behaviour in the first place. There are a couple of ways that these triggers can be prevented from causing relapse.
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.
- Teaching the individual effective skills at communicating.
How To Control The Triggers
- Recognize Triggers In Time
- Learn to identify what makes you want to take drugs or drink.
- This involves distancing yourself from your triggers as much as possible.
- Using CBT techniques, examine and mitigate emotions and thoughts that provoke substance use.
The techniques provided by the cognitive-behavioural therapists can be practiced beyond the office of the therapist. Patients can do a lot of CBT exercises all by themselves - at a group meeting and at home.
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.
Here are some examples of CBT techniques that are widely used in treatment of addictions
- Thought Records
- Recovering addicts are required to examine their automatic negative thoughts and to look for objective evidence either supporting or disproving the thoughts.
- For comparison purposes, you can even list the proof for and against these negative thoughts.
- 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. If I learn from my mistakes and heed my manager's advice, she will appreciate it. I can change without having to use alcohol."
- 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.
- It is well-known that some people respond better to self-kindness while others could display better responses to self-criticism.
- These experiments are useful in finding out what causes an individual to improve their behaviour.
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."
- Creating Images In Your Mind
- During this exercise, patients have to think about a past experience that causes severe negative feelings.
- This will involve assessing all the features such as feelings and the responses they had to that particular feeling.
- Frequently by visiting the painful memories a recovering addict can reduce the anxiety caused by the memories over a period of time.
Example A young guy focuses on some painful experience from his childhood. Everything they went through at that time is clear as day to them. 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 Plan
- 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.
- These activities must be modest and stress-free while at the same time inspiring constructive 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. He utilises that moment to get and appreciate a fresh song from a new singer.
How Cognitive-Behavioural Therapies Differ From 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 addicts who are recovering can have an active session with their therapists who will be willing to listen not just passively. 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. A number of 60 to 90-day rehabilitation programs also include CBT within the package to provide people an opportunity to learn instant coping techniques.
It may takes years to see tangible results with most psychotherapy methods. In sharp contrast, CBT just requires 16 sessions before meaningful results can be seen.
Due to it's highly adaptable nature, CBT is used in both private and group counselling and it is also used in residential and non-residential rehab programs. CBT is a regular part of the treatment program as far as many rehab centres and addiction specialists are concerned.