Cognitive Behavioural Therapy And Understanding It
The problem of treating addiction and mental illness, which can be a result of unhealthy thoughts and feelings can be addressed by cognitive-behavioural therapy.
Dr. AAron T. Beck in the 1960s founded the Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) as a means of treating mental illnesses.
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Cognitive behavioural therapy helps people deal with dysfunctional thoughts and feelings and to recover from addiction.
Many of the groups and rehabs are utilising Cognitive behavioural therapy in the recovery processes. CBT trains recovering addicts to find connections between their feelings, thoughts, and actions and increase their awareness of how these things affect their recovery.
Other mental health problems that can be addressed using this method include
- Attention Deficit Disorder [ADD]
- Bipolar disorder
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
- Eating disorders
- 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. Our environment and experiences in the past may be the cause of these actions and behaviours.
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 often drink or abuse drugs in an attempt to mitigate these afflictive thoughts and feelings.
Being able to isolate these feelings and emotions and recognize what brings them on empowers the addicted person to fight the addiction.
The pain caused by certain experiences may be lessened if these events are revisited often and addressed. The addicts then get a fresh opportunity to learn positive behaviours in order to replace their addiction for alcohol or drugs.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy And Treatment For Addiction
Most users are found to be suffering from deep despair and hopelessness which in the first place were caused by bad or distrustful thoughts.
Someone is bound to start using drugs or be addicted to alcohol if they constantly have negative thoughts and feelings of depression.
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 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
- Aids the patient to take control of their life, rejecting past thoughts and beliefs that trigger low self-esteem and feelings of rejection.
- Using techniques that are bound to help the patient up boost moral.
- CBT can show the recovering user how to communicate better.
Keys For Controlling Triggers
- Know Them (recognize)
- Identify which factor provokes taking drugs or drinking alcohol.
- Abstract oneself from trigger situations whenever it's possible.
- Cope With Triggers
- The techniques of getting rid of these feeling you have learnt from CBT will come in handy in this place.
The techniques provided by the cognitive-behavioural therapists can be practiced beyond the office of the therapist. Recovering addicts do not need to visit a specialist for advice but can indulge in several CBT exercises by themselves either from home or in a group setting.
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 Methods
There are exercises peculiar to CBT-based treatment for addicted patients.
Examples of CBT techniques which are generally utilised in the treatment of addictions include the following
- Thought Records
- Recovering addicts are required to examine their automatic negative thoughts and to look for objective evidence either supporting or disproving the thoughts.
- They write down of pros and cons of their automatic thoughts to compare and set up the former against the latter.
- The aim is to help them think positive, productive thoughts.
For example, a person may think that a supervisor at work doesn't think highly of them. I need to have a drink to feel better" turns into "It's ok to make mistakes, and I will learn from them. I will have a chance to prove my worth to my supervisor by rectifying my mistake. I can change without having to use alcohol."
- Behavioural Experiments
- By evaluating these thoughts, one gets to understand the better behaviours to follow.
- Some people can better judge themselves while others can complement themselves.
- The whole point of behavioural experiments is in finding out what works best for the particular individual.
Example "when I criticize myself after indulging in too much drink, I drink less" vs. "when I encourage myself that I am better off without so much drinking, I drink less."
- Imagery Based Exposure Technique
- Here, the patients are encouraged to remember something bad that happened before that causes them to feel terrible.
- The person then carefully notes what they were seeing, hearing, feeling and thinking in that moment.
- 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 recollects every information and feeling during that time. The person will become less inclined to use drugs or alcohol because as they revisit the event more often, the trauma of the event is felt less.
- Pleasant Activity Plan
- Enjoyable activities which can help break up regular routines can be learned by people simply by making a list of the healthy activities because the technique requires them to do so.
- 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 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. He utilises that moment to get and appreciate a fresh song from a new singer.
How Cognitive-Behavioural Therapies Differ From Other Psychotherapies
While others therapies may be less hands-on, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy provides an approach that is much more attentive.
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.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is based on actions and faster recovery. CBT has become a standard part of many long term rehab programs since they provide the patients with ways of coping.
Other psychotherapy approaches could take up to a number of years to produce results. Positive results in CBT may be visible in as little as sixteen sessions.
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. There are many addiction treatment clinics and professionals who incorporate CBT in their treatment programs.