Learning About 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.
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.
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.
Apart from addiction, CBT is also used for treating co-occurring disorders such as
- Various forms of Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)
- Various forms of bipolar disorder
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder [OCD]
- Eating disorders
- Various forms of 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 Helps
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. Such reactions and feelings may be brought on by traumatic occurrence or background.
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.
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.
These addiction can be gradually minimised if they address the past experiences and thoughts. After that they can learn other, favourable behaviours that will replace those leading to drug or alcohol use.
The Role Of Cbt In Treating Addiction
Whenever there is an addiction, there is usually another mental issue such as depression and anxiety disorders and these usually stem from automatic negative thoughts.
It means that automatic thoughts can make a person more likely to take drugs and drink alcohol.
How to identify what brings on the urge for the drug or alcohol on a day to day basis. As alleged by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, CBT helps people recovering from addictions deal with their triggers in three main ways.
Drug Addiction And Alcoholism Can Be Overcome With The Help Of Cbt Because
- Aids the patient to take control of their life, rejecting past thoughts and beliefs that trigger low self-esteem and feelings of rejection.
- Providing the tools needed for self-help to improve their moods.
- Carrying out training on effective communication skills.
Keys For Controlling Triggers
- You need to recognise the things that make you start using the drugs.
- Avoid The Triggers
- Whenever appropriate or possible to remove yourself from situations, which can trigger the cravings.
- Using CBT techniques, examine and mitigate emotions and thoughts that provoke substance use.
You can practice CBT behaviour techniques anywhere and everywhere. CBT patients can use the techniques at home, office or join a support group.
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
Therapists that practice CBT use special exercises to facilitate addiction recovery.
Some of these practices are
- Evaluation Of Thoughts
- Patients recovering from addiction review their automatic negative thoughts and search for solid evidence that proves and contradicts these 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.
- This helps them eliminate the bad thoughts and stick with the good thoughts.
For example "My boss thinks I'm worthless. I need to have a drink to feel better' becomes 'it's normal to commit mistakes, and I can learn from the example. My supervisor may in fact think highly of me for being able to learn from my mistakes. I don't need any alcohol to bolster my self-esteem."
- Behavioural Experiments
- Here the exercises involve comparing negative thoughts and positive thoughts to see which influence good behaviour more.
- One person may react better when they self-criticize while another will do great when they self-motivated.
- One needs to identify the behaviours that work best with them.
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
- This exercise requires recovering addicts to think about a memory that can instigate powerful negative feelings.
- During this moment, they are required to take note of every sight, emotion, sound, thought and impulse.
- By reliving painful memories again and again, the addict can gradually mitigate the anxiety caused by these past experiences.
Example Painful childhood memories haunt an individual who constantly focuses on them. He recollects every information and feeling during that time. Following constant experience, the recollection lessens the pain and thereby decreasing the craving for alcohol or drugs.
- Schedule for Pleasant Activities
- This is a practice involving creating a healthy weekly list, entertaining practices to halt an individual's daily activities.
- These activities must be modest and stress-free while at the same time inspiring constructive feelings.
- 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.
What Is The Difference Between Cbt Vs Other Kinds Of Psychotherapy
As compared to some therapies which do not offer a set of engaging activities, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy will provide an hands-on alternative.
At CBT sessions, recovering addicts do not just talk, and their therapists do not just listen passively to patients. Both the therapist and the patient are actively involved in the therapy session and work together.
The foundation of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy focuses on action-based treatment, which will be rapid. 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. Positive results in CBT may be visible in as little as sixteen sessions.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy can be adapted to make it effective during inpatient and outpatient sessions, along with individual and group counselling environments. Most counsellors and addiction medical facilities incorporate CBT as a section of their recovery programs.