Unmasking Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
CBT is a method used to treat mental illnesses and addiction by addressing negative thoughts and feelings.
A classification of mental health counselling is cognitive-behavioural therapy which was founded in the 1960s by Dr. AAron T. Beck.
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Cognitive behavioural therapy helps people deal with dysfunctional thoughts and feelings and to recover from addiction.
Today, cognitive behavioural therapy is widely used to treat 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.
Some of the other behaviours that can be eliminated aside from dependency on drugs include
- Anxiety of various kinds
- Attention Deficit Disorder [ADD]
- Mood swings
- Various forms of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
- Eating disorders
- PTSD or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
If you suffer from addiction or any of those issues listed, please look for a CBT treatment facility for help.
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Cognitive Behavioural Therapy And How It Works
Many of the things we do or feel that harm us are not actually rational and CBT can help us to know this. Such feelings and behaviours may be caused by either environmental effect or experiences from the past.
The patients can easily get to know the thoughts that are turning them to drug abuse through the help of the therapists. An automatic thought is impulse-based; it often comes from misrepresentations and internally generated feelings such as self-doubt and fear. People often drink or abuse drugs in an attempt to mitigate these afflictive thoughts and feelings.
A person can stop their over dependency on drugs if they identify the thoughts and emotions that lead them to abuse drugs or behaviour in a certain way.
Recovering addicts can soothe the pain caused by distressful memories by repeatedly revisiting them. The addicts then get a fresh opportunity to learn positive behaviours in order to replace their addiction for alcohol or drugs.
Use Of Cbt In Addiction Treatment
Most users are found to be suffering from deep despair and hopelessness which in the first place were caused by bad or distrustful thoughts.
It means that automatic thoughts can make a person more likely to take drugs and drink alcohol.
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. 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
- Helping to dispel my persuasions and feeling of insecurity, which result in substance abuse, from the patient's mind.
- Strengthen the patient with better ways of self-motivation.
- Training the patient on how to express themselves better.
Skills For Managing Triggers
- Identify which factor provokes taking drugs or drinking alcohol.
- Stay away from places and situations that make you want to drink or take the drugs.
- 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 can practice CBT behaviour techniques anywhere and everywhere. 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.
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.
Here are some examples of CBT techniques that are widely used in treatment of addictions
- Evaluation Of Thoughts
- This involves dispelling automatic negative thoughts by finding proof that shows these thoughts to be false.
- For comparison purposes, you can even list the proof for and against these negative thoughts.
- 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 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. My manager will appreciate that I am learning from my mistakes and heeding his or her advice. I do not need alcohol to get a better feeling of myself.
- Behavioural Experiments
- Exercises of this kind contrast negative and positive thoughts against each other in order to see which ones are more effective in changing the patient's behaviour.
- One person may react better when they self-criticize while another will do great when they self-motivated.
- These experiments are useful in finding out what causes an individual to improve their behaviour.
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
- 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.
- Regularly re-enacting that moment in their minds, the patient can deal with the pain and nervousness brought about by the memory.
Example A young man emphasises on uncomfortable memories of his childhood. He presently recalls every detail and emotion of the particular moment. Eventually, repeatedly remembering this episode gives him less pain, and he doesn't feel the need to take drugs or drink alcohol to ease this pain.
- The Schedule of Pleasant Activities
- 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 are activities that are designed to elicit positive feelings and are usually easy to do.
- The need to use drugs or alcohol can be reduced with the help of these activities since they will help to curb the negative thoughts that tend to creep up automatically.
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. Instead, the break is used to listen to a recently released song from a new music sensation.
How Cognitive-Behavioural Therapies Differ From Other Psychotherapies
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy provides a perfect alternative to less effective and engaging treatment techniques.
The addicts who are recovering can have an active session with their therapists who will be willing to listen not just passively. In its place, addiction victims and therapists work collectively to overcome dependency.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is based on action oriented, quick treatment. Most of the 60 - 90 day rehab programs have CBT as a component that equips addicts with immediate techniques to help in coping.
Certain psychoanalytic methods may take many years before showing any tangible results. Positive results in CBT may be visible in as little as sixteen sessions.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy can easily be adapted, which makes it very idyllic in both outpatient and inpatient situations as well as group and private counselling atmospheres. Numerous therapists and addiction treatment centres are commonly including CBT along with the recovery plans which are offered by them.