Learning About Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
CBT is a method used to treat mental illnesses and addiction by addressing negative thoughts and feelings.
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. 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.
Apart from addiction, CBT is also used for treating co-occurring disorders such as
- Anxiety of various kinds
- Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)
- Bipolar disorder
- OCD or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
- Eating disorders
- PTSD or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
There are many rehab centres that provide CBT and you can find one near you today.
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How Does Cbt Work
CBT clearly shows that a good deal of destructive emotions and actions are neither reasonable nor logical. Such feelings and behaviours may be caused by either environmental effect or experiences from the past.
With the help of cognitive behavioural therapists, recovering addicts can fetch out negative "automatic thoughts" of their own. Automatic thoughts are generally impulsive and often as a result of misconceptions and internal feelings of fear and self-doubt. Trying to suppress the pain inflicted by these experiences people self-medicate with alcohol and drugs.
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.
It has also been noticed that making an attempt to visit the painful memories it becomes possible for recovering addicts to reduce the pain which is caused by them. The positive behaviours that are learnt through CBT can thereafter be used instead of using drugs or alcohol.
Dependency Treatment And Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
It is Automatic negative thoughts that are often the major cause of various depressions and anxiety disorders, which commonly occur together with addiction.
This clearly indicates that the automatic thoughts within the mind can make an individual susceptible to drug abuse and alcoholism as well.
Triggers are situations that can "trigger" cravings within the individual throughout the day and keep many people who could be addicted from improving to remain sober. There are a couple of ways that these triggers can be prevented from causing relapse.
Cbt Aids People In Overcoming Their Drug Addiction And Alcoholism By
- Aids the patient to take control of their life, rejecting past thoughts and beliefs that trigger low self-esteem and feelings of rejection.
- Providing DIY techniques to lift the patients' spirits.
- Carrying out training on effective communication skills.
Keys For Controlling Triggers
- Know Them (recognize)
- 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.
- Deal With Them (Cope)
- This involves dealing with the thoughts and feelings that cause you to abuse the substance using methods learnt in CBT.
Patients can well practice CBT techniques even at the places other than the therapist's office. 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
There are exercises peculiar to CBT-based treatment for addicted patients.
Some of these practices are
- Evaluation Of Thoughts
- One way to overcome these behaviour is keeping in check your thoughts in order to avoid negative thinking.
- For comparison purposes, you can even list the proof for and against these negative thoughts.
- The aim is to help people switch to more balanced and less rough thoughts by taking stock of what they are thinking.
Example "my manager thinks I'm useless." I need to have a drink to feel better' becomes 'it's normal to commit mistakes, and I can learn from the example. 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
- Here the exercises involve comparing negative thoughts and positive thoughts to see which influence good behaviour more.
- Some patients better respond to self-kindness; others - to self-criticism.
- These experiments are useful in finding out what causes an individual to improve their behaviour.
For example, some people may drink less if they criticize themselves more while others may drink less if they encourage themselves more.
- Imagery Based Exposure
- The people can overcome their feelings by thinking of a past experience that was unpleasant.
- This will involve assessing all the features such as feelings and the responses they had to that particular feeling.
- The anxiousness caused by certain negative experiences can be lessened by going over these experiences over and over.
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 more he replays it in his mind, the less painful it is and this leads to a lower need to indulge in alcohol and drugs as a way of self medication.
- Comfortable 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.
- 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 An accountant who is feeling overworked could schedule a few minutes of relaxation everyday during his work hours instead of drinking while working. He or she can begin to use the extra time at their desk to enjoy some new music from a melodious artist.
Difference Between Other Therapies And Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy provides a perfect alternative to less effective and engaging treatment techniques.
Addicts more often than not speak to their counsellors during a CBT meeting while the therapists listen attentively. Instead of this, therapists and addicts carry out joint activities aimed at overcoming the addiction.
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.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy can be adapted to make it effective during inpatient and outpatient sessions, along with individual and group counselling environments. A lot of rehabilitation facilities and addiction therapists use CBT as a part of their treatment programs.