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.
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 is helpful to people to address any problematic thoughts and feelings which they could have in order to overcome addiction.
Today, cognitive behavioural therapy is widely used to treat addictions. Getting in control of your thoughts and perception about life an addiction will help in overcoming this behaviours and this is something the patients are trained on at CBT.
Some of the other behaviours that can be eliminated aside from dependency on drugs include:
ADD or Attention Deficit Disorder
Various forms of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
Various forms of eating disorders
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
There are many rehab centres that provide CBT and you can find one near you today.
CBT recognizes that many behaviours and feeling are dangerous and make no sense. The nature of the place where a person is living and even their history may play a part in their behaviour.
A recovering user may have certain negative thoughts that automatically come to mind and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy can help to identify them. 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. The abuse of drugs or alcohol is in many cases an attempt to get rid of these negative thoughts.
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.
The pain caused by certain experiences may be lessened if these events are revisited often and addressed. The positive behaviours that are learnt through CBT can thereafter be used instead of using drugs or alcohol.
The Role Of Cbt In Treating 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.
How to identify what brings on the urge for the drug or alcohol on a day to day basis. There are three ways in which CBT can help recovering users deal with triggers according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
Cbt Helps Patients To Get Past Drug Addiction And Alcoholism By
Helping to dispel my persuasions and feeling of insecurity, which result in substance abuse, from the patient's mind.
Providing DIY techniques to lift the patients' spirits.
Training people how to speak up about their feelings to others.
How To Control The Triggers
Identify the circumstances which can lead to the use of drugs and alcohol.
Stay away from places and situations that make you want to drink or take the drugs.
The techniques of getting rid of these feeling you have learnt from CBT will come in handy in this place.
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.
Support groups for addiction such as Self-Management And Recovery Training [SMART] are also incorporating CBT principles within their self-help exercises as an encouragement for continued sobriety.
Methods Used In Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
There are different practices that are used to overcome an addiction using CBT.
Examples of CBT techniques which are generally utilised in the treatment of addictions include the following:
Evaluation Of Thoughts
Patients recovering from addiction review their automatic negative thoughts and search for solid evidence that proves and contradicts these thoughts.
The participants are supposed to evaluate their thoughts critically to see the downsides it is causing to their lives.
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." 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. I will have a chance to prove my worth to my supervisor by rectifying my mistake. This will lead them to realize that they don't need alcohol to feel better.
CBT 'Behavioural Experiments' Technique
These exercises are helpful in contrasting negative thoughts with the positive ones to understand which one is better effective for changing 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.
For example: "If I am harsh to myself after drinking to excess, I'll drink less" vs. "If I am kind to myself after drinking to excess, I will drink less."
Imagery Based Exposure
The people can overcome their feelings by thinking of a past experience that was unpleasant.
During this moment, they are required to take note of every sight, emotion, sound, thought and impulse.
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. 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.
The Schedule of Pleasant Activities
This is a technique that is executed by drawing up a schedule of fun yet healthy activities to provide recreation and breaks from the everyday routine.
The tasks included should encourage positive emotions while being uncomplicated and easy to perform.
Planning the positive activities contributes to the reduction of negative feelings being generated and a resultant urge to indulge in drinking or drug use.
Example: A financial advisor working in a high stress environment can take 15 minutes off the job to do something relaxing instead of turning to alcohol or drugs when overwhelmed. He or she can begin to use the extra time at their desk to enjoy some new music from a melodious artist.
How Cognitive-Behavioural Therapies Differ From Other Psychotherapies
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is more likeable than many other methods of therapy.
At CBT sessions, recovering addicts do not just talk, and their therapists do not just listen passively to patients. The therapist and addict are instead expected to treat the addiction by working hand in hand.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is based on actions and faster recovery. Most 60 to 90 day rehab programs incorporate CBT to give individuals instant ways of coping.
Other psychotherapy approaches could take up to a number of years to produce results. More often than not, CBT needs 16 meetings to deliver significant results.
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.