Cognitive Behavioural Therapy And Understanding It
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.
Cognitive behavioural therapy, or CBT, is a method of psychological and psychiatric counselling invented by Dr. AAron T. Beck in the 1960s.
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They can get over any form of addiction by changing their mentality about it.
Nowadays, CBT has become a common part of treating addictions. CBT trains recovering addicts to find connections between their feelings, thoughts, and actions and increase their awareness of how these things affect their recovery.
Along with addictions, CBT also facilitates treating various co-occurring disorders, such as the following
- Various forms of Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)
- Bipolar disorder
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder [OCD]
- 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 Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Works
CBT recognizes that many behaviours and feeling are dangerous and make no sense. The feelings and behaviours of people could be coming as a direct result from past experiences and factors related to the environment.
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. It has been observed that many people look forward to be self-medicating themselves to overcome the painful thoughts and feelings with the help of alcohol or by abusing substances.
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.
The pain caused by certain experiences may be lessened if these events are revisited often and addressed. 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
Over Dependency on the drugs is also associated with behaviours such as feeling sad and nervous and this are caused by the bad thoughts.
Someone is bound to start using drugs or be addicted to alcohol if they constantly have negative thoughts and feelings of depression.
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. As alleged by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, CBT helps people recovering from addictions deal with their triggers in three main ways.
Alcoholism And Other Drugs Can Be Eliminated By Cbt Including
- Helping them dismiss misconceived notions and insecurities that have possibly led to substance abuse.
- Providing DIY techniques to lift the patients' spirits.
- Carrying out training on effective communication skills.
How To Manage Triggers
- Identify which factor provokes taking drugs or drinking alcohol.
- Try as much as possible to get away from these trigger situations.
- The emotions and thoughts that lead to the abuse of substances can be elevated by using the techniques provided by 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.
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.
Techniques Applied In Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
There are exercises peculiar to CBT-based treatment for addicted patients.
Some of the exercises are
- Thought Records
- This involves dispelling automatic negative thoughts by finding proof that shows these thoughts to be false.
- The patients make a list of advantages and disadvantages of keeping or discarding the thoughts.
- The idea is that by critically evaluating your thoughts, you will be able to have thoughts that are less harsh and are more rational.
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. I will have a chance to prove my worth to my supervisor by rectifying my mistake. I do not need alcohol to get a better feeling of myself.
- Behavioural Experiments
- To see the one that has a greater effect on behaviour, the effects of positive thoughts can be compared to those of negative ones.
- Some people can better judge themselves while others can complement themselves.
- Behavioural experiments help individuals figure out whether they are self-motivators or self-critics.
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 Technique
- During this exercise, patients have to think about a past experience that causes severe negative feelings.
- 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 person revisits a traumatic event from their 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.
- Pleasant Activity Plan
- This is a practice involving creating a healthy weekly list, entertaining practices to halt an individual's daily activities.
- The tasks included should encourage positive emotions while being uncomplicated and easy to perform.
- 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 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.
The Difference Between Cognitive Behavioural Therapy And Other Psychotherapies
While others therapies may be less hands-on, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy provides an approach that is much more attentive.
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.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is based on actions and faster recovery. 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. In most cases, 16 sessions of CBT will yield tangible results.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy can be adapted to make it effective during inpatient and outpatient sessions, along with individual and group counselling environments. CBT is a regular part of the treatment program as far as many rehab centres and addiction specialists are concerned.