Cognitive Behavioural Therapy And Understanding It
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.
CBT is now an internationally accepted mode of treatment for addictions. 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
- Various forms of Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)
- Various forms of bipolar disorder
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
- Various forms of eating disorders
- 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 Cbt Works
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. The feelings and behaviours of people could be coming as a direct result from past experiences and factors related to the environment.
Cognitive behavioural therapists work with patients to identify potentially thoughts that lead to self-destructive or unhealthy behaviours. 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.
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. 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.
Someone is bound to start using drugs or be addicted to alcohol if they constantly have negative thoughts and feelings of depression.
It may be hard for a person trying to stop drug addiction to do so when they are in the same environment that led them to that behaviour in the first place. 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.
- Providing DIY techniques to lift the patients' spirits.
- Training people how to speak up about their feelings to others.
The Skills Necessary For Managing Triggers
- Know the things that create an urge to use drugs or alcohol.
- Stay away from places and situations that make you want to drink or take the drugs.
- Using CBT techniques, examine and mitigate emotions and thoughts that provoke substance use.
You don't have to be at the centres to try using the CBT techniques of overcoming addiction. 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.
Some of the self-help exercises taught in support groups such as SMART - Self Management and Recovery Training incorporate certain aspects of CBT.
Techniques Applied In Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
In order to help with addiction recovery cognitive behavioural therapists are known to utilise specific exercises.
Here are some examples of CBT techniques that are widely used in treatment of addictions
- Thought Records
- One way to overcome these behaviour is keeping in check your thoughts in order to avoid negative thinking.
- 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.
- The objective is to assist them to think in a balanced manner and critically evaluate their thoughts to feel constructive about themselves.
For example "My boss thinks I'm worthless. In this case, CBT will help the person move from a mindset where they feel they need to drink to feel better about themselves to one where they see mistakes as a normal part of the learning process. I'll do better next time, and my manager will be happy with me. This will lead them to realize that they don't need alcohol to feel better.
- 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.
- Where some people may respond to self-criticism, others may prefer self-kindness.
- These experiments are useful in finding out what causes an individual to improve their behaviour.
Example "I'm likely to binge drink less if I am hard on myself during and after the binge drinking" vs. "I'll probably have fewer drinks if I am talking to myself kindly after the session of binge drinking."
- 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.
- Frequently by visiting the painful memories a recovering addict can reduce the anxiety caused by the memories over a period of time.
Example A young man emphasises on uncomfortable memories of his childhood. Everything they went through at that time is clear as day to them. 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.
- Comfortable Activity Plan
- 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.
- These are activities that are designed to elicit positive feelings and are usually easy to do.
- Enlisting - and carrying out - these activities helps patients avoid negative automatic thoughts, so these people do not need to drink or take drugs for this purpose anymore.
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.
Addicts more often than not speak to their counsellors during a CBT meeting while the therapists listen attentively. Both the therapist and the patient are actively involved in the therapy session and work together.
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.
Some kinds of psychotherapy can take years until they produce a reliable result. Positive results in CBT may be visible in as little as sixteen sessions.
Cognitive behavioural therapy techniques are also very flexible, which makes them well usable for treatment both in a clinic and on outpatient basis, and CBT can be applied both during individual counselling and in groups. Numerous therapists and addiction treatment centres are commonly including CBT along with the recovery plans which are offered by them.