Unmasking Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
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.
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.
Nowadays, CBT has become a common part of treating addictions. Through CBT, the patients are shown how to connect their actions to their thoughts and feelings so they can be aware of how these factors are affecting their recovery.
Apart from addiction, CBT is also used for treating co-occurring disorders such as
- Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)
- Bipolar disorder
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
- 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 Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Helps
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.
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. The abuse of drugs or alcohol is in many cases an attempt to get rid of these negative thoughts.
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.
Facing these sensitive areas often leads a patient to get over the acute pain they cause. The addiction can also be eliminated when these thoughts are substituted with new thought.
Use Of Cbt In Addiction Treatment
Whenever there is an addiction, there is usually another mental issue such as depression and anxiety disorders and these usually stem from automatic negative thoughts.
Someone is bound to start using drugs or be addicted to alcohol if they constantly have negative thoughts and feelings of depression.
Triggers - certain situations that provoke, i.e. "trigger", cravings for substance during the day - prevent many addicts from living a sober life. There are three ways in which CBT can help recovering users deal with triggers according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
Cbt Aids People In Overcoming Their 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 the tools needed for self-help to improve their moods.
- Carrying out training on effective communication skills.
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.
- Apply the CBT skills you have learned to sort through your thoughts and emotions to beat the urge to indulge.
The techniques provided by the cognitive-behavioural therapists can be practiced beyond the office of the therapist. 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.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Practices
To help a user to recover, there are special methods that are utilized in 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.
- 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. I need to have a drink to feel better' becomes 'it's normal to commit mistakes, and I can learn from the example. I'll do better next time, and my manager will be happy with me. I do not need alcohol to get a better feeling of myself.
- CBT 'Behavioural Experiments' Technique
- By evaluating these thoughts, one gets to understand the better behaviours to follow.
- It is well-known that some people respond better to self-kindness while others could display better responses to self-criticism.
- 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
- Here, the patients are encouraged to remember something bad that happened before that causes them to feel terrible.
- The person then carefully notes what they were seeing, hearing, feeling and thinking in that moment.
- Regularly re-enacting that moment in their minds, the patient can deal with the pain and nervousness brought about by the memory.
Example Painful childhood memories haunt an individual who constantly focuses on them. He reproduces every feeling and emotion which he experienced at that moment. Following constant experience, the recollection lessens the pain and thereby decreasing the craving for alcohol or drugs.
- Comfortable 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.
- 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 In the place of drinking or indulging in drugs while working, a worn-out financial advisor unwinds at his desk for quarter an hour daily. Instead, during this time he enjoys a song from the singer he likes very much.
Difference Between Other Therapies And Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy take a more practical approach to therapy as compared to other methods.
Addicts in treatment are expected to go beyond just talking to the therapist during the CBT sitting and the therapist is not just a passive listener. Instead of this, therapists and addicts carry out joint activities aimed at overcoming the addiction.
The foundation of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy focuses on action-based treatment, which will be rapid. 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. Just sixteen sessions of CBT is often enough to obtain considerable improvement.
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. CBT is a regular part of the treatment program as far as many rehab centres and addiction specialists are concerned.