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.
In the 1960s Dr. Aaron T. Beck founded a type of mental health counselling known as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.
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Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) addresses the problem areas of thoughts and behaviour resulting from drug addiction.
Cognitive-Behavioural therapy is presently in use during the treatment of 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.
Some of the other behaviours that can be eliminated aside from dependency on drugs include:
Anxiety of various kinds
Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)
OCD or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
Various forms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
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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. 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. An automatic thought is impulse-based; it often comes from misrepresentations and internally generated feelings such as self-doubt and fear. People often drink or abuse drugs in an attempt to mitigate these afflictive thoughts and feelings.
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.
Recovering addicts can soothe the pain caused by distressful memories by repeatedly revisiting them. The addiction can also be eliminated when these thoughts are substituted with new thought.
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.
How to identify what brings on the urge for the drug or alcohol on a day to day basis. The National Institute On Drug Abuse has mentioned that help can be received by recovering addicts from cognitive-behavioural therapy to deal with the triggers which result in the cravings.
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.
Carrying out training on effective communication skills.
The Skills Necessary For Managing Triggers
Know Them (recognize)
Identify which factor provokes taking drugs or drinking alcohol.
Abstract oneself from trigger situations whenever it's possible.
Deal With Them (Cope)
Apply the CBT skills you have learned to sort through your thoughts and emotions to beat the urge to indulge.
Patients can well practice CBT techniques even at the places other than the therapist's office. CBT patients can use the techniques at home, office or join a support group.
The techniques of CBT are also being used in the SMART programs and other self help groups on addiction.
Techniques Applied In Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
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:
Keeping Thought Records
The patients are encouraged to stop and evaluate their thoughts see if they are worth keeping them or if they are better discarded.
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 aim is to help them think positive, productive thoughts.
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. My manager will appreciate that I am learning from my mistakes and heeding his or her advice. This will lead them to realize that they don't need alcohol to feel better.
CBT 'Behavioural Experiments' Technique
Exercises of this kind contrast negative and positive thoughts against each other in order to see which ones are more effective in changing the patient's behaviour.
One person may react better when they self-criticize while another will do great when they self-motivated.
Behavioural experiments help individuals figure out whether they are self-motivators or self-critics.
Example: " "If I talk kindly to myself after binge drinking, I'll binge drink less." vs "If I'm hard on myself after binge drinking, I'll binge 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.
The anxiousness caused by certain negative experiences can be lessened by going over these experiences over and over.
Example: A difficult childhood memory is the focus of a young man's thoughts. He reproduces every feeling and emotion which he experienced at that moment. 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.
Schedule for Pleasant Activities
It is a technique that involves working out a list for the week to come, filling it with fun and healthy, activities; it helps a person break the monotony of everyday routine.
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: 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. He or she can begin to use the extra time at their desk to enjoy some new music from a melodious artist.
How Cbt Or Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Varies From Other Therapies
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 addicts and the therapists will be working with each other to treat the addiction.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is based on action oriented, quick treatment. Lots of mid length rehabilitation programs that last from 60 to 90 days include CBT techniques to give patients more opportunities to cop? with their problems.
It has been observed that some techniques of psychotherapy can take many years before a strong impact is seen. 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. A lot of rehabilitation facilities and addiction therapists use CBT as a part of their treatment programs.