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.
CBT is now an internationally accepted mode of treatment for addictions. CBT educates recovering addicts to establish connections between their thoughts, feelings and actions and to increase awareness about how these matters can have an impact on recovery.
Some addiction patients also have other issues concurrently occurring with the addiction problems like:
State of panic
ADD or Attention Deficit Disorder
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder [OCD]
Various forms of eating disorders
PTSD or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
If you suffer from addiction or any of those issues listed, please look for a CBT treatment facility for help.
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. Automatic thoughts are generally impulsive and often as a result of misconceptions and internal feelings of fear and self-doubt. 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. Once they can cope with the issues without freaking out, they are then taught how to cultivate healthy habits in place of the substances they were addicted to.
The Role Of Cbt In Treating Addiction
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.
What this says is dark thoughts have a higher possibility of making a person start abusing substances.
Triggers - certain situations that provoke, i.e. "trigger", cravings for substance during the day - prevent many addicts from living a sober life. Based on the National Institute on Drug Abuse, CBT employs three keys to help those battling addiction resist triggers.
Cbt Helps Patients To Get Past Drug Addiction And Alcoholism By
Getting rid of all the negative thought that lead people to addiction.
Providing the tools needed for self-help to improve their moods.
Training people how to speak up about their feelings to others.
How To Control The Triggers
You need to recognise the things that make you start using the drugs.
This involves distancing yourself from your triggers as much as possible.
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. Patients can do a lot of CBT exercises all by themselves - at a group meeting and at home.
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.
Cbt Therapy Principles
Therapists that practice CBT use special exercises to facilitate addiction recovery.
Some of these practices are:
Evaluation Of Thoughts
The patients are encouraged to stop and evaluate their thoughts see if they are worth keeping them or if they are better discarded.
They write down of pros and cons of their automatic thoughts to compare and set up the former against the latter.
The objective is to assist them to think in a balanced manner and critically evaluate their thoughts to feel constructive about themselves.
An example is "My supervisor thinks and 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. I don't need any alcohol to bolster my self-esteem."
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.
The whole point of behavioural experiments is in finding out what works best for the particular individual.
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."
Creating Images In Your Mind
This involves bringing up memories that cause highly negative feelings.
The person then carefully notes what they were seeing, hearing, feeling and thinking in that moment.
By reliving painful memories again and again, the addict can gradually mitigate the anxiety caused by these past experiences.
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. The person will become less inclined to use drugs or alcohol because as they revisit the event more often, the trauma of the event is felt less.
Pleasant Activity Program
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.
All the activities on the list should be easy to do, simple, and trigger positive emotions.
By scheduling these simple activities that individuals can easily reduce some of the negative and automatic thoughts within the mind and gain control over the subsequent need to indulge in the use of drugs or alcohol.
Example: An accountant who is feeling overworked could schedule a few minutes of relaxation everyday during his work hours instead of drinking while working. Instead, the break is used to listen to a recently released song from a new music sensation.
What Is The Difference Between Cbt Vs Other Kinds Of Psychotherapy
While others therapies may be less hands-on, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy provides an approach that is much more attentive.
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. In its place, addiction victims and therapists work collectively to overcome dependency.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is based on action oriented, quick treatment. CBT has become a standard part of many long term rehab programs since they provide the patients with ways of coping.
Certain psychoanalytic methods may take many years before showing any tangible results. 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. Numerous therapists and addiction treatment centres are commonly including CBT along with the recovery plans which are offered by them.