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Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Against Addictions

Knowledge Of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) addresses morbid thoughts and feelings for the purpose of treating addiction and psychiatric disorders.

Cognitive behavioural therapy, or CBT, is a method of psychological and psychiatric counselling invented by Dr. Aaron T. Beck in the 1960s.


Getting The Addiction Tackling Resources

Getting rid of an addiction needs certain resources and people. You can recover successfully with the help of either residential or non-residential treatment. Mental health counsellors will help you learn the skills you need to apply in your life to ensure complete recovery.

Begin making a change today by finding a treatment centre suitable for you.


CBT helps people to fight addiction by helping them to deal with the negative thoughts and feelings behind the addiction.


Today, cognitive behavioural therapy is widely used to treat 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.

Some addiction patients also have other issues concurrently occurring with the addiction problems like:

  • Apprehension
  • Various forms of Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)
  • Bipolar disorder
  • OCD or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
  • 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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Cognitive Behavioural Therapy And How It Works

CBT clearly shows that a good deal of destructive emotions and actions are neither reasonable nor logical. The feelings and behaviours of people could be coming as a direct result from past experiences and factors related to the environment.

It is the job of counsellors to help recovering addicts identify their negative feelings and actions, which are also known as "automatic thoughts." Fear, self doubt and other internalized feelings together with misconceptions are what usually cause these automatic negative thoughts. Trying to suppress the pain inflicted by these experiences people self-medicate with alcohol and drugs.


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. 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.


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.

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.


Alcoholism And Other Drugs Can Be Eliminated By Cbt Including

  • Aids the patient to take control of their life, rejecting past thoughts and beliefs that trigger low self-esteem and feelings of rejection.
  • Strengthen the patient with better ways of self-motivation.
  • Training the patient on how to express themselves better.

The Skills Necessary For Managing Triggers

  • Know Them (recognize)
  • Know the things that create an urge to use drugs or alcohol.
  • Shun
  • Abstract oneself from trigger situations whenever it's possible.
  • Deal With Them (Cope)
  • This involves dealing with the thoughts and feelings that cause you to abuse the substance using methods learnt in CBT.

Even when outside the treatment centre, you can still practice the methods learnt in CBT. Whether you are at home or in a group, there are many situations that you can use to practice the CBT exercises.

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.


Methods Used In Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

There are exercises peculiar to CBT-based treatment for addicted patients.

Some of these practices are:

  • Evaluation Of Thoughts
  • Recovering addicts are required to examine their automatic negative thoughts and to look for objective evidence either supporting or disproving the thoughts.
  • The patients make a list of advantages and disadvantages of keeping or discarding the thoughts.
  • The aim is to help people switch to more balanced and less rough thoughts by taking stock of what they are thinking.

For example: "My boss thinks I'm worthless. For that, I need to use alcohol to get over this feeling "can be changed to " I accept my mistake and will rectify it next time. I will have a chance to prove my worth to my supervisor by rectifying my mistake. I can change without having to use alcohol."

  • CBT 'Behavioural Experiments' Technique
  • These exercises are helpful in contrasting negative thoughts with the positive ones to understand which one is better effective for changing behaviour.
  • Some patients better respond to self-kindness; others - to self-criticism.
  • One needs to identify the behaviours that work best with them.

For example: "If I am harsh to myself after drinking to excess, I'll drink less" vs. "If I am kind to myself after drinking to excess, I will drink less."

  • Imagery Based Exposure
  • During this exercise, patients have to think about a past experience that causes severe negative feelings.
  • This will involve assessing all the features such as feelings and the responses they had to that particular feeling.
  • By reliving painful memories again and again, the addict can gradually mitigate the anxiety caused by these past experiences.

Example: A person revisits a traumatic event from their childhood. He recollects every information and feeling during that time. Following constant experience, the recollection lessens the pain and thereby decreasing the craving for alcohol or drugs.

  • Comfortable Activity Plan
  • 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 key is to have activities that are uncomplicated and easy to execute while bringing out positive feelings.
  • 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.

The addicts who are recovering can have an active session with their therapists who will be willing to listen not just passively. In its place, addiction victims and therapists work collectively to overcome dependency.

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.

Other psychotherapy approaches could take up to a number of years to produce results. In most cases, 16 sessions of CBT will yield tangible results.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy can easily be adapted, which makes it very idyllic in both outpatient and inpatient situations as well as group and private counselling atmospheres. Numerous therapists and addiction treatment centres are commonly including CBT along with the recovery plans which are offered by them.