What is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy?

Within addiction there are many different forms of therapy used. One that has seen a rise in popularity recently, and one which is favoured by the NHS, is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy or CBT. This is based on the idea that most problems within a person’s life are caused by “faulty thinking”, which can include thoughts, images, beliefs, and attitudes. CBT is thought to be particularly useful to those who are suffering with addiction as chemical imbalances can often result in faulty behavioural patterns.

Cognitive Behavioural TherapyCognitive Behavioural Therapy suggests that problems occur not by an event occurring (in this example addiction) but the way it is thought about. An example of a negative thought is “I am an addict and therefore I will always be an addict”, an example of a positive thought is “I did not choose to become an addict, but I have chosen to get well, which is what I will do”. These subtle changes in thinking can have a huge impact on how events within a person’s life unfolds; the person with the negative thought is likely to suffer many relapses as a result of their self-belief that they are destined to be an addict, whereas the person with the positive thoughts is likely to take affirmative action that will benefit their recovery.

The advantage of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is that it can take a relatively short period of time to see effective results. However, it is worth noting that CBT is only effective when the person continues to operate the techniques taught to them by the therapist, and motivation can often be an issue within the recovering population. That being said, as with anything, as long as the person wants recovery and wants to work hard for it, then CBT can and will work for them.

What are your thoughts? Have you experienced Cognitive Behavioural Therapy? Did you find it useful?

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