Cognitive Behavioural Therapy - Drug Addiction

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy or CBT for short is a form of therapy which looks at how you think (the ‘cognitive’ bit) and the way you behave (the ‘behavioural’ bit).

It focuses upon the present: it looks at the way you think about yourself, the world around you and other people. It also looks at the way in which you behave impacts upon other people and the way you feel about things.

CBT hopes that concentrating on your problems at present, for example drug addiction, will change your state of mind and future behaviour.

The difference between this and other forms of therapy is that it doesn’t focus upon your childhood or events that happened in the past. It concentrates on what is happening now, on your thoughts and actions and how these are causing you to behave in a particular way.

How does it apply to addiction?

In relation to of drug addiction: looking at how these thought patterns and learned behaviours act as triggers for your addiction. If, for example, you have found that drinking helps you to deal with stress then a therapist will look at alternative ways of coping with stress.

The idea is to get you to change your behaviour from self-destructive to positive and uplifting. It is more about solid, practical help rather than the empathetic approach used in counselling and aims to change patterns of behaviour which have developed over time.

You will be set goals by the therapist and some of these will take you out of your ‘comfort zone’. These will include new ways of thinking so that you focus upon positive things in your life rather than the negative. The idea is to face up to your addiction; the causes of your addiction, patterns of behaviour which may have led to it and thinking about things differently.

You will be encouraged to take control of your life rather than being controlled by your addiction.


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