Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) s a short-term, focused approach to helping individuals with an addiction to become abstinent. The underlying assumption is that learning processes play an important role in the development and continuation of the addiction. These same learning processes can be used to help individuals reduce their addictive behavior.
The idea behind CBT as an addiction therapy is that is supposed to help patients recognize, avoid, and cope with addiction and the things that trigger cravings. Although the concept of a craving in addiction treatment originally to alcohol and drugs, it has been expanded to include all types of addiction, such as gambling or video gaming.
CBT Addiction Therapy
CBT was developed as a method to prevent relapse in alcoholics, and later it was adapted for other type of addiction. Cognitive-behavioral strategies are based on the idea that the practice of unhealthy patterns such as addictive behaviors support the problem. In CBT addiction therapy, patients begin to see and change addictive behaviors by applying a variety of different skills that can be used to stop addictive patterns.
Key Features of CBT in Addiction Therapy
Several important features of CBT make it particularly promising as a treatment for all types of addiction:
- Because it is a short-term, is it useful in the relatively short time-frame of in-patient addiction treatment programs. of
- There is empirical evidence supporting CBT as an addiction therapy.
- The structured, goal-oriented, and focused nature of CBT can be easy for people to work with in the early stages of recovery from addiction.
- As an addiction therapy, CBT can be adjusted to the individual needs of the patient.
- CBT’s broad approach of addressing thoughts and cravings is in alignment with the approach in most addiction treatment program.
Help With Self-Control in Addiction Therapy
A key component of CBT addiction therapy is discovering what triggers the individual’s addiction and designing effective coping strategies. Specific techniques include exploring the positive and negative consequences of continued use of the person’s addiction of choice, self-monitoring to recognize cravings early and identify situations that might put one at risk for use, and developing strategies for coping with cravings and avoiding those high-risk situations.
Studies have found that people continue to practice the tools acquired in CBT addiction therapy after the completion of therapy. Current research has examined how to produce even more long-lasting effects by combining CBT with alternative medicine. In drug abuse treatment, a computer-based CBT system has also been developed and has been shown to be effective in helping reduce drug use following standard in-patient treatment.