Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Addiction

Cognitive behavior therapy is generally used to treat depression, phobias, anxiety disorders and mental disorders, but it has also been shown to be helpful in treating alcoholism and drug addiction. This is especially true when dealing with a program of recovery. Cognitive behavioral coping skills treatment is a short term and focused therapeutic approach to helping drug-dependent people become abstinent by using the same learning processes that the person used for developing their drug and alcohol dependence.

Cognitive behavior therapy is based on the idea that feelings and behaviors are caused by someone's thoughts and not on an outside stimuli like people, events, and situations. People may not be able to change their circumstances but they can change how they think about those circumstances and also how they feel and behave.. In the treatment for drug and alcohol dependence, the goal of cognitive behavioral therapy is to teach and individual to recognize situations which they are most likely to drink or use drugs in and avoid these situations if at all possible. It also helps them by allowing them to learn how to cope with other problems and behaviors that can lead to their substance abuse over a period of time.

According the National Association of Cognitive Behavioral Therapists, there are numerous approaches to cognitive behavioral therapy. These include Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy, Rational Behavior Therapy, Rational Living Therapy, Cognitive Therapy, and Dialectic Behavior Therapy. In its use for treating alcohol and drug dependence, cognitive behavior therapy has two main components of functional analysis and skills training. In functional analysis, the patient and the therapist work together to try to identify the thoughts and feelings and circumstances of the patient before and after they used the substances. This helps the patient to determine the risks that are likely to lead towards relapse. Functional analysis can also give the individual insight into why they are a substance abuser and identify situations where the individual has coping difficulties.

If someone is at a point where they need treatment for their drug and alcohol dependence, chances are that they are using substances as their method of dealing with their problems on a daily basis. The goal of cognitive behavior therapy is to get the person to learn better coping skills. The therapist will try to help the individual unlearn the old habits that they have developed and work towards developing healthier skills instead. The main goal of this form of therapy is to educate the alcohol or drug dependent individual to change the way they think about their substance abuse and learn new ways that they can cope with the situations and circumstances that lead towards their episodes of usage. Since this form of therapy is structured and goal oriented, the process is usually short term. Although there are other forms of therapy and psychoanalysis that can take many years, cognitive behavior therapy is usually completed within 12 to 16 sessions with a therapist. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, cognitive behavioral treatments are one of the most frequently used approaches to treating substance abuse.

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