CBT Rehab – Far More Than Cold Turkey

Articles, International, Treatment, Understanding Addiction, United Kingdom, United States

CBT Rehab is a form of addiction therapy that is growing in respect with professionals and clients alike. Many see it as treatment that increases the chances of long term sobriety.

What is CBT?

This stands for Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. It is a part of recovery therapy techniques and concepts that professionals are using for those with addictions.

Originally targeted at those with alcohol addiction it has spread, and been found effective for those who have become dependent upon other illicit substances.

It focuses on not only overcoming a dependence, but on being able to maintain long term sobriety, and is far more than simply going ‘cold turkey’

It is about being able to say goodbye to your unhealthy behaviour and move on without having to rely on alcohol or other addictive substances.

Just as importantly it is a therapy whose main aim is to bring about positive changes in your personal life.

Thinking About What You Do And How You Are Feeling:

Many addicts fail to understand, or refuse to acknowledge the problems addiction is causing to themselves from a physical and psychological point of view, or the heartbreak and despair it is causing their loved ones

This type of therapy majors on how those undergoing addiction recovery feel about themselves, their current situation and the actions taken due to their dependence.

If such feelings can be identified during CBT Rehab then it becomes easier to avoid them or to deal with them in a far healthier way.

A two-pronged treatment approach:

CBT rehabilitation services takes the form of a two-pronged approach. Let us take a look at each one in turn:

Functional Analysis:

This analysis focuses on a partnership between the therapist and the patient. Its aim is to identify circumstances, thoughts and feelings of the patient before, during and after they have used their drug of choice.

The aim of this identification is to help the patient understand what behavioural traits and choices such actions mean in terms of a potential relapse and is particularly important during the early phase of treatment.

Indeed, such analysis is crucial. Because it will help you identify, determine and be aware of potential triggers and actions that you need to take to ensure you avoid or minimize such risk situations.

Understand why you turned to drugs or alcohol in the first place:

You need to understand why you turned to drugs or alcohol in the first place. This understanding cannot be underestimated in terms of its importance.

You need to be honest with yourself and your therapist to find the root causes of your current problem and for both to clearly and fully understand such reasons.

Such triggers for addiction can include major traumas in your personal life, problems in a close relationship, or the need to escape from reality.

Once both parties understand these reasons this will be the basis for moving forward in a positive manner during your recovery process.

Skills training:

This is the second prong of CBT Rehab. Those with a drink or drug problem will begin to unlearn the destructive habits which have put them in their current situation, and then they will learn new and far healthier ways to replace these old habits.

Three key factors of CBT:

There are a number of key factors relating to such therapy. Let’s just consider 3 of these:

Short term therapy – Long term help:

To overcome an addiction it needs to be clearly understood that CBT drug rehab programs are purposely established over a shorter time period but with long term recovery clearly in mind.

While physical symptoms of drugs withdrawal may disappear quite quickly, the psychological effects can last for months or years. By learning newer, healthier habits and avoiding the triggers that can send you into relapse such therapy sets you on a solid road to long term recovery.

It is a 2-way street:

Please be clear, there is no passive involvement in such therapy. The CBT therapist will not decide what the patient needs on their own.

This therapy is a collaboration between the patient and therapist. Each session will have a defined agenda as well as specified concepts and techniques. Such an agenda will be used during each of the CBT therapy sessions.

This means there is a constant and focused approach to your problems, the triggers, reactions and habits are unlearned and new ones learned.

The therapy is based on what the patient wants, it is not the therapist setting goals. Once patient goals are set it is the therapist’s task to direct, coach and encourage the patient on how to reach these goals.

Emotional and behavioural adjustments:

CBT rehab techniques are based around the fact that the vast majority of emotions and behaviours are learned.

This makes for a clear path forward in terms of identifying such emotions and behaviour that have led to your drug problem.

It is important to reiterate that unlearning bad habits and identifying such situations before they occur means you have a far better chance of avoiding them and slipping into relapse.

You will also be very clear on how to react to certain triggers in a far healthier and more acceptable way.

It is about understanding what you need to change to ensure a successful outcome for a drink or drugs free future.

Be Positive:

Those with a drink or drug addiction problem have every right to think they are stuck between a rock and a hard place. They have a desire to stop use and abuse, but their cravings and addiction can be all consuming.

Anyone with such problems needs professional rehabilitation services which will give them the best possible chance of becoming, and remaining positive during a trying period of their life.

This is a significant key to the success of CBT rehab. The intention is to leave you feeling very positive. It helps you to understand why you are taking your drug(s) of choice in the first place and what triggers to be aware of in terms of slipping back into your old ways.

You will also understand the situations you need to avoid whenever possible, or to manage such situations in a far more positive way, and you will have clear, flexible goals and targets that have been defined with your counsellor.

Long term recovery must be your priority:

Alcohol or drug withdrawal is not a quick fix, but it is an eminently achievable proposition.

Once you buy into the deal that is long term recovery, and you incorporate CBT methods into this strategy you will be placing priority on positive long term recovery.

Such long term recovery should be the ultimate aim of any addict.Bottom of Form

 

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Anne -

Anne Lazarakis joined the DARA Rehab team from Sydney, Australia. She writes about addiction and mental health on a global, local and community level. She also relays personal accounts of substance abuse and recovery through the stories of our clients, their families and our own team members.

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