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Overview

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) can help an individual overcome their addiction in several ways such as – Helping individuals understand and challenge their distorted beliefs and thought patterns that lead to or perpetuate their addiction behaviour, Helping them learn different strategies that enhance their moods, Helping them enhance their communication and interpersonal skills, Helping them identify as well as manage their triggers. CBT helps an addicted individual first recognize what triggers them to engage in substance use, learn to avoid the situations or people who trigger them when possible or appropriate, and use techniques that help deal with the emotions and thoughts that lead them to engage in their addiction. Some examples of techniques used in CBT include – Thought Records. The client is asked to journal their negative automatic thoughts when they are triggered to engage in their addiction. Activity Scheduling. The client is encouraged to add enjoyable activities to their daily routine. Imagery Based Exposure. The client is encouraged to think about negative memories in details in their imagination in order to reduce the anxiety caused by them.

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How effective is CBT for Addiction?

CBT is effective in helping an individual change their negative thoughts, feelings, and behaviours associated with their addiction behaviour and replace them with healthy ones, as well as in identifying and learning to manage triggers, thereby maintain sobriety.

What are the benefits of CBT for Addiction?

CBT can benefit an individual with addiction in various ways –

  • Treat mental health conditions that lead to an individual’s addiction such as depression,
  • Teach ways to cope with negative emotions such as fear, guilt, anger, or anxiety that individuals may substances to cope with,
  • Enhance emotional regulation skills and the motivation to change,
  • Identify and replace negative self-defeating thoughts and behaviours with healthy ones,
  • Develop plans to cope with triggering situations that could lead to substance use.

How many numbers of sessions are required? 

The number of CBT sessions required differs for each individual with addiction.