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Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Alcohol Problems

Finding out about the different therapeutic treatments available helps you to make the right decision if you or a loved one is suffering from alcohol addiction. Different alcohol rehab centres employ different therapeutic models, and cognitive behavioural therapy for alcohol problems is a commonly used model which is generally considered to be effective. It focuses on the person’s thoughts and behaviours, and how management of them can help them overcome a variety of issues. The treatment – like most for addiction – isn’t suitable for everybody, so learning about it is crucial to determining whether it is the correct choice.

Cognitive behavioural therapy is an amalgamation of two different approaches: cognitive and behavioural therapy. Cognitive therapy focuses on the individual’s thoughts, and how negative thought patterns can emerge and cause a wide range of personal issues. These negative thought patterns are considered “automatic,” because there is often no conscious recognition of them and they appear to arise out of nowhere. A person might be telling a story when a nagging voice arises, telling them that their audience is bored, and that they aren’t an interesting person. Automatic negative thoughts like this build up and can influence the person’s behaviour. These thoughts can be identified with the right techniques, but generally surface unexpectedly and don’t attract much conscious attention.

Behavioural therapy is focused on changing the behaviours of the individual in order to change the underlying thoughts. For example, somebody with arachnophobia could be introduced to a small spider, and be challenged to let it walk on one of their fingers. After this, bigger spiders can be used, and the person will eventually learn that most spiders they encounter can’t (or won’t) hurt them. The behavioural therapy brings about a realisation, which in turn changes the person’s thoughts.

Cognitive behavioural therapy combines these two approaches in order to tackle a wider range of issues. For example, chronic anxiety is a primarily cognitive issue, and the therapy would focus on thought patterns in order to combat it. Obsessive compulsive disorder is a behavioural issue, and the therapy would therefore focus on the behavioural element to curb the symptoms. In either case, the therapy will use a combination of both approaches, but it can be weighted according to the requirements of the specific patient.

CBT for Alcohol Misuse

For alcohol rehab, (cbt) cognitive behavioural therapy works on both the harmful thought patterns and the behaviours which lead to alcohol use. The therapist will first try to determine which factors lead to the person taking alcohols. These reasons could be related to thoughts and feelings or circumstances and things like social conformity. The aim is to find out what really drives the person towards alcohols, and then replace the associated negative thoughts and behaviours with positive ones that will help them get clean. By changing the way the person thinks and introducing them to new coping skills, they will no longer have to fall back on alcohols.

There are numerous options available when you’re looking alcohol rehab programs. Cognitive behavioural therapy is effective, but doesn’t work for everybody. If you want some free advice on which type of therapy is most suitable for you or your loved one, please get in touch! We can offer you information about all of the different models used to fight addiction, and the treatments and services offered by different alcohol rehab facilities. Finding help for alcohol addiction can be a bewildering process, but we are here to help you.


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