Substance abuse, addiction and dependance often arise from dysfunctional and deeply-ingrained thought patterns. CBT can help you to address and interrupts these patterns:
Treating addiction with CBT:
CBT is a widely-used psychotherapy for addiction. It helps clients to overcome their negative thought patterns and through this, enables them to make healthier choices. People suffering from addiction usually doubt their ability to make a full recovery and often feel an overall sense of hopelessness. In short, CBT for addiction helps with:
- changing the way you respond to stress
- will teach you new ways of thinking
- helps with developing tools for an addiction-free life
The underlying principle of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is that you have to change your thoughts if you want to change your behaviour. CBT will provide you with an insight in your underlying beliefs and thoughts and helps you identify the specific set of limiting beliefs and thoughts that have contributed to your addiction. Once the negative patterns are identified, they can be replaced by positive ones. Often the negative beliefs and thought patterns stem from childhood and are therefore no longer functional or healthy in adult life. By focussing on the present moment, dysfunctional patterns can be left in the past.
Benefits of CBT for treating addiction:
- CBT facilitates positive change in the present by looking towards the future
- You will apply the insights you gained during the therapy session in your daily life by doing 'homework'
- You will learn to interrupt negative thought patterns and therefore feel more in control of your life
- You will build a strong foundation for addiction-recovery by developing self-awareness and self-esteem
When should I seek help for an addiction?
Common signs of an addiction are:
- The need to use the drug regularly
- inability to stop
- taking risks when under the influence of the drug
- needing the drug to deal with problems
- spending more and more time and energy on getting and using the drug
If your daily functioning, your health or other aspects of your life become negatively affected by the addiction, it is important to seek professional help.