Home Off Beat Important facts to know about cognitive behavior therapy for alcoholism

Important facts to know about cognitive behavior therapy for alcoholism

by Dr Prem Community Writer

CBT, or cognitive behavior therapy, is generally used for the treatment of phobias, anxiety, depression, and similar mental disorders. However, CBT for Alcoholism and drug addiction has proven to be equally helpful. Alcohol is often used as an escape from pressures, leading to destructive behaviors that need to be treated immediately. In fact, when it comes to treating alcoholism, a Rehab Clinic frequently uses CBT as an integral part of the complete recovery program.

What exactly is cognitive behavior therapy?

Cognitive-Behavioral-TherapyThe basis of CBT is the simple idea that the behaviors and feelings of a person are dependent on his thoughts, and not on other stimuli such as events, situations, and people. Though you might not be in a position to alter the circumstances, there is always the option to modify how you think about these circumstances. The therapists believe that it will help in bringing a change in the way you behave and feel.

When it comes to treating alcoholism, CBT aims to:

  • Teach the alcoholic to identify the situations that most likely make him drink
  • Avoid such situations as much as possible
  • Deal with any other behavior and problem that might lead to substance abuse.

Major components of cognitive behavior therapy

In terms of treating alcoholism, cognitive behavior therapy has two major components, which have been discussed below:

Functional analysis

CBT for AlcoholismThe individual and the therapist work together for identifying the circumstances, feelings, and thoughts that followed and led to drinking. It helps the therapist understand the risks of relapsing.

Functional analysis also lets the therapist get an idea of why the individual drinks, to begin with. Thus, it helps in identifying the situations that can make it difficult for the person to cope up with.

Skills training

When an individual reaches a point where he needs professional help for the addiction, usually, it means that he is using alcohol as the means to cope up with the problems. In this case, CBT tries to help the person in learning and relearning better skills for coping.

The therapist helps the addicted person in unlearning old habits and learning healthy habits and skills. The goal here is to educate the individual about changing the ways they perceive their alcohol addiction. The person learns new ways to handle the circumstances and situations that caused the drinking episodes in his past. 

Effectiveness of cognitive behavior therapy

Drug-abuseThere have been multiple trials and studies conducted about cognitive behavior therapy and its effectiveness for alcohol and drug abuse. The studies have shown that cognitive behavior therapy is highly effective in comparison with having none of the other forms of therapy.

All of the trials showed that CBT is either more or equally effective as other forms of treatment. However, it is also worth mentioning that the therapy works the best when other efforts for recovery are also put into action, such as joining an alcohol addiction recovery support group.

Cognitive behavior therapy works well in most cases, but it might not be as effective for some individuals. After all, the recovery process is different for every person.

Article Submitted By Community Writer