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Cognitive Behavioral Therapy And The Treatment Of Addiction

Chy King

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Addiction can take many forms: alcoholism, substance abuse, gambling addiction, etc. The list goes on. The question that needs to be answered is how can these addictions be eliminated? Nowadays, with the technology boom, online meetings for treating addiction is available as well as online counseling, and other forms of treatment. One of the oldest addiction treatments is the twelve step program developed by the founders of Alcoholics Anonymous. In these modern times however, other treatment programs are being practiced such as the so called Cognitive Behavioral Therapy that a user undergoes if he/she wants to be sober.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a member of a branch of psychotherapy that gives importance to how a person thinks. It follows that what is on the person's mind will greatly affect the actions and the feelings of the individual. Several programs under the cognitive behavioral therapy include: Rational Living Therapy, Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy, Cognitive Therapy, Rational Behavior Therapy, and Dialectic Behavior Therapy.

CBT is now being applied in treating alcoholism and substance abuse. It works in the following ways:

It is based on the asking questions (Socrates’ method)

Emotional response is given importance in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, wherein the belief that changing the way a user thinks will make that person feel better as well as act better ( e. g. if the user thinks of staying clean for a year, then that will be done successfully).

In CBT, the client and the therapist should interact harmoniously and should trust each other for the treatment to be successful

In CBT, users feel that they are in control because they are made to analyze their actions and they would be the ones to make decisions on the steps they would take. In the event that they feel that a mistake was made, it's up to them to correct it.

The most commonly used CBT program that battles addiction is the Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy (REBT). It focuses on providing solutions to disturbances and problems that are behavioral as well as emotional in nature that aims to lead to a satisfied and happy individual.

REBT applies the A-B-C-model of psychological disturbance and change. This model believes that the things that people believe in are the main reasons why people are disturbed, and should not be blamed on the adversities that are experienced by the alcoholics or drug addicts. In this model, the users are taught to examine the things they believe in and do the best they can to turn those beliefs into something that would produce positive results.

Take note that REBT is considered to be a brief therapy that is there to solve specific problems. More complex problems require longer therapy. The REBT therapist aids the user in improving one self through hard work that would also help the person over come trials and obstacles. At the end of the therapy, the user is expected to feel self acceptance as well as the acceptance of life's realities.

It is said that severe alcoholism and addiction problems can be treated with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Its structured teaching method aims to improve on the way the patients deal with life. It is also an effective way to improve on the user's way of thinking in terms of drinking.

Chy King, M. Ed. is the owner of The Sober Sources Network and has extended her network on alcoholism and addiction recovery for both adults and teen to incorporate 14 different websites in hopes of helping those seeking their own solutions. The forums may be viewed at:


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