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Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) explores the link between thought patterns and addiction.
It's a proven treatment for alcohol use disorder (AUD), both on its own and in combination with other treatments.
CBT is also known as a short-term therapy technique. That's because it typically requires only twelve sessions or less to notice results.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) differs from other forms of therapy because it focuses on the attitudes which drive addiction. It seeks to replace negative behavior or thought patterns with healthy ones.
CBT helps those with alcoholism understand those harmful patterns and learn coping mechanisms to prevent them.
There are three objectives with CBT:
Research shows that CBT effectively treats alcohol addiction when paired with additional treatments, such as a standard outpatient program or alcohol counseling. Its results are also longer-lasting than other than those of other therapies.
CBT is an effective treatment for many mental health conditions as well.
CBT is also more effective for relapse prevention when used in combination with medication.
Another study found that patients who received CBT had fewer drinking days.
Here are some techniques used by CBT therapists:
This type of talk therapy allows patients to notice and change negative thinking patterns, or cognitive distortions.
When used to treat alcoholism, cognitive restructuring allows the person to be aware of unhelpful thinking patterns.
It can also help patients to re-wire negative beliefs about abstinence.
Also called homework assignments, these may be used to help someone apply what they’ve learned and build new positive habits.
For those overcoming alcoholism, homework assignments can help them remember what they learned in therapy.
They can also apply the techniques outside of therapy when facing triggers.
Research shows that the completion of these assignments leads to better treatment outcomes.
This involves exposing the patient to their cues for substance abuse in a safe, controlled environment.
By safely exposing someone to their triggers, it can allow them to process the resulting feelings.
Activity scheduling means incorporating positive activities into your daily life. Recovering alcoholics use it to avoid activities that trigger negative feelings.
This teaches patients how to manage stressful situations that occur in their lives. These can include things such as chronic illness, relationships, work pressures, and major events.
It helps people reduce their alcohol dependency and find healthier responses to problems.
This involves reinforcing positive behaviors in small increments, or approximations.
It can be used to treat alcoholism by rewarding abstinence in slowly increasing increments.
Mental health professionals encourage relaxation and breathing techniques in their CBT programs.
These practices are a form of self-help and provide many positive mental health benefits. They can help those with alcoholism relieve stress and improve their overall well-being.
This, in turn, can help curb the desire to abuse substances.
Breathing exercises have also been proven to treat depression, which is a risk factor for alcoholism.
The cost of CBT for alcoholism depends on a variety of factors.
Most people will attend between five and 20 weekly or biweekly CBT sessions. The average cost of each session is between $140 and $290.
Most health insurance covers some alcohol treatment, which can include CBT. You can find out if your insurance covers CBT for alcoholism by contacting your insurance company.
For those needing financial assistance, some CBT therapists offer payment assistance based on the patient’s income.
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