Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, commonly referred to as (CBT) for addiction, has its roots in behavioural and cognitive therapies of the 20th century. This is one of two separate schools of therapy. It has been shown to be very effective in a wide variety of instances, such as for depression, anxiety, eating disorders, obsessive-compulsive behaviours, post-traumatic stress disorder and more. The goal of CBT in addiction therapy is to minimize negative, or self-defeating thoughts that can lead someone who has an addiction to relapse. Beyond addiction, it is also highly relevant for people who are exhibiting behaviours they want to change. For many of our clients that come to Samarpan there will also be co-occurring disorders, that will respond well also to the CBT approach.

There are different approaches for delivery of the cognitive behavioural therapy, and these may include distraction, imagery and motivational self-talk.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for addiction can be applied in both one-on-one sessions and group therapy sessions. Depending on where a person receives treatment, a client may find the therapy has a more behavioural slant or, for others, a more cognitive orientation, the difference being that the more cognitive application will focus more on cognitive restructuring while the more behavioural application may have more of a focus on exposure therapy depending on the client and his, or her needs – within residential treatment however, the opportunity to address both aspects, and practice is optimum. The goal is not to diagnose but to look at the individual as a whole and determine what needs to be addressed. The basic steps for CBT are to identify the critical behaviours, determine whether these behaviours are excesses or deficits, evaluate them for frequency, duration and intensity, and then, with therapy, alter them.

At Samarpan Rehab, we offer CBT in our program both in individual and group therapy sessions.

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