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Addiction is considered to be a chronic condition that is affected by changes within the brains’ chemistry. When the brain is exposed to a substance, on a regular basis, the nerves based in the prefrontal cortex will send out at least two signals. These include the user likes the substance and they want the substance.
As a person continues to use, he or she will develop a broad range of behaviours that are associated with the brains’ signals. Some common behaviours include compulsive seeking for the substance, repetitive use despite any consequences, and the inability to stop using. The changes in the brain can be so intense that it may be very difficult for a person to quit – regardless of any negative consequences they experience.
The good news is that addiction can be treated. There are many different approaches that help to address the needs of a person who has an addiction. One of these approaches is cognitive behavioural therapy for addiction. This therapy is highly regarded, and is well known for producing life changing results.
Cognitive behavioural therapy for addiction is a form of psychotherapy that teaches people how to identify their thoughts and beliefs that may be influencing their behaviours and feelings. The approach is very therapeutic and highly successful in treating addictions of all kinds. This is largely due to the fact that much of the condition progresses based upon a persons’ behaviours.
CBT in Thailand, and elsewhere, is not a form of therapy that lasts for several months or years. It is actually so effective that most people will notice significant benefits by participating in a few sessions over three to six weeks. Each session will be guided by a certified therapist who will help the individual to identify the connection between their behaviours, feelings, attitudes, and addiction. Once this groundwork has been identified, the therapist will introduce techniques that will help the person to address the connections in the brain. This can encourage the development of stronger, more effective ways of functioning and healthier behaviour.
When a person completes their CBT for addiction, he or she should have the skills needed to identify and reduce or eliminate negative patterns of thinking, as well as believing. Individuals who complete CBT in Thailand may notice they are able to manage their behaviours in a positive way, and identify any negative thought patterns before they lead to harm (i.e. a relapse).
With CBT for addiction, there are two core elements that make the therapy unique. These are cognitive restructuring and behavioural activation. Each of these elements encourage the individual to change their behaviours; particularly those that were primary contributors to their drug and alcohol use.
This is the act of restructuring a person’s thoughts, beliefs, and mindset. The restructuring should be based around behaviours that he or she would like to develop. Before this can be done, the therapist will help a person to learn how to recognise any negative thought patterns that may be contributing to the addiction. For example, a person might feel unworthy, and that they don’t matter. These feelings might lead to perpetual drug use. Once the cognitive behavioural therapy for addiction helps the patient to recognise this thought pattern, he or she can work on their self worth.
Once a person has identified their negative thought patterns and restructured their beliefs, they will be taught how to activate their new behaviours. The therapist will act as a guide and teacher to show the person how to apply their new behaviours to everyday situations. When done correctly, this can provide the individual with healthy, practical skills they can rely on.
It is estimated that up to half of people who have an addiction also have a co-occuring mental illness, such as anxiety, depression, PTSD, bipolar disorder, and so forth. This is usually known as a dual diagnosis, and people with it will need a special approach that addresses and treats both conditions at the same time. There are many therapies that are used to treat a dual diagnosis; however, in Thailand CBT is the most effective. This may be followed by equine therapy.
When a person has a dual diagnosis, the person may have patterns of behaviours that are deeply rooted, and encourage their addiction. For example, a person with PTSD might turn to alcohol in an effort to block out their feelings. Likewise, someone with anxiety might use prescription medications to induce relaxation and decrease their rapid thoughts.
Both conditions play into one another; therefore, their behaviours are what need to change. People who have a co-occuring disorder and receive cognitive behavioural therapy for addiction, will have the opportunity to examine how their thoughts and beliefs linked to both conditions, and how they affected their overall behaviour. When cognitive behavioural therapy is used to treat a dual diagnosis, both conditions can be managed in a healthy, practical way.
Cognitive behavioral therapy can treat many different disorders, including:
Prescription drug addictions
Cocaine/ Crack addiction
Post traumatic stress disorder
Borderline personality disorder
Having an addiction doesn’t make you a bad person, nor does it mean that something is wrong with you. What it could mean is that you can benefit from learning how to manage the addiction and behaviours that are associated with it. At Siam Rehab, one of the best rehabs in Thailand, we can help you to make that a reality. To learn more about our rehab and how we incorporate CBT for addiction into our programmes, call Siam Rehab now.