What Is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a form of psychological treatment that has been demonstrated to be effective for a range of problems including depression, anxiety disorders, alcohol and drug use problems, marital problems, eating disorders and severe mental illness. Numerous research studies suggest that CBT leads to significant improvement in functioning and quality of life. In many studies, CBT has been demonstrated to be as effective as, or more effective than, other forms of psychological therapy or psychiatric medications.

It is important to emphasize that advances in CBT have been made on the basis of both research and clinical practice. Indeed, CBT is an approach for which there is ample scientific evidence that the methods that have been developed actually produce change. In this manner, CBT differs from many other forms of psychological treatment.

CBT is based on several core principles, including:

  • Psychological problems are based, in part, on faulty or unhelpful ways of thinking.
  • Psychological problems are based, in part, on learned patterns of unhelpful behavior.
  • People suffering from psychological problems can learn better ways of coping with them, thereby relieving their symptoms and becoming more effective in their lives.

CBT treatment usually involves efforts to change thinking patterns. These strategies might include:

  • Learning to recognize one’s distortions in thinking that are creating problems, and then to reevaluate them in light of reality.
  • Gaining a better understanding of the behavior and motivation of others.
  • Using problem-solving skills to cope with difficult situations.
  • Learning to develop a greater sense of confidence is one’s own abilities.

CBT treatment also usually involves efforts to change behavioral patterns. These strategies might include:

  • Facing one’s fears instead of avoiding them.
  • Using role playing to prepare for potentially problematic interactions with others.
  • Learning to calm one’s mind and relax one’s body.

Not all CBT will use all of these strategies. Rather, the psychologist and patient/client work together, in a collaborative fashion, to develop an understanding of the problem and to develop a treatment strategy.

CBT places an emphasis on helping individuals learn to be their own therapists. Through exercises in the session as well as “homework” exercises outside of sessions, patients/clients are helped to develop coping skills, whereby they can learn to change their own thinking, problematic emotions and behavior.

CBT therapists emphasize what is going on in the person’s current life, rather than what has led up to their difficulties. A certain amount of information about one’s history is needed, but the focus is primarily on moving forward in time to develop more effective ways of coping with life.

What is Minessota model and alcohol addiction therapy?

On the basis of experience of many medical centres focused on treating addiction we can draw the only conclusion that the only possible way to fight addiction is a to live life in complete sobriety. It could be perceived as an easily achievable goal. However, do not be mistaken. It is a great deception and everyone who has ever fought against addiction knows how insidious an illness called addiction is.

An alcohol addict to whom alcohol is a cure for every trouble and the main companion in his life now has to refuse this way of solving all his problems. It is necessary to realize that satisfying sober life is something what has to be learnt step by step. If you want it, you need to find appropriate program and therapy as the right preparation for curing your illness. The goal of the treatment is mainly to acquire skills which will allow you to react to everyday problems and severity of life differently and truly effectively rather than to use deceitful help of alcohol. Science has found a constructive way of solving problems and it is possible to find a way to your goal in a couple of month, or even a couple of weeks. The process of curing is slow and lasts for years, even after years of sobriety an alcoholic is prone to fail. Therefore, the beginning of your sober life should be supported by strong intensive treatment, which will lead you step by step to the goal of living healthy and happy life. The most intensive treatment programme is based on  Minnesota model.

This programme includes 28 days of intensive therapy in small groups or individually, with the support of experienced abstaining alcoholic. This programme was developed in the United States as a result of cooperation of psychologist and psychotherapist specialized in addiction treatment and was combined with experience of society of Alcoholics Anonymous. The basic assumption of this treatment is a special approach to alcoholism as an illness which is different from other psychological disorders. Alcoholism is defined as primary, chronical, progressive and lethal illness and (what is the most important) self caused. It is obvious, that the root of this illness lies in biological, psychological and also environmental factors. Apart from this, it assumes that the initial motivation – or the lack of it – is essential for the result of the treatment.

The Minnesota model is based on 12 step therapeutic program which is used by Alcoholics Anonymous. In the intensive version of the treatment the goal was restricted to maintaining sobriety, giving and receiving helplessness over alcohol and stimulating powerful start in the change of his thinking and lifestyle. The patient takes part not only in group and individual treatment, but also in the meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous. This community helps him to believe that it is possible to stop progression of the illness and that it is possible to maintain sobriety. This treatment of alcoholism is focused on finding a solution how to overcome the illness by realizing your thoughts and feelings and its connection to concrete events in your life. All of it is happening via developing and incessant use of new way of experiencing your life events and practicing safe reactions to them. In the initial phase, it is crucial to maintain sobriety, after that personal growth, spiritual and self-awareness.

The basic step:

The basic step when the addicted decides to commence treatment is a breakthrough for her as well as for his milieu. It is crucial that the treatment is professional, well planned and effective at this point. And vice versa, even the most experienced psychotherapist can not help someone who is not willing to be treated or is not motivated enough.

The essential fact that can cause an inappropriate choice of the institution providing treatment is the lack of basic knowledge about alcoholism. There is no miraculous cure for alcoholism and other addictions. It is impossible to expect results fast and without any effort, only because a payment has been made. There are differences between institions providing treatment. The differences can be found in the quality of accomodation and place the therapies are taken, regime, intensity of therapy, approach to patients and in the degree to which an individual approach can be provided, in the size of therapeutic groups, professionality of the team and what the institution has to offer in additional sport or work treatment. MMC is the best equipped centre in Europe with its sports grounds, swimming pool, fitness and rehabilitation procedures.