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Research suggests that Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is proving to increase the chances of long term sobriety, lessening the chance of relapse. The question psychologists pose when treating a client using cognitive behavioural therapy, is what drives the compulsion to use drugs or alcohol in the first place? Focusing on the underlying issue rather than the physical dependence, CBT looks at thinking and behavioural patterns, replacing negative or unhelpful behaviours or habits with positive, healthy alternatives.

CBT is about understanding why a person abuses drugs and alcohol and addresses the underlying need, providing long term strategies to change habits.  Individuals applying cognitive behavioural strategies learn to recognise unhelpful thinking and behaviour and correct it by applying tactics that stop drug or alcohol abuse and the problematic behaviour that goes with it.

Central to CBT is developing a higher state of awareness, predicting negative behaviour and enhancing client’s self-control with effective coping strategies. More specifically, exploring the negative consequences of long term drug and alcohol abuse and managing long term change.

Many of the Clinical Psychologists at Psychology Consultants are trained specifically in treating drug addiction using cognitive behavioural therapy. To view the full team of psychologists, visit the Brisbane Psychologist page.


NIDA (2012). Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment: A Research-Based Guide (Third Edition). Retrieved January 16, 2017, from https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/principles-drug-addiction-treatment-research-based-guide-third-edition


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