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Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is evidenced based form of therapy used by our team of Brisbane Psychologists. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is an evidence-based therapy which focuses mostly on the way people think about things (including their attitudes and beliefs) and the way they behave. CBT is based on the understanding that thinking negatively is a habit, and, like any other bad habit, it can be modified. It helps people identify where their thoughts and actions are negative, and then to replace these “bad habits” with more helpful thoughts and responses.

CBT utilises both cognitive therapy and behaviour therapy. Cognitive therapy aims to identify and evaluate the unhelpful thoughts (or cognitions) that lead to negative feelings (e.g. depression, anxiety) and behaviours (e.g. avoiding friends). The treatment focuses on questioning thoughts and restructuring these with positive ways to think about difficult situations. Behaviour therapy is goal-oriented and aims to help people change unhealthy or unhelpful behaviours that cause them to suffer or lower their quality and enjoyment of life. For example, people who are depressed often enjoy fewer pleasurable activities and so your psychologist would work with you to identify pleasurable activities and develop a plan to increase your participation in them.

Finally, CBT not only helps you to understand, manage and challenge thought and behaviour patterns, but can also provide you with a range of useful and practical strategies to enhance your productivity, well-being and your ability to cope with various situations in everyday life.


Cognitive Behavioural Therapy to treat Drug and Alcohol Addiction

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 behavior that goes with it.

Central to CBT is developing a higher state of awareness, predicting negative behavior 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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