Alcoholics Anonymous and Cognitive behavioral therapy

What kind of therapy is Alcoholics Anonymous?

You might think Alcoholic Anonymous is just a bunch of meetings that helps a person to achieve sobriety and takes all the craving and alcohol problems away from them. Well, it isn’t that simple. There actually is a term for this therapy. The therapy is called HTP or Helper Therapy Principle.

The helper therapy principle (HTP is gaining some health benefits from a helper. This, of course, is not direct but through the helper’s shared malady and how he or she faced it with courage and how they succeeded.

What HTP took in by the Alcoholic Anonymous actually does is it helps in diminishing the egocentrism in the alcoholic person. Egocentrism means the inability to distinguish between their thoughts and other people’s thoughts.

These people are like children. They think that everyone sees the work like they see it. For example, if a toddler has no idea about a certain subject believes that everyone is like him and they don’t know anything either.

So, egocentrism is one of the main reasons of addiction and any alteration to it can be pretty vital in a person’s well-being. This article will help you by comparing this therapy and its effectiveness to CBT and finding something similar if any.

Read About How effective is Alcoholics Anonymous?

What Is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?

Cognitive behavioral therapy also known as CBT is a short-term and goal-oriented psychotherapy treatment which takes more of a hands-on and practical approach to problem-solving. Its primary goal is to change patterns of behavior and thinking that are behind people’s difficulties, and subsequently, change the way they feel.

It is a wide concept which is used for treating a lot of issues of people which includes small problems like sleeping difficulties, to social problems like relationship problem, to problems like alcohol and drug abuse as well as depression and anxiety.

Basically, CBT works entirely by making people focus on beliefs, thoughts, images and attitudes which constitute one’s cognitive processes and by observing how the change in such cognitive processes changes the person as a whole and his behavior and ways to tackle certain problems that he is going through.

This therapy is comparatively short and said to be effective as well. This therapy lasts for about 5-10 months depending on the degree of the problems and generally, clients have to visit once a week for 50 minutes for the therapy to go all effective. The best thing about this therapy is that in a very limited time, a lot of things are covered which are extremely useful as well.

During this short time, the therapist and client work together for understanding what specific problems are going on and they create and develop their own new strategies for tackling them. CBT is not all random because it introduces patients to a set of principles in order to make sure that they can apply these principles whenever they need to and this can last them a lifetime.

Read About How to attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings?

Cognitive behavioral therapy can be taken as a combination of behavioral therapy and psychotherapy. Psychotherapy focuses on the importance of the personal meaning we have on things and how all these thinking patterns begin already in childhood.

Behavioral therapy, on the other hand, pays close attention to the relationship between our behavior, our thoughts, and our problems. Most of the psychotherapists who practice Cognitive behavioral therapy have their own unique way of treating each patient as they work on each patient to personalize and customize the therapy.

How are Alcoholics Anonymous and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy related?

Apart from the fact that both of these are used in treating people with addiction, they are related to their principles and how they work as well.

The only significant difference in their working style is that AA is more flexible than Cognitive behavioral therapy as it doesn’t require you to change your thoughts and behavior until you want to and AA does make you want to do that because listening to people who have done great after retaining their sobriety has a psychological effect on mind and that perfectly works for your advantage.

Here are some similarities and differences that are listed in points.

Both of them works by playing with a person’s psychology. These therapies try to alter the way you perceive things and tackle your problems. Both of them set an image of an alcoholic you and sober you and make you believe that you with sobriety are a completely different and better person than the ‘alcoholic you’.

Cognitive behavioral therapy is more of a one-to-one therapy. There is a therapist and a client and client puts forward a problem he has and the therapist tries to tweak the therapy which suits the client and starts his therapy. This doesn’t happen with AA. Alcoholics Anonymous is like a group discussion session.

Different people share their common problems and how they are tackling it to help others improve by being influenced by it.

Though there may be differences in how Alcoholics Anonymous and Cognitive behavioral therapy works, the ultimate similarity between them comes from the fact that Alcoholics Anonymous can be counted under Cognitive behavioral therapy.

Both of them try altering the ideas in a person’s mind and any kinds of habits they have can be altered. In Cognitive behavioral therapy, it is more of a direct approach but Alcoholics Anonymous has this indirect but effective approach as it includes an emotional way to convincing people.

Leave a Reply