Psychologists use Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) approaches supported by research. CBT empowers the individual by providing information and teaching strategies and skills to cut down or stop using alcohol or drugs, in addition to addressing lifestyle changes and other important issues relating to your use. CBT looks at how our cognitions (thoughts) impact on both our emotions (eg. anxiety, depression, anger, shame) and our behaviours (what we do), including substance-taking behaviour. The CBT programs vary depending on the type of drug, and when working with a clinical psychologist, can be tailored to meet individual needs. CBT sessions broadly involve:

  • Initial interview and assessment
  • Psychoeducation on presenting problems and symptoms
  • Assessing readiness and motivation to change
  • Identification of barriers, risk factors and triggers
  • Introducing and maintaining lifestyle and behaviour changes
  • Identifying unhelpful thinking styles and developing thought challenging skills
  • Practicing coping strategies to manage stress
  • Learning distress tolerance and mindfulness techniques
  • Relapse prevention strategies