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Brilliant Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, 2nd Edition by Dr. Stephen Briers

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Introducing the cognitive model of addiction

The following model illustrates some of the main features of the cognitive model of addiction. These features explain how addictions and habits are established, and why they then become so hard to break.

Aaron Beck proposed that early experiences and key life events create mindsets that dispose some people towards addictive behaviours. For example, if your father was always in the habit of pouring himself a large whiskey after getting in from work, you might have absorbed the belief that ‘regularly drinking alcohol is normal and good way to relax’. On the other hand, if you have had the misfortune to suffer trauma or abuse in childhood, the common knowledge that people sometimes use drugs to numb emotional ...

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