Cognitive Therapy of Substance Abuse  book cover
1st Edition

Cognitive Therapy of Substance Abuse

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ISBN 9781572306592
Published March 15, 2001 by Guilford Press
354 Pages

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Book Description

Cognitive therapy offers a well-documented and cost-effective psychosocial treatment model for working with substance abuse disorders. Comprehensive and accessible, this volume clearly details the cognitive model of addiction, the specifics of case formulation, management of the therapeutic relationship, and the structure of the therapy sessions. It discusses how to educate patients in the treatment model and procedures and manage their cravings and urges for drugs and alcohol. Specific cognitive and behavioral strategies and techniques are described in detail, as are methods for understanding and working with patients who present concomitant problems of depression, anxiety, low frustration tolerance, anger, and personality disorders. Also addressed are such significant issues as crisis management and relapse prevention. Enhancing the utility of the volume are appendices featuring sample client inventories and checklists. These forms are designed to help the clinician identify targets for intervention, track progress over time, and develop an individualized relapse prevention plan for each client.

Table of Contents

1. Overview of Substance Abuse
2. Cognitive Model of Addiction
3. Theory and Therapy of Addiction
4. The Therapeutic Relationship and Its Problems
5. Formulation of the Case
6. Structure of the Therapy Session
7. Educating Patients in the Cognitive Model
8. Setting Goals
9. Techniques of Cognitive Therapy
10. Dealing with Craving/Urges
11. Focus on Beliefs
12. Managing General Life Problems
13. Crisis Intervention
14. Therapy of Depression in Addicted Individuals
15. Anger and Anxiety
16. Concomitant Personality Disorders
17. Relapse Prevention in the Cognitive Therapy of Substance Abuse

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Aaron T. Beck, MD, is the founder of cognitive therapy, University Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania, and President Emeritus of the Beck Institute for Cognitive Behavior Therapy. Dr. Beck is the recipient of awards including the Albert Lasker Clinical Medical Research Award, the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Psychological Association, the Distinguished Service Award from the American Psychiatric Association, the James McKeen Cattell Fellow Award in Applied Psychology from the Association for Psychological Science, and the Sarnat International Prize in Mental Health and Gustav O. Lienhard Award from the Institute of Medicine. He is author or editor of numerous books for professionals and the general public.


As pioneers in the field of cognitive therapy, Dr. Beck and his colleagues have applied their wealth of knowledge and experience with this modality to the treatment of substance abuse. The result is a well-written, lucid, thought-provoking book. Numerous case examples, filled with concrete recommendations regarding how to handle difficult situations, help make this book enormously valuable for clinicians working with substance abusers. Few books offer so much--a coherent theoretical framework, guidelines for conducting treatment, and a thoughtful analysis of the research literature. This is a much needed contribution to the field. --Roger D. Weiss, MD, McLean Hospital

This book offers the reader some excellent support in working with those individuals who suffer from the disease of addiction. This book is both practical and helpful. Identifying and changing cognitive distortions common to drug and alcohol abusers both assists in obtaining a recovery program based on abstinence as well as maintaining sobriety. I particularly enjoyed the examples of specific sessions between client and therapist. They offer a clear and demonstrative view of how this material can be useful in almost any clinical setting. --Katie Evans, CADC NCACII, Addiction Counselor

This is a wonderfully practical volume written in the classic style of Beck and collaborators. It sets forth masterful techniques in a clear straightforward fashion. The specific examples of therapy sessions are especially helpful for the beginning therapist. This book is much more than a manual because it deals with history and theory. However, in its role as a manual, it clearly tells the therapist how to do it in an interesting and readable fashion. I particularly like the coping with cravings section. The authors demonstrate their experience with substance abusers obtained during several controlled treatment studies involving cognitive therapy as one of the treatment modalities in drug dependent individuals. The cognitive behavioral techniques described for coping and craving show ingenuity and understanding of the problem. This book has nuggets of information even for experienced therapists, but it is a special gold mine for the novice. --Charles P. O'Brien, M.D., Ph.D., Chief of Psychiatry, VA Medical Center

Aaron Beck, Fred Wright, Cory Newman, and Bruce Liese have written the definitive volume on cognitive therapy for substance abuse. From its detailed history of research and thinking about addiction, to its carefully outlined therapy sessions and testing material, to its specifics about concurrent treatment for anxiety, depression, and personality disorders, this book immediately becomes the primary reference in the field. Moreover, understanding the long history and success of Dr. Beck's pre-eminent therapeutic work for depression and anxiety gives readers inordinate confidence that the methods described here really work. --Stanton Peele, Ph.D., Author, The Truth About Addiction And Recovery

This is a remarkable and valuable book! Dr. Beck's internationally heralded contributions to psychotherapy were first directed at disorders of mood and thought. He and his colleagues now apply his cognitive approach to substance abuse, with strong theoretical grounding, and with great clinical acumen. Because of its straightforward descriptions of technique, this book is of material value to both students and experienced clinicians alike. --Marc Galanter, M.D., Director, Division of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse and Professor of Psychiatry, New York University

Beck's cognitive approaches to psychotherapy have had a greater impact, than any other innovation, on the treatment of depression, personality disorders, and substance abuse, and are classics in the psychiatric literature. This long awaited textbook expands on and explicates Aaron Beck's applications of cognitive therapy of the addictions with lucid, useful integration and wise explanation of theory and practice. The book is full of case material, concrete suggestions, and practical advice on how to formulate treatment plans, change patient beliefs, educate patients, alter response to external and internal stimuli and feeling states which lead to relapse and to develop new tools in coping with craving and managing life problems. It is a landmark work that will be widely read and will inform the practice of all therapists. Anyone interested in clinical work with addicted patients will be richly rewarded by studying this treasure trove of wise and easy to apply techniques that enhance treatment results. --Richard J. Frances, Director, Department of Psychiatry, Hackensack Medical Center and Professor of Clinical Psychiatry, UMDNJ - New Jersey Medical School
[This] textbook explicates and expands on Aaron Beck's applications of cognitive therapy to the addictions with lucid, useful integration and a wide explanation of theory and practice....The techniques used are clearly described and can be used for treatment outcome research to validate the cognitive approach versus other approaches, and to look for subpopulations in which cognitive therapy makes special sense.
--General Hospital Psychiatry, 1/18/2001ƒƒ
I will refer to and recommend this book as a bountiful clinical guide....Bolstered by outcome data, this wise and hopeful book will greatly advance integration of cognitive therapy into addiction treatment programs.
--Contemporary Psychology, 1/18/2001ƒƒIn Cognitive Theory of Substance Abuse, Beck and his us to understand the way the addicts' subjective interpretations of intrinsic and extrinsic stimuli lead to addictive behavior. They offer a carefully developed theoretical model, a sizable number of carefully structured therapeutic techniques, and illustrative examples of therapist–patient exchanges....One important aspect of this cognitive format is that its techniques can be combined with other therapeutic approaches to addiction, such as the use of AA, family supports, and social network supports....Practitioners of these modalities would do well to adapt the cognitive approach in their work. Such applications will indeed be of great value to an emerging body of substance abuse practitioners, whose techniques will inevitably be eclectic in nature.--American Journal of Psychiatry, 1/18/2001ƒƒ
The strength of the authors' approach is exemplified by the clarity and concision of their writing, and by the operationalization of their constructs....Constitutes a 'gold standard' for the field.
--Journal of Cognitive Psychotherapy, 1/18/2001ƒƒ
Dr. Beck's stamp is most definitely on this book. He brings a certain clarity to a direct, in-depth discussion of the use of cognitive therapy to treat substance abuse. This is a rich, utilitarian book for clinicians.
--Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, 1/18/2001