Alcohol Use Disorder Compared In Two Treatments: CBT And IPT


Treating alcohol use is commonly used with methods associated with CBT and IPT treatment options. CBT (Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy) is a common form of treatment used for alcohol abuse patients. This helps them identify personal behaviors that lead to the abuse. IPT (Interpersonal Therapy) deals with roles people (relationships and emotions) play in the development of substance abuse. One may be more effective than the other but it often depends of the needs of the patient in need. Each provides specific understanding of why the substance abuse is occurring and what can be done to stop it.


Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy is used to help people from relapsing back into their old behaviors. This form of therapy explores actions and behaviors that lead to a person using alcohol. They develop methods that help them use healthier options when they need to do something about a problem that is bothering them. There are special skills applied to the problem itself to help the patient develop stronger elements of self-control. Patients would learn how to identify situations that could put them at risk of abusing the substance and how to exercise self-control. A variety of methods including medicine, counseling and therapy may be used together during CBT.


Interpersonal Therapy focuses on what people do in relationship to a person dealing with an addiction. The patient may be dealing with pressures from their boss at work, their spouse or children, or business partnerships with friends. This therapy is a short-term solution compared to CBT. It focuses on grief that has yet to be resolved, transitional roles and disputes that occurred in the past. This form of therapy tries to repair and improve relationships the patient is in. The patient learns healthier ways to cope with problems through enhanced communication options.


When comparing one over the other in reference to alcohol use you would think both options are necessary. There are different reasons why a person would abuse alcohol. One option may be better for someone that likes people but wants to improve their relationships because they know alcohol is affecting it in a negative manner. The other option may be best for long term drinkers trying to make a change in their lives for the better with self-control. CBT requires a good amount of discipline while IPT takes a closer look at how to avoid self-destruction.

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