Behavioural Couples Therapy (BCT)

Behavioural couples therapy (BCT) is a form of counselling that helps in making an addicted individual’s personal relationships favourable for abstinence.
Behavioural couples therapy plays an integral part in addiction treatment as it helps those who suffer from a narcotic or alcohol addiction to clear away some of the wreckage of their past, as well as making relationships with family and friends stronger. Couples therapy also educates the non-addicted partner about addiction and what the newly recovering patients responsibilities are if they hope to stay clean & sober. It has also been found that behavioural couples therapy decreases the relapse risk of a recovering addict. Behavioural couples therapy is commonly done on a outpatient basis, that can span for over five months.

BCT focuses on the belief that your relationship can either support or hinder your recovery from addiction. By involving your partner in the treatment process, BCT aims to enhance your motivation to change, build positive communication skills and increase relationship satisfaction.

The history of BCT dates back to the early 1980s when it was first developed by the research team of O’Farrell and Fals-Stewart. Since then, it has been extensively studied and proven to be effective in reducing substance abuse and promoting better relationship functioning. BCT is typically provided in a structured format, often lasting for about 12 to 20 sessions.

During BCT, you and your partner will work with a therapist who specialises in addiction and relationship issues. The therapist will guide you through various techniques and interventions to address specific challenges. These can include developing effective conflict resolution strategies, setting and achieving mutual goals, enhancing positive communication and promoting behaviors that support sobriety.

One important aspect of BCT is the development of a recovery contract or contingency management plan. This contract outlines the rewards and consequences for substance use and abstinence, promoting accountability and commitment to sobriety within the relationship.

BCT is a powerful approach because it recognises and addresses the interdependence between addiction and relationship dynamics. It helps you and your partner create a supportive and nurturing environment that cultivates recovery and long-term relationship satisfaction.

In the addiction recovery community, BCT is recognised as an evidence-based treatment option that can lead to positive outcomes. It has been shown to reduce drug and alcohol use, decrease the risk of relapse and improve relationship functioning.

It is key to note that BCT may not be appropriate for everyone. The decision to engage in BCT should be based on an individual assessment and recommendation from your therapist or treatment provider.

What is Behavioural Couples Therapy (BCT)? - Addiction Guide

Discover how Behavioural Couples Therapy (BCT) can help address addiction and improve relationships. Get expert guidance in this guide. Get help from qualified counsellors.

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