Cognitive Therapy for Substance Misuse

There is a large body of research on psychosocial interventions for substance misuse, but cognitive therapy for substance abuse disorders is a more recent development (Beck et al., 1993; Marlatt & Gordon, 1985; Thase, 1997) and to date the evidence base for cognitive therapy as a preferred treatment choice is weak. The largest study in this area assigned 1 726 people with alcohol-abuse problems to cognitive therapy, a facilitated 12-step programme or motivational interviewing. Improvements were observed in all groups but, contrary to the study's hypotheses, there was no evidence that treatment matching improved outcomes or that any one intervention achieved improved outcomes (Allen et al., 1997). Evidence for cognitive therapy's evidence base with other substance abuse problems is decidedly mixed.

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