Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) concentrates on teaching skills and strategies to help people change behaviour patterns and has proven to be effective in treating a wide variety of psychiatric disorders. However, there is often a shortage of trained CBT practitioners so attention has shifted to new ways of delivering CBT, including by computer. A U.S. study of 77 drug users compared the effectiveness of traditional counselling to that of psychotherapy, supplemented by computer-assisted CBT. The computer-assisted therapy programme consisted of text, audio and videotaped examples designed to help the user learn new ways of avoiding the use of drugs and changing other problem behaviours. The participants who received computer-assisted training had significantly fewer positive drug tests at the conclusion of the study.
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