What is CBT – Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) can provide a clear structure and focus for therapy. It has been thoroughly researched and has shown to be as effective as medication in treating depression and anxiety. CBT can also prevent relapse at the end of a course of therapy. CBT is used to treat: low mood, low self esteem, stress, general anxiety disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, post traumatic stress disorder, health anxiety, social anxiety, panic attacks, phobias, eating disorders, sleeping problems and many more psychological disorders.
Many people who come for therapy need to change something in their lives. The key idea behind CBT is that:
What you think and do affects the way you feel.
CBT is ‘present focussed’, that means it works with thoughts, feelings and behaviours in the here-and-now. Sometimes, through no fault of their own, people get ‘stuck’ in vicious cycles, that is, the things they do to solve a problem can inadvertently keep it going.
CBT is about finding out what is keeping us ‘stuck’ and making changes in our thinking and actions in order to improve the way we feel. CBT looks at what needs to be changed for the individual and then targets those specific areas.
The cognitive aspect of CBT looks at altering ways of thinking, such as a person’s thoughts, thinking patterns, beliefs, ideas, assumptions and mental imagery. It teaches us how some thinking patterns may be contributing to creating a distorted picture, which in turn, can lead to feeling’s of depression or anxiety.
The behavioural aspect of CBT helps us to meet any challenges in our lives with a calmer mind, which allows us to take actions that provide desirable results. The behavioural aspects can also help loosen the hold between difficult situations and any habitual reactions to them, such as fear or depression.
When engage in a cognitive behavioural approach to therapy, the therapist (or course facilitator should you choose to book on to one of our courses) will take an active part in helping you solve your difficulties and at times it may feel like you are being tutored or educated. You may be asked to complete ‘homework’ tasks to speed up the work done in the therapy sessions and you may also receive handouts (or a workbook if attending a course) which will remind you of what has been covered in the therapy sessions. This information will help build up a useful resource for relapse prevention.
CBT is a collaborative approach to therapy and therefore needs your active participation in order to be helpful. There is a lot of evidence to show it is an effective treatment