What is CBT?
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is a talking therapy that has been proven to help with a wide range of difficulties. CBT looks at our thoughts, feelings and behaviours and how these are linked; the way we feel
is affected by the way we think and behave. Problems are broken
down into smaller parts so that we can disrupt the negative cycles we find
ourselves stuck in. This means we can start to break things down and understand what can sometimes feel like overwhelming problems or emotions. More specifically, the therpaist and client work together in changing behaviours, or thinking patterns, or both.
How does it work?
CBT helps you to learn techniques to better manage your
thoughts and behaviour in order to reduce the intensity of the emotions
experienced, and therefore reduce the distressing physical symptoms. CBT is
mainly concerned with how you think and act in the present moment. Although CBT usually focuses on the here and now it doesnt rule out the past, sometimes talking about the past can help us to understand some of the our current patterns in our thinking and behaviour.
You and your therapist will discuss your specific difficulties, you will be encouraged to consider what you would like to achieve from therapy and how you would like things to be different. These form the goals that the sessions will focus on, meaning the therpay is designed to help you to begin to achieve your goals. CBT involves a collaborative approach, it is not a quick fix and your therapist will not tell you what to do. The tools learned are applicable to every day situations so that you can continue to make progress even when you have completed sessions with your therapist.
Who can benefit from it?
Research has shown that CBT is effective in working with a number of difficulties, including:
Anxiety disorders (including panic attacks and PTSD)
Physical symptoms without a medical diagnosis
CBT is recommended by the NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) guidelines for a number of difficulties based on research demonstrating the effectiveness of CBT. The NICE guidelines produce independent evidence based guidance for the NHS on how to treat certain health conditions.
What can I expect from a CBT session?
CBT is offered in individual sessions. Your therapist will encourage you to talk about your thoughts, feelings and experiences. Don't worry if you find it hard to open up about your feelings, your therapist will help you to gain more confidence and comfort with this. During the sessions you will work with your therapist in a collaborative way, planning the session content together in order to begin working towards the goals you have identified. The therapeutic relationship is important within CBT so your therapist will spend some time building this with you, your therapist will not tell you what to do but instead will help you to decide what difficulties you would like to work on in order to improve your situation.