Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) is based on the concept that your thoughts, feelings, physical sensations and actions are interconnected, and that negative thoughts and feelings can trap you in a negative cycle.
This therapy aims to help you deal with overwhelming problems in a more positive way by breaking them down into smaller parts. You are shown how to change these negative patterns to improve the way you feel.
Unlike some other talking treatments, CBT deals with your current problems, rather than focusing on issues from your past. It provides practical ways to improve your state of mind on a daily basis.
What does CBT involve?
CBT is a great way of clarifying your thoughts and understanding why you may feel and behave the way you do.
It can be helpful to understand why we may think in certain ways and how we sometimes become stuck in unhelpful patterns of behaviour. CBT can help show you how to ‘change your mind’ and move on from crisis, and to support you in doing this.
CBT can be particularly helpful for treating recurrent anxiety and depression.
What conditions can CBT help with?
CBT can help with a range of issues, including:
- Anxiety Disorders
- Long-term illness
- Eating disorders and other forms of self-harm (such as cutting, scratching)
- Drug misuse
- Emotional problems
- Relationship issues
- Life changes
- Daily stress
What changes can it bring?
CBT can help you to:
- gain a better understand of your emotions and where they come from
- learn and practise new healthier methods of coping with life challenges
- discover the root causes of stress and difficult emotions
- make positive, healthy choices in your behaviour.
What does a session involve?
Your first session is about finding out from you why you’ve decided to come to therapy, what you are looking for, and what you want therapy to achieve. It may be you are looking for guidance with a specific issue, or you want someone to chat to about concerns. You will also be given information on confidentiality in relation to your sessions.
CBT is much more collaborative than some other therapies. It involves the therapist explaining how thoughts, feelings and behaviours are connected. Sometimes there is homework for the client to do away from the sessions.
Your therapist may also include Mindfulness as part of your sessions. Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we are doing. This means we are then not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what is going on around us. If we are taught how to do this, we can more effectively cope with day-to-day stresses and situations that have previously overwhelmed us.
Both Cognitive Behaviour Therapy and Mindfulness are approved by NICE for the treatment of mental health.
How many sessions will I need?
The number of sessions required varies upon the presenting issue or issues. Most treatments involve a minimum of six sessions, but more complex issues involving trauma can take longer. You can start at once a week or every two weeks and gradually reduce the frequency of your sessions as your treatment progress. You can also do six sessions, then come back for a ‘top up’ every now and then.
How much does it cost?
- Cognitive Behavioural Therapy information from Mind: www.mind.org.uk/information-support/drugs-and-treatments/talking-therapy-and-counselling/cognitive-behavioural-therapy-cbt
- NHS information on Mindfulness: www.nhs.uk/mental-health/self-help/tips-and-support/mindfulness
- NHS overview of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy: https://www.nhs.uk/mental-health/talking-therapies-medicine-treatments/talking-therapies-and-counselling/cognitive-behavioural-therapy-cbt/overview
- Transactional Analysis T