What is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)?

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) is a form of talking therapy. Within this therapy individuals learn about how they view themselves, the world and other people and how this impacts on a persons thoughts, feelings and behaviours. The therapist and the client work collaboratively to help alter negative thinking patters and problematic behaviours. During the sessions the client and therapist explore problems and how these impacting on the present day. Rather than reflecting on the past for significant periods of time, a focus is paid towards the here and now, and how change can make the individual feel better.

  • Thoughts

  • Feelings

  • Behaviours

Who should see a Cognitive Behavioural Therapist?

The simple answer to this is that therapy is for anyone. CBT in particular is used as a method of talking therapy to help promote change in individual’s thoughts, feelings and behaviours. These changes then help individuals to get through difficult and problematic situations that they are experiencing in their lives. Overall, therapy helps to provide individuals with a deeper level of understanding into themselves, others and the world around them.

What problems can Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) help me with?

CBT is very effective for a number of different problems including but not exclusive to:

  • Anger
  • Anxiety (General, Social, Health)
  • Behavioural Problems
  • Eating Disorders
  • Chronic Fatigue / Sleep Problems / Insomnia
  • Relationship problems / Divorce / Separation
  • Depression
  • Drug / Alcohol Problems
  • Addictions (Gaming, Gambling, Sex)
  • Chronic Pain
  • Phobias
  • Bereavement
  • Panic Attacks
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Low Self Esteem / Low Self Confidence
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • Retirement Issues
  • Self Harm / Suicidal Ideations
  • Weight Reduction
  • Work Related Stress
  • Personal Development
  • Personality Disorders
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Bullying
  • Adoption Issues
  • Sexuality / Gender Issues
  • Intimacy / Sex Difficulties
  • Schizophrenia
  • Loss of Purpose / Meaning of Life
  • Domestic Abuse
Are the sessions confidential?

Everything you say to us is confidential, however, if we feel that your life may be in serious danger we may inform another person such as a doctor for your own safety. If this was the case the therapist would discuss this with you during the session.

What evidence is there to show that Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) works?

Previous studies have shown that CBT is an effective treatment for several different disorders. Research has also suggested that CBT is more effective than no treatment, psychotherapy, pill placebo and nondirective therapy. Generally, CBT is a therapy that clients are keen to engage in as it is fairly short and subsequently has low drop out rates.

How can I prepare for Cognitive Behavioural Therapy?

Firstly it is a good idea to think about what your expectations for therapy are and what you would like to achieve. Think about the sort of changes that you would like to make. It may also be good to think about what symptoms and problem behaviours have been causing you the most difficulty.

How do Cognitive Behavioural Therapists help clients to become their own therapists?

Over the course of therapy, the therapist and client identify the problematic behaviours and then work through different skills that can help the indiviudal to overcome them. Clients are then asked to practice these skills during the week until they become part of their everyday lives. This helps clients to play an active role in their treatment programme and helps them to decide what works for them. When treatment ends, patients are able to use the skills and tools they have learned in therapy in their day-to-day lives.

What about taking medication?

Some individuals who engage in CBT may have been prescribed medication as well. If you are taking medication this will not hinder your therapy your therapist will encouarge you to continue to take medication as it has been prescribed to you and consult the prescribing doctor should you wish to change the medication. However, many patients are treated succesfully with CBT without medication at all.

How will I know if the therapy is working?

Many patients notice a decrease in their symptoms within a few weeks of therapy, or even sooner, however eveyone is different. Individuals who are motivated to engage in the sessions weekly and complete the suggested work outside of the sessions are more likely to experience a reduction of problematic symptoms more quickly.

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