A Little introduction to Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
What is CBT?
Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is a form of talking therapy which can be used to treat people with a wide range of mental health problems.
CBT is based on the idea that how we think (cognition), how we feel (emotion) and how we act (behaviour) all interact together. Specifically, our thoughts determine our feelings and our behaviour.
Therefore, negative and unrealistic thoughts can cause us distress and result in problems. When a person suffers with psychological distress, the way in which they interpret situations becomes skewed, which in turn has a negative impact on the actions they take.
CBT aims to help people become aware of when they make negative interpretations, and of behavioural patterns which reinforce the distorted thinking. Cognitive therapy helps people to develop alternative ways of thinking and behaving which aims to reduce their psychological distress.
CBT Really Works
CBT has a thorough evidence base for a wide range of mental health problems in adults, older adults, children and young people. This research has been carefully reviewed by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), who provide independent, evidence-based guidance for the NHS on the most effective ways to treat disease and ill health.
What can CBT help with?
NICE recommends CBT in the treatment of the following conditions:
Anxiety disorders (including panic attacks and post-traumatic stress disorder)
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
Schizophrenia and psychosis
There is also good evidence that CBT is helpful in treating many other conditions, including:
Physical symptoms without a medical diagnosis
CBT can be used if you are on medication which has been prescribed by your GP. You can also use CBT on its own. This will depend on the difficulty you want help with. Get in touch with me to discuss if CBT is for you.
How CBT is delivered
CBT can be offered in individual sessions with a therapist or as part of a group. At Sparc-CBT I concentrate on the individual, in a 1-1 environment. The number of sessions you need depends on the difficulty you need help with.
This will usually be between six and twenty sessions, typically of an hour long, in a confidential space to allow us to work together to explore your reasons for coming.
As your Therapist I can help you to notice any patterns in thinking or behaviours, which might be keeping problems going, and can offer information about different CBT techniques (strategies and tools) which could help.
You and I, will discuss your specific difficulties and set goals for you to achieve. I will not tell you what to do, instead I will encourage you to talk about what’s going on for you in a way to uncover the root cause and consider your specific ways of thinking that may not be helpful to you. Together we will set an action plan and set goals, which we will review regularly to see if they are working or not. If they are working then we will continue, however, if they aren’t, then we will try something else until we do find ways that help you cope and resolve your areas of difficulty.
CBT involves hard work during and between sessions e.g. keeping track of what you are thinking, feeling and doing, or trying out new ways of thinking or acting. I will not make decisions for you. I will help you decide what difficulties you want to work on in order to help you improve your situation. As your therapist I will be able to advise you on how to continue using CBT techniques in between our sessions to support you in coping outwith the therapy room and beyond in your daily life after your treatment ends.