Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
What is CBT?
CBT (Cognitive Behaviour Therapy) is a talking therapy – it involves working one on one with a therapist over several sessions (often 6-12 but they can continue for several months if needed).
The aim of CBT is to break patterns of behaviour and thought processes that are negative, destructive or distressing.
CBT has grown in popularity in the last few years and has been supported by numerous studies showing it to be highly effective; for instance many show CBT to be as successful, if not more so, than antidepressants alone.
CBT is more ‘hands on’ than other traditional types of talking therapy, such as psychotherapy. The client may have worksheets and questionnaires to complete and it is common that ‘homework’ is given to embed learning between sessions.
If you are interested in starting CBT or another talking therapy, you can talk to one of our clinical advisors today about which option might be best for you.
We offer private CBT and therapy sessions from nationwide locations. Please call 0203 326 9160 or use the contact us form to request a call back.
How does CBT work?
CBT works with the relationship between thoughts, feelings and behaviours.
CBT is based on the theory that it is not the event itself which we find upsetting, but the meanings that we associate with the event. It is very common for people to start believing their negative thoughts, even when they are unfounded. These beliefs become so powerful they alter how we behave. As our behaviours reinforce our thoughts, a negative cycle starts (as described above).
For example – imagine someone with low self esteem, who feels terribly anxious about an upcoming meeting at work. In the build up to the meeting they think of all the things that can go wrong. They may think things like “I am awful at talking in front of others, I can’t get my words out. My colleagues must be ashamed of me. I really shouldn’t be trusted with this task.”
During the meeting, they feel terrible, sick to the stomach with nerves, stumbling over their words and unable to say all they wanted to. Afterwards they think of everything that they did wrong and are sure they have disappointed everyone. In this example, CBT would work with the initial thought ‘I am a disaster in meetings’ and unpick where those thoughts came from, if they are true and if they are helpful. CBT would teach useful strategies for coping with the anxiety and help improve future situations.
CBT is like an exercise programme for the mind, you repeatedly work on your negative or unhelpful thoughts, finding better alternatives.
What can CBT help with?
CBT is a NICE approved treatment for a wide variety of conditions, including:
- Anxiety, Stress, OCD, Panic, Phobias and Fears
- Eating Disorders, Body Dysmorphia
- Addictions including Alcohol and Drug Dependency
- Depression, Post Natal Depression
- Relationships, Sexual Issues
- Work and Career Issues
Is CBT right for me?
It can be really hard to know which therapy is the right one for your current circumstances. It’s normal for people to find one type of therapy works at a particular time in their lives, but then change to another type later on.
The key indicators that CBT might be a good choice for you are:
1. You are looking for something relatively short term – you can choose to stay in CBT (if paying privately) for as long as you like, but normally around 12 sessions is offered to start with.
2. You don’t want to work through past events in huge depth – whilst CBT will look at the circumstances that have caused your current difficulties, it won’t go over them in the same depth that therapies such as psychotherapy or humanistic will. If you have suffered prolonged trauma or abuse it may be that CBT is not the best choice for you. We can help you decide.
3. You are happy to complete ‘homework’ between sessions – people who are depressed or living in chaotic circumstance can find it hard to find the energy or time to do this.
4. You are interested in adopting better strategies to manage the difficulties in your life – this may sound obvious but in order for CBT to be effective you have to be willing to change the way you think and approach certain areas of your life
The good news is that many therapists who practice CBT also have training in other forms of talking therapy, so will be able to flex the sessions to suit your needs. Sometimes you might need to talk through something from the past and other times you might just want to learn some better coping mechanisms. Many of our therapists have more than one training and can do this.
How can Clinical Partners help me?
We really love talking therapies, we think they are a fantastic way of working through issues that are having a negative impact on your life and we have helped thousands receive compassionate, quality therapy from people who are some of the best in their field.
You can talk to one of our clinical advisors, who are all qualified therapists or assistant psychologists, about which type of therapy might be best for you. You will then be offered an appointment that is convenient to you. If you don’t feel it is the right type of therapy then you can contact us and we can find an alternative.
To speak to someone today about starting therapy please call 0203 326 9160 or use the contact us form to request a call back.