More About CBT
CBT is a talking therapy, similar to counselling, but different in approach as it is structured. It is focussed on helping you overcome troubling thoughts or feelings and helps with a wide range of problems; emotional issues from anxiety to grief, disorders from OCD to insomnia, relationship issues from conflict to guilt or self-development issues like self-esteem and breaking habits.
It is a structured and pragmatic process, used in the NHS and recommended by NICE, which helps you identify what is causing an issue and then resolve it through making practical changes.
Because thoughts, emotions, feelings, actions and the situations you encounter are all related, the way these affect each other can sometimes lead to a negative cycle. CBT helps you to understand how these negative cycles happen, then make changes to break them and in doing so, feel better.
CBT is different from traditional psychotherapies as it focusses on current problems, their causes and how to resolve them through learning and practising skills, rather than being an open-ended process. It can help you resolve issues in a timely manner and aims to get you better as soon as possible while proceeding at a pace you are comfortable with.
The sessions are collaborative, meaning that we explore your issues together and agree a plan of how to tackle them.
We will initially assess if CBT is likely to be of help to you. I will ask questions about you and your life, what is troubling you, how this affects your life and relationships, and what you would like to achieve. I will also explain how the process works, and make sure you are comfortable with it.
After this initial period, we will work on breaking down your issues and examining your thoughts, feelings and behaviours to understand how they affect each other.
We will then work out how to make changes to help with your troubling thoughts and feelings and how to put these into practice in your everyday life. There is usually some homework between sessions to practice these changes and then in the following sessions we discuss how it went and how your thoughts and feelings may have changed.
Once you master the skills you need there will come a point where you will be able to use them on your own and so you will no longer need therapy. You can then take these skills forward into your everyday life, which will help you maintain the gains you made during your sessions.