Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT)
Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is a short-term, goal-oriented psychotherapy treatment that takes a hands-on, practical approach to problem-solving. It’s goal is to change patterns of thinking or behaviour that underlie people’s difficulties, and so change the way they feel. CBT is based on the well-researched theory that thoughts, feelings, behaviour and how our body feels are all connected. If we change one of these, we can alter the others.
When people feel worried, down or distressed we often fall into patterns of thinking and responding which can worsen how we feel. CBT works to help us notice and change problematic thinking styles or behaviour patterns so we can feel better. CBT has lots of strategies that can help you in the here and now.
CBT has a good evidence base for a wide range of mental health problems in adults. 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 phobias, panic attacks and post-traumatic stress disorder)
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
- Bipolar disorder
There is also good evidence that CBT is helpful in treating many other conditions, including:
- Chronic fatigue
- Chronic pain
- Physical symptoms without a medical diagnosis
- Sleep difficulties
- Anger management
- FND (Functional Neurological Disorder)
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.
How CBT is delivered.
I offer CBT in individual sessions. The number of sessions you need will depend on the difficulty you need help with. This will usually be between six and twenty sessions (though for chronic conditions more sessions may be needed). A session lasts 50 minutes.
During assessment we will discuss your specific difficulties, formulate what led to these difficulties and identify the changes you would like to make. Together we will work to find ways to help you make these changes. CBT is not a quick fix – it involves hard work during and between sessions but I will be there to coach you along the way. I will also be able to advise you on how to continue using CBT techniques in your daily life after your treatment ends. Ultimately, CBT teaches you how to be your own therapist and will prepare you to face challenges you will encounter in your life.