In the initial sessions I will explain the ideas around CBT and get a picture of your early life and current difficulty. Thereafter we will focus on the ‘here and now’. Having identified a goal, we will work towards achieving it. This process will include identifiying ‘maintenance’ cycles, understanding your thinking and behaviours and how they are affecting you, as well as learning tecniques that can help you regulate your emotions.
You will be required to complete specific agreed tasks each week between your sessions, these can include:
- keeping a diary of situations that caused you difficulties and the thoughts and feelings you encountered, and what you did as a consequence
- undertaking ‘experiments’ whereby you test out a belief you currently hold
- practising tecniques such as relaxation exercises to help regulate emotion.
Research shows a link between completing homework exercises and the effectiveness of the therapy.
Sessions generally last 50 minutes, though it may be useful to have longer sessions on occasion. They will usually be once a week, though if you are experiencing depression or low mood, it can be useful in the initial stages, to attend twice a week to help you maintain motivation.