Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) can be helpful when you wish to work with a specific issue, for example regulating anxiety/stress, managing depression.
CBT is usually a short-term therapy, however, CBT is not a ‘quick fix’. The aim is for you to get to a place whereby you can become your own therapist and continue to work with what you have learnt on your own.
During CBT we will explore the relationship between your thoughts, emotions, physiological reactions and behaviour. Through a greater understanding of how your thoughts are linked to how you feel and what you do, you can instigate changes that can break the ‘vicious’ cycles that maintain the current difficulties.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy can be uesful for:
- panic attacks
- post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
What happens in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy?
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.