Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)
There are many of options for psychotherapy, with different treatment approaches working best for different conditions.
Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is a talking therapy that can help you manage several psychological problems by changing the way you think and behave.
CBT will not remove your problems, but it can help you deal with them in a more positive way.
The concept of CBT is that your thoughts, emotions, physical sensations and behavior are all interconnected. Negative thoughts cause negative feelings can can lead to negative actions, and that can trap you in a vicious cycle.
In CBT, problems are broken down into five main areas:
Then showing you how to change these negative patterns to improve your feelings and and actions.
Unlike some other talking treatments, CBT deals with your current problems, and will not focus on your past. It looks for practical ways to improve your state of mind on a daily basis.
CBT has been shown to be an effective way of treating a number of different mental health conditions: for example depression or anxiety disorders, OCD, panic disorde, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), phobias, eating disorders, sleep problems, problems related to alcohol misuse. CBT is sometimes used to treat people with long-term health conditions, such as chronic
What happens during CBT sessions?
You will usually have a session with a therapist once a week or once every two weeks. The course of treatment will take an average of 10 sessions, with each session lasting 30-60 minutes.
During the sessions, you will work with your therapist to break down your problems into their separate parts – such as your thoughts, physical feelings and actions.
You and your therapist will analyse these areas to work out if they are unrealistic or unhelpful and to determine the effect they have on each other and on you. Your therapist will then be able to help you work out how to change unhelpful thoughts and behaviours.
Common CBT interventions include:
– Setting realistic goals and learning how to solve problems learning how to manage stress and anxiety
– Identifying situations that are often avoided and gradually approaching feared situations
– Identifying and engaging in enjoyable activities
– Identifying and challenging negative thoughts
– Learning to become aware of feelings, thoughts
The eventual aim of therapy is to teach you to apply the skills you have learnt during treatment to your daily life. This should help you manage your problems and stop them having a negative impact on your life – even after your course of treatment finishes.
Types of CBT
CBT can be carried out in several different forms, including:
– Individual therapy – one-to-one sessions with a therapist
– Group therapy – with others who wish to tackle a similar problem
– A self-help book – where you carry out exercises from the book
– Acomputer program – known as computerised CBT (CCBT)
If applied correctly, CBT can change your life.
Best of luck