What is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy?
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, also known as CBT, is an active therapy that looks at the way our thoughts and feelings affect the way we behave. Within CBT, our early experiences are seen to shape the way we see the world, ourselves and others, causing us to develop particular ideas and beliefs. These can be helpful or unhelpful. Sometimes we can experience events that make us focus more on the unhelpful ideas and beliefs. When this happens, our thoughts, feelings and behaviours can be affected, keeping the difficulties going without us realising.
CBT can help you to weigh up the way you are viewing the world and your experiences, and consider what you, and others, can do differently to help you feel better and improve your lives. CBT can help to break problems down into smaller parts, and manage them more effectively.
What issues can we help with?
There is good evidence for the effectiveness of CBT for the following difficulties:
• anger management
• anxiety and panic attacks
• mood swings
• obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
• post-traumatic stress disorder
• eating problems
• general health problems
• sexual and relationship problems
• sleep problems
• drug or alcohol problems
What will happen during your assessment?
You will have an initial meeting to understand what the
difficulties are, and consider with your therapist what would be the most appropriate treatment. We will look at how your difficulties developed, and what keeps them going. Although CBT tends to focus on the here and now, you will be asked questions about your background and earlier experiences, as you may need to figure out how they affect you now. In addition, your therapist will be interested to know what has been helpful to date.
Together with your therapist, you will develop a shared understanding of your difficulties, agree some goals for the work, and develop an agreed plan. You will be asked to complete some questionnaires during the assessment that will help you and your therapist to monitor the progress of your work together over time.
What happens in a typical session?
In a typical session, you and your therapist will use different ways to think together about your difficulties. This might include talking, drawing, writing things down, or acting things out. Each session will usually follow a similar structure. This is likely to include:
How often does the therapy take place?
Individual CBT usually takes place on a weekly or fortnightly basis, with each session lasting between 45 to 60 minutes.
CBT is usually offered in blocks of treatment, which can be either short or longer term, ranging from around 6 to 20 sessions. In the first few sessions, your therapist will check that you can use this approach, and that you are comfortable with the way of working. As you come to the end of treatment it is likely that your sessions will be more spread out to give you a chance to put some of the things you have learnt into practice, and to help build your confidence in managing without ongoing therapy.
How else does it differ from other therapies?
CBT is an active therapy, which means that it involves you ‘doing’ things. You will practise doing things in the therapy, and then practise them in your own time and environment. CBT is a collaborative therapy, which involves you and your therapist deciding together about what you will do, and at what speed. This helps you to stay in control of the therapy.
131-133 Roman Road, Mountnessing
London EC2M 4NS
+44(0)1277 424 911
We also offer CBT Psychotherapy in Turkish and Danish
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