What is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)?
CBT is type of talking therapy that aims to help people suffering with a wide variety of mental health disorders, as well as adjusting with physical health problems. The principal aim of the treatment is to support the person to make changes in their emotions, thoughts and behavioural patterns. In effect CBT is a combination of few psycho-therapeutic approaches, Cognitive Therapy and Behavioural Therapy. CBT is sometimes used alone or in addition to medication, depending on the type and severity of the condition being treated.
Cognitive therapy is based on the principle that certain thoughts can trigger mental health problems. Our cognitive processes are mental processes that may include thought, beliefs, attitudes, ideas, memories, images and much more. The therapist would try to help you identify and re-evaluate your belifes with aim to have more realistic or helpful thoughts.
Behavioural Therapy focuses on identifying, understanding and re-evaluating behavioural patterns. The therapist will help you identify more helpful behavioural pattern and support you in the change process by learning alternative coping strategies.
Is CBT different from other talking therapies?
CBT is a problem focused and structured approach. In comparison to other psychotherapies the focus is on the 'here and now' or how our cognition and behaviours are affecting us. There is a recognition that events in our past have shaped the way we currently think and behave. However the past is discuses primarily for the purpose of identifying current cognitive and behavioural patterns.
In comparison to counselling, CBT therapists are more proactive in treatment. We would aim to work together towards achieving your goals. We will ensure to adopting the treatment to your needs and tune up to the right pacing for your abilities. Most importantly, I would provide you with my support to enable you to make the desired changes.
Effectiveness of CBT
CBT has been shown to be clinically effective for various health problems and has undergone numerous treatment trials. CBT is currently the recommended treatment strategy from National Institute for Clinical Excellence.
CBT has long-term benefits by learning emotion regulation strategies that can be used for the rest of your life. The treatment can be done in combination with antidepressant medication, but in some circumstances I may recommend for you to start or review your medication with your GP.
Unfortunately CBT does not suit everyone. In order for the treatment to be effective you will need to be proactive in your attempts of improving your mental health problem. You have to be able to commit to the therapy as the treatment can be challenging and would involve regular between session assignments.