A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is a form of talking therapy suitable for a wide range of emotional and physical conditions. A typical course of CBT involves exploration of your problem, followed by an individual treatment and action plan. CBT is a collaborative therapy where we work together to solve your problems.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy has been well researched and is recommended by NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) as the preferred treatment for depression and anxiety-based conditions (GAD - General Anxiety Disorder, phobias, panic attacks). It’s also beneficial for many other problems, such as health anxiety, OCD, stress, social anxiety, insomnia, IBS, fear of public speaking and exam stress, as well as dealing with emotional difficulties such as guilt, shame, anger among others. It can also benefit people dealing with long term health conditions, menopause symptoms and with pain management.
CBT is an umbrella term for a way of managing psychological problems. It's rooted in the understanding that our thoughts and feelings impact on our emotions, moods, the way we behave and our physical symptoms. Left unchecked, patterns of unhelpful thoughts and core beliefs can spiral further negative patterns of thought and unhelpful behaviours, creating vicious cycles, which make life into more of a struggle than it needs to be, and taking us away from contentment and making the most of life. CBT helps you to become aware of what is holding you back and arms you with the knowledge and tools to think and behave in new, more supportive ways.
If we work together, I treat you as a unique individual with your own set of problems. Treatment techniques will vary depending on your needs and what works for you. Throughout therapy, I encourage you to take control of your problems, while offering support, techniques and a pick and mix of challenging, and informative work which will set you up to leave therapy able to apply these in your daily life.
A simple example would be Eddie (I've made him up to introduce you to the idea of CBT.) Eddie is nervous about his forthcoming driving test. Lots of us can relate to this... He thinks that he has to pass his test this time. He starts to think that he'll never pass, that he's useless. How will he ever pull off a reverse turn if his hands are shaking so much at the wheel? He’s waking up in a sweat about it, losing sleep, feeling anxious and it’s having a knock-on effect on things he usually enjoys. He's even wondered if a drink might help the night before. He’s now cancelled his next lesson as he feels sick at the thought of it. Eddie has an unhelpful belief that he has to pass his driving test, and thinks that, if he does fail, he is a failure... In CBT we would learn to challenge that belief then test the multitude of self-defeating thoughts and behaviours that arise from it. CBT will help Eddie to confront his fear cognitively (by changing his relationship to his thoughts), and behaviourally (by acting in a way that is helpful and conducive to what he wants). And so, by tackling these areas, Eddie will start to feel less anxious, and able to concentrate on the real task of passing his driving test.
As a Cognitive Behavioural Therapist, I am able to draw upon a wide range of techniques and tools to help. If Eddie was a real client I might perhaps help him with:
- Simple Mindfulness exercises
- Education on anxiety
- Teach him ways to notice and challenge his thoughts
- Teach him to challenge and dispute his beliefs
- Help him to build up to facing his fear of learning to drive
- Relaxation techniques
- Exercises to increase his sense of worth and build his confidence
To find out how I can help you, please feel free to contact me here: firstname.lastname@example.org. Or fill in the form on my contact page.