Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
The main premise behind CBT is that by changing our responses to our thoughts and behaviours - we can ultimately change the way we feel about life and get ‘unstuck’. What I like about CBT is that it’s a very logical and practical form of therapy and from my experience even the most skeptical of clients come to like this approach.
During the course of therapy, both the client and the therapist become ‘psychological detectives’ and begin to discover the various psychological processes that are maintaining the problem. We explore your thoughts, emotions, behaviours and bodily sensations to understand how they are connected and how they impact on your life. We look into coping strategies and evaluate their effectiveness.
Clients are subsequently taught a number of strategies to help them overcome their difficulties. These skills are not difficult to learn and get much easier with practice.
CBT is predominantly a here and now therapy, this means it’s rooted in the present and looks ahead to the future, whilst acknowledging the contribution of the past. CBT is not a static therapy and with new discoveries about the human mind, it has continued to evolve. In the last decade there has been a shift of paradigm towards what is now called ‘the third wave’ of CBT. New approaches such as Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Mindfulness CBT (MBCT), which come under the umbrella of CBT, are increasingly being used by therapists in the private sector and in the NHS. I find these approaches to be particularly well suited to individuals experiencing more complex, severe or longstanding psychological problems. These approaches are trans-diagnostic in nature, meaning they can be applied to most problems and presentations. I have come to call this way of integrative working as CBT+.
CBT has been researched extensively, and has demonstrated effectiveness with a variety of emotional, psychological and psychiatric difficulties. For this reason CBT is considered among the most rapid in terms of results obtained. The average number of sessions clients receive is 8-16. What enables CBT to be briefer, is its highly instructive nature and the fact that clients have the opportunity to practice their new skills in between the sessions.