What is CBT?
CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) is a type of therapy that starts off with looking at what factors may be involved in maintaining your difficulties in the present. So in this way it differs from therapies that start off looking at your past. While working collaboratively with a therapist after gaining this shared understanding you are supported to experiment with change in a way that may help to change feelings or to manage difficult feelings that perhaps cannot be changed.
Sessions go at your pace and take into account your individual circumstances. As therapy continues it can look back at where patterns may have started in your past if this is maintaining problems in the present (an example might be for instance working with images of being bullied as a child that impact social anxiety in the present).
CBT is often offered in the NHS in a shortened form that focuses only on maintaining factors in the present. If you would like to read in more detail about CBT, click here for a description from the Royal College of Psychiatrists.
Finding a CBT Therapist
When looking for CBT therapy it is important to check that your therapist has trained up to a level that makes them accreditable with the BABCP (British Association of Behavioural and Cognitive Therapists).
Some therapists have done some initial or top up training in CBT that gives them the skills to work with a CBT approach – that generally means that they will look at events with you in terms of thoughts, feelings and what you do but they may not follow a set course of therapy. BABCP accreditable therapists are trained to offer people a therapy protocol that has been tested in clinical trials, so called “evidence-based” therapy. Protocols would differ according to your main problems or goals – commonly it is used for problems such as depression, anxiety, worry (in all its many forms such as generalised, social, health and obsessive compulsive) and PTSD.
Is CBT for me?
Different ways of communicating suit different people. Some people get on very well with a structured approach and others really benefit from a free flowing interaction. Similarly, some are helped by looking at their past and others by working on the present.
If you are interested in therapy with me I will look at the options with you. If you have some questions about my approach and methods please feel free to email me [click here] so we can arrange a short discussion.