Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) helps by giving you all the tools and strategies you need to manage life’s difficulties and to free yourself from self limiting thoughts and beliefs.
As an evidence based counselling therapy, it aims to reduce psychological distress and dysfunctional behaviour by altering thought processes (cognitions).
How CBT can help
CBT based counselling can increase self awareness, facilitating a better self understanding, improving self control and identifying dysfunctional thoughts and beliefs that are mainly negative, biased and/or self critical. This can allow you to make changes to reduce negative feelings and live in a way to ensure your needs are met.
CBT can also help us understand how you interpret events and experiences to identify and change any distortions or deficits that occur in your thought processes that maybe causing distress. We can also look at developing coping mechanisms that work well, reducing unhelpful ways of being and looking at methods of self care that truly fit for you.
What Is CBT?
It’s based on the underlying assumption that feelings and behaviour are largely a product of cognitions therefore cognitive and behavioural interventions can bring about changes in thinking, feeling and behaviour.
CBT focuses on the relationship between –
- – Cognitions (what we think)
- – Emotions (How we feel)
- – Behaviour (what we do)
Early experiences and parenting lead to the development of rigid ways of thinking (core beliefs/schemas). New information from experiences and events is assessed against these beliefs and schemas and information that reinforces and maintains these core beliefs is selected and filtered.
For example, we may have a belief that ‘I must do well’ which may be have it’s base in our early years or may have come from our parents values that they have instilled within us. An important event such as taking an exam may activate stressful thoughts and feelings which may lead to a number of assumptions to satisfy the belief and alleviate the stressful thoughts and feelings such as ‘I must study all day’.
These give way to automatic thoughts related to the person, their performance and the future (cognitive triad) such as ‘I must be stupid’ or ‘I’m not working hard enough’ and I’ll never get anywhere’. These automatic thoughts can bring about emotional changes (anxiety, sadness), behavioural changes (constant studying) and somatic changes (sleeping difficulties).
CBT is a collaborative process between you and your therapist and you have an active role in identifying goals, setting targets, experimenting, practising and monitoring their performance. It’s designed to facilitate greater and more effective control where the therapist provides a supportive framework within which this is to occur.
CBT is objective and structured – it guides the client through the process of assessment, problem formulation, intervention, monitoring and evaluation. There is an emphasis on quantification and ratings (e.g. strength of certain feelings, frequency of inappropriate behaviours) making it an evidence based therapy. It is also brief and time limited and promotes independence and encourages self help.
Feel free to contact me if you would like any further information about Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, have any questions whatsoever or if you’d like to arrange an initial appointment.