What is CBT?Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) is a type of talking therapy that aims to help manage problems by changing the way we think about a situation which then follows through to how we act which in turn affects how we think.
What is CBT used for?
CBT can be very helpful in tackling problems such as:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Eating disorders
- Self harm
- Self esteem issues
- Anger issues
- Pain management
How does it work?CBT can help you make sense of overwhelming problems by breaking them down into smaller parts making it easier to see how they are connected and their effect on you. In talking about things that concern you, the CBT approach can help you change the way think ("cognitive") and what you do ("behaviour") which can, in turn, help you feel better about life.
In a therapy session, the therapist would work with you in a collaborative manner to help you talk about how you think about yourself, the world and other people and about how what you do impacts upon your thoughts and feelings. Your therapist will help you to decide what difficulties you want to work on in order to improve your situation and explore your thoughts, feelings and behaviour to work out if they are unhelpful or unrealistic and how they affect each other and, ultimately, their effect on you.
You will look at how to tackle your difficulty and set goals to achieve. Your therapist may recommend ‘homework’ to help you achieve your goals. The homework will be ways of practising changes of thinking in your everyday life. At each meeting you will discuss how you have got on since the last session. Your therapist won’t tell you what to do and you will decide the pace of the treatment and what you will and won’t try. Your therapist will also help you with tools you may use to continue after your therapy sessions end.
CBT is available at The Horsforth Centre as face to face appointments.
Is there evidence to show it works?There has been many research activities carried out which show that CBT works effectively in treating depression and anxiety and has been reviewed by the body that approves medicines and approaches for the NHS.
Are there any issues with CBT?You should be aware that CBT is not a quick fix, changing thoughts and behaviour takes time. Your therapist will be like a personal trainer to advise you and encourage you but can’t do it for you. You may need to confront situations that make you anxious but you would do it with the support of your therapist and with the tools they will equip you with.
What happens once I have finished therapy?Your symptoms may return but your new CBT skills can help you to control them. Your therapist would recommend that you keep practising these skills and you could always return to therapy as a refresher if you need additional support.
Where can I find more information about CBT?
The BABCP is the lead organisation for CBT in the UK. www.babcp.com.