What is Cognitive Behaviour Therapy?


What is CBT

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, also known as CBT can be used to help people learn how to manage stress, anxiety, phobias and depression. CBT is a talking therapy that can teach you ways of managing these problems by challenging the way you think (Cognitive) about them, and what you do (Behaviour), which will affect how you feel about your situation or life.

Unlike other talking therapies, CBT is about tackling your current problems and focuses on practical ways you can improve your state of mind as well as aiming to break down what it is that’s making you feel the way you do.

CBT cannot remove your problems, but it can help you manage them in a more helpful way

What to expect from CBT therapy?

  • During the first session you and your therapist will create a treatment plan, outlining what treatment methods will be used and the treatment duration. Each session will last up to 50 minutes.
  • You will be asked to complete a weekly questionnaire about your difficulties. These will be used to monitor your progress, guide treatment and identify problem areas.
  • At every session, you and your therapist will write a session plan to ensure that everything that is important will be covered in a structured way.
  • Treatment will involve a regular review of any risks that have been identified with you.
  • At the end of treatment you will be encouraged to create a plan to help keep you on track, help prevent relapse as well as a plan should you lapse on how you can deal with it independently.

How do I make the most of CBT therapy?

  • Please arrive early for your appointment to fill in the questionnaires.
  • Bring a soft drink of your choice
  • Ensure you have your glasses with you, if you need then for reading or writing
  • Ensure you bring your worksheets to each session
  • You are encouraged to bring a notebook to make a record of key things covered in the sessions. This can be useful as it is difficult to remember everything that was discussed in the session.
  • Your therapy will encourage you to make treatment goals as clear as possible so that you can be sure when they are achieved.
  • It is important to clarify anything you don’t understand during the session so you don’t go away feeling unsure about anything. Your therapist will do his/her best to ensure that this does not happen.
  • You will understand yourself and address your problems quicker if you are willing to complete the in-between session work (homework) to the best of your ability. Research shows that people who carry these out get better faster and stay better longer.

The CBT working relationship between You and the Therapist

  • The therapist comes to the therapy sessions with knowledge, skills and tools to treat problems.
  • You come to the therapy knowing about you and the difficulties that you have.

You and the therapist work together to understand your difficulties much better and find out what tools will work. For the therapy to be successful there must be openness and honesty in the relationship, with guaranteed confidentiality*

*Confidentiality will only be breached if there is a significant risk of you harming yourself or others, to safeguard your well-being.

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