Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is a talking therapy which can help change your perspective on things. The thought process behind this therapy is that if you can alter the way you think it will help you to adjust your feelings and emotions, this will in turn and alter your behaviour.
CBT helps to treat anxiety and depression but is also successful in treating other with mental and physical health problems.
How CBT works
CBT is based on the approach that your thoughts, feelings, physical sensations and actions are linked. If not kept in check or recognised negative thoughts can help to negative thoughts, feelings and behaviours can trap you in a vicious cycle.
Negative thoughts, feelings, emotions and behaviours can feel very overwhelming and it can be difficult to make sense of them. This in turn can lead to anxiety and depression and sometimes can be a difficult cycle to escape from.
CBT helps to look the here and now and helps to explore your current problems, rather than focusing on issues from your past.
CBT looks for practical ways to improve your state of mind on a daily basis, goal setting may be used.
CBT aims to help you deal with overwhelming problems in a more positive way by breaking them down into smaller parts.
Clients are shown how to change these negative thought patterns which help to improve the way they feel which can lead to more positive behaviours. It looks for practical ways to improve your state of mind on a daily basis.
CBT is used to treat many different mental conditions and has been proved to have been very effective.
It is used to treat:-
- bipolar disorder
- borderline personality disorder
- eating disorders
- obsessive compulsie disorder (OCD)
- panic disorder
- post traumatic disorder(PTSD)
- sleep problems
CBT is also sometimes used to treat people with long-term health conditions, such as:
- irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- chronic fatigue sydrome (CFS)
Although CBT cannot cure the physical symptoms of these conditions, it can help people cope better with their symptoms.
What happens during CBT sessions
If CBT is recommended, clients usually have a session with a therapist once a week or once every 2 weeks.
The course of treatment usually lasts for between 6 and 20 sessions, with each session lasting 50 minutes.
During the sessions, clients will work with their therapist to break down their problems into separate parts, such as thoughts, physical feelings and actions.
The client and therapist will analyse these areas to work out if they’re unrealistic or unhelpful, and to determine the effect they have on each other and on you.
The therapist will then be able to help clients work out how to change unhelpful thoughts and behaviours.
After working out what clients can change, the therapist will ask you to practise these changes in the clients daily life and they’ll discuss the client’s progress during the next session.
The eventual aim of therapy is to teach clients to apply the skills that they have learnt during treatment and to incorporate it into daily life.
This should help clients manage their problems and stop them having a negative impact on their life, even after the course of treatment has finished.
After working out what can be changed, the therapist will ask the client to practise these changes in their daily life and then these will be discussed in the next session.
The eventual aim of therapy is to teach clients to apply the skills that they have learnt during treatment and apply to daily life. This will enable the client to manage future problems in a positive way without letting the problems invade their lives.