Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
CBT is a way of thinking about about yourself, the world and other people. It can help you to change how you think ('Cognitive') and what you do ('Behaviour'). These changes can help you to feel and function better. It focuses more on the 'here and now' problems and difficulties. As a therapy it focuses more on the causes of your distress or symptoms in the present, it looks for ways to improve your state of mind now. However some present day problems have a long history and advanced CBT does also look at how past issues may be affecting you today.
What Problems can CBT help with?
CBT has been shown to help with many different types of problems. These include: anxiety, depression, panic, phobias (including agoraphobia and social phobia), stress, bulimia, obsessive compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder. CBT may also help if you have difficulties with anger, a low opinion of yourself or physical health problems, like pain or fatigue.
What does CBT involve?
- We will usually with for between 6 -24 sessions on a weekly basis, depending on the nature and severity of your problem. Each session will last 50- 60 minutes. If CBT is integrated into counselling or psychotherapy the number of sessions may be longer.
- In the first 2-4 sessions, we will assess whether is the best treatment for you and you will check that you feel comfortable with it.
- I will also ask you questions about your past life and background. Although CBT concentrates on the here and now, at times you may need to talk about the past to understand how it is affecting you now.
- You decide what you want to deal with in the short, medium or long term.
Something to bear in mind with CBT
- CBT is not a quick fix. Your practitioner will support and encourage you - but it does involve you working on problems in between sessions.
- Shorter term therapy often means that you may have to work on the most pressing issue in the sessions rather than all the issues.
- If you are feeling low, it can be difficult to concentrate and get motivated initially.
- To overcome anxiety, you need to confront it with supportive help. This may lead you to feel more anxious at first in your sessions.
Practitioner: Anna Minihane