Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

What is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy?

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy "CBT" is a therapy that focuses on the way a person thinks, feels, behaves and acts in order to attempt to deal with any behavioural, emotional or social problems they may have. It is a form of psychotherapy which addresses, challenges and changes a person's emotional issues.  It is also a way of focusing and thinking about how a person thinks about themselves, other people and the world around them. An underlying principle of CBT is that it is not the things in this world that hurt us but the way we think about them.  The CBT therapy process can help change the thought process ("Cognitive") and what is done as a result of that thought process ("Behaviour").

CBT focusses on the here and now of problems rather than past events.  It looks for ways to address and improve the current situation rather than looking back for causes. CBT teaches and empowers the client to be able to calm the mind and body so that they feel more positive, have clearer thought patterns and therefore make improved and more rational decisions. CBT is aimed at problem solving and requires the full co-operation and input of the client. 

What can it help with?

CBT can help with lots of conditions such as: -

Anger Management
Eating Disorders
Free-Floating Fear
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
Panic Attacks
Poor Self-Esteem
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Social Phobias

This list is not exhaustive.  CBT is a process whereby the therapist and the client work together in order to identify the problem and then set goals to work towards using various techniques to bring about overall improvement.

What CBT is NOT.

CBT is NOT counselling, psychiatry, hypnosis or abnormal psychology.

What happens at a CBT session?

The first thing that happens is an initial consultation to see if CBT is a suitable therapy for you.  The initial assessment will check to ensure that CBT is suitable, it will look at the factors maintaining the presenting issue, it will look at the required treatment goals and will identify an initial treatment plan.  At this point the likely number of required sessions will be discussed and the client will agree with the therapist to play an active role in their treatment.

The success of any CBT treatment plan depends on the client's full and active participation.  The client needs to take the lead in defining their goals and their desire for change.  The therapist is there to guide and help provide tools to assist the client in learning new techniques but essentially the client is the one who sets the goals.

Each session has a structure rather than the client just talking freely about whatever comes to mind.  The client meets with the therapist to identify specific problems and then to set goals they wish to work towards.

At each session there will be discussions about conclusions from the previous session and they will look at progress made with any homework or assignments set at the last session.  These "homeworks" or assignments usually take the form of diaries or tasks that are agreed at the previous session.

At each session the client is asked to rate their mood on a sliding numerical scale - this helps to determine how the client has been feeling over the last week compared to other weeks.  Based on this and any discussion about what has happened over the preceding week, the therapist and the client will then draw up an agenda for the current session.  This will feature any significant difficulties or issues that the client wishes to discuss as well as looking at ways the client has changed or improved since last time.

As the sessions continue the client learns new techniques and problem-solving skills which they can use in their daily lives.  Future sessions are planned and structured until all goals are reached.

Once the client has reached the goals they set then they can be discharged and may perhaps come back for 1 or 2 review appointments within a 6-12 month period to ensure they are remaining on track.

How much does CBT cost?

The initial assessment session is £25 for an hour's session. Subsequent sessions are £30 each and a session lasts one hour.

How many sessions are required?

CBT is a short-term treatment which typically lasts 10-15 individual, weekly sessions.  The number of sessions will be dependent on the nature of the presenting problem and the client's overall commitment and drive to succeed.  The likely number of sessions will be agreed with you at the initial assessment appointment.

Are group sessions possible?

CBT is normally done in individual sessions as each person has their own specific set of problems.  However in certain circumstances it may be possible to arrange group sessions.  If you would like to discuss this further then please contact Debi to discuss.

Which clients benefit the most from CBT?

Clients who have a specific issue or problem are usually the most suitable as CBT works by having specific goals and a specific focus.  Clients who are vaguely unhappy or dissatisfied will not benefit from CBT.  It is therefore most helpful for those people who can relate to and understand that CBT is a problem-solving approach and that it will only work if the client is prepared to put the work in and be self-regulated and do the assignments set for them.  It is best for clients who want a practical approach to a problem rather than those who are looking for an insight into it.

How do I book an initial consultation?

Please contact Debi to book your appointment.  Appointments are available weekday evenings or Saturdays.  All information will be treated with the strictest confidence.