CBT for you!
CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) is a kind of talking therapy; a form of psychotherapy or counselling.
In recent years CBT has become more widely known about and has increased in popularity as the treatment of choice for many common mental health problems; this is because extensive research has demonstrated that it is a very effective treatment for these conditions. NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) guidelines recommends CBT for depression, anxiety disorders and many other conditions.
Please see the Links below for further information:
CBT focuses on thoughts (Cognitions) and our actions (Behaviour) as both of these areas are affected when a person becomes unwell, or can change and then initiate the onset of illness. For example, a depressed person thinks sad thoughts, and perhaps sees the world more negatively than it really is. They may change their behaviour, they might stop seeing friends, eat more, or less and stop doing things they enjoy, it might also affect their ability to work.
These new unhelpful patterns of thinking and behaviour keep the depression going and often make the condition worse.
CBT would look at these thoughts and examine how accurate they are. Often they are distorted by illness and then one can lose perspective. The therapist and client work together to seek a more accurate and helpful thoughts to build a more balanced picture, based on evidence. Having a more realistic and balanced view changes the person's view of the situation and in turn helps them recover from their illness.
CBT also looks at changing behaviour. In the example used previously, with someone who is depressed and has become withdrawn, an initial goal might be to have a coffee with a friend and the long term goal might be to feel well enough to return to work. These goals when achieved increase a person's self esteem and provide them with feelings of success and improved confidence, which also enables recovery. Goals are always manageable and achievable and agreed between client and therapist.
CBT is effective for many mental health problems, for example depression, Post-Natal depression, bereavement and low mood and many types of anxiety, such as generalised anxiety, phobias, PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome), OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder), Health Anxiety, Social Anxiety, Post-Natal Anxiety as well as Eating disorders/distress and addictions etc.
CBT can help in developing a more a more positive relationship with yourself and work on low self-esteem and low self-confidence. It can also help with generally feeling a bit stuck, or down or stressed or it can help with coping with difficult situations or periods in life.
If you are not sure whether your issue is one that CBT can help with, please do get in touch and we can look at whether CBT is the right therapy for you.
It can feel daunting starting therapy. Often many questions pass through our minds: What will it be like? What does the therapist expect from me? What will they think of my issue? Will it work? How much is it? How long does it take?
I will attempt to answer some of these questions here, however if your question is not covered, please don't hesitate to contact me, there are no obligations and I will be more than happy to help.
We meet up for an assessment, this is usually one session (one hour approx.) but can taketo two sessions . During the assessment we talk about your current difficulties and how they affect you and your life, this may include a diagram called a formulation which visually explains what is happening and what is keeping the difficulties going. We also look at what you would like to change and how you would like to feel, these are your goals for therapy. We then create a therapy plan to reach these goals. This may include Cognitive (thinking) treatments and/or Behavioural (activity) treatments.
In CBT we work together as a team. We work on an individualised therapy plan that is specific to your needs, desires and preferences and goes at your pace. It will be manageable and achievable and we will check it regularly to make sure we are still on the right track to reach your goals.
In CBT the aim is to empower you with skills and knowledge so that you become the expert on managing your mental health and wellbeing. These skills are ones you keep for a lifetime. We always create a Staying Well Plan which is a written record you keep to remind you of techniques and skills that we have found help you to maintain your wellbeing.
In addition to face-to-face therapy, I can offer telephone therapy and therapy via Skype.
In CBT we work together as partners. I respect that you are the expert on you and know most about you and how your condition affects you. I bring my expertise on CBT and mental health to the table. Together we create a individualised therapy plan that works for you. This does usually involve work done outside the therapy room. Your difficulties occur outside the therapy room in your everyday life so we need to do the work out there too! This might be work on your thinking, work on your activities (what you are doing and how you are doing it), it can include experiments we create (testing out hypotheses e.g what might happen if...), making records of what you are doing, or perhaps other things that we both agree on from your therapy plan.
We take into account any personal preferences or conditions which may affect your ability to engage in therapy, for example beliefs, preferences, learning styles or learning difficulties.
CBT has an extensive evidence base demonstrating that is very effective in treating common mental health problems, and it is one of the first line treatments of choice in the UK for these conditions. Please see below for links to the NICE websites guidance for the following disorders:
Please visit the website for further information.
Each session of approximately 1 hour costs £55.
(Please note that this cost includes all the work I do on your behalf outside of the session, including preparation, clinical supervision, research and background reading, undertaking professional records and fulfilling other professional requirements).
£40 for concessions for those of a lower income, please do contact me if you are concerned about affording therapy and we can work out a way to pay that works for you).
Usually therapy lasts for approximately 6 to 12 sessions; occasionally we can extend this up to 20 sessions if required. You can also come back after a period of consolidation, should you wish. It can be helpful to come back for refresher sessions or stage 2 of a programme depending on your needs.
CBT is very effective for most people. In my practice I work with adults and young people aged 14+.
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