Is CBT The Right Therapy For Me?

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So what exactly is Cognitive behavioural therapy?

 

Cognitive behavioural therapy (or CBT) is a talking-based psychotherapy which focuses on how thoughts, beliefs and attitudes affect feelings and behaviour. Based on the theory that how we think directly affects the way we feel and behave, CBT uses a combination of cognitive (examining thoughts) and behavioural (examining things we do) therapies to help people overcome and manage their problems.
 

How does Cognitive behavioural therapy work?

Unlike most other types of therapies, CBT focuses on present thoughts and emotions as opposed to past or childhood events. The aim of the process lies in identifying harmful thoughts, assessing how accurate they are in terms of reality and finally, employing strategies to overcome them.

During CBT, you will work with a therapist to identify and challenge negative thinking patterns that may be causing you difficulties. In doing so, you’ll be able to change the way you feel about certain situations as well as your behaviour for the future. CBT helps to break down overwhelming negative situations into smaller parts to make it easier to understand what is happening.

Your therapist is likely to focus on your current life experiences and what you are going through right now. It is possible that they will want to look into things that have happened in your past; however, this will primarily be used as a means of identifying how what has happened before impacts the way you see the world now. 

How can CBT help you?

CBT has been shown to be effective in treating a variety of different mental health conditions (but not limited to):

  •  Depression
  • Phobias
  • Anxiety
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Schizophrenia 
  • Alcohol and substance misuse.

Although CBT is not a form of physical therapy, its focus on the connection between feelings and thought can help in coping with physical symptoms of certain disorders including:

  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)

Who is CBT for?

Although theoretically anybody who suffers with negative thought patterns can benefit from CBT, your first couple of sessions with a therapist will be spent determining whether CBT is the right therapy for you. The therapist will ask questions about your life and background and assess how beneficial the therapy will be.
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