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What is CBT​

When things go wrong in life – from relationship breakups, to work problems, to adjusting to big life changes – it’s easy to find fault with yourself and might end up feeling depressed, anxious and physically exhausted.

 

CBT is a way of helping you cope with stress and emotional problems by looking at the connection between how you think, how you feel and how you behave. It is common that in such situations, the negative and self-critical thinking can lead you to behave in unhelpful ways further worsening the impact on your mood, causing you to experience feelings of sadness, depression or anxiety. This can gradually create a negative and sometimes vicious cycle. CBT helps you to break this cycle - turning vicious into virtuous cycles and works to reduce the level of emotional upset. CBT works on the basic idea that we can live more effectively and happily if we are thinking and behaving in more helpful ways.

 

Unlike other forms of psychotherapy, CBT focuses specifically on the problems and difficulties that you are experiencing now, rather than issues based in the past, although we would take past experiences into account to help us understand how your difficulties may have developed in the first place.

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What will happen in my sessions?

During our initial appointment, which is known as an assessment session, we will focus on discussing the concerns that brought you to therapy and a brief history of these in order to get an understanding of your experience and whether CBT would be the most helpful treatment for you. At the end of the first session, we will discuss a treatment plan together and an initial 4 -6 consecutive sessions will be booked. Weekly sessions initially help to promote a clear understanding of the model and assist in the testing of new coping strategies we will be exploring together.

 

Collaboration is key in all aspects of CBT as you are the expert in your experience and we will be working together to make some positive changes in your life that would indicate you’re better able to cope with your difficulties. For this reason, it is important to set some concrete goals for our sessions that we will regularly review together. Each week we will also be setting small exercises together which aim to help you to try out different ways of thinking and acting based on the CBT tools that we discuss in our sessions to help you make and sustain progress in our goals. 

How well does CBT work?

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy is an evidenced based talking therapy - meaning that a lot of research has been conducted, proving it’s helpful impact on many areas such as: Generalised anxiety, Depression, OCD, Panic disorder, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Health anxiety and Phobias. According to the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines, CBT is the recommended psychological treatment for anxiety and depression. 

How long does a course of CBT typically last in order to be effective?

The number of sessions depends on your presenting difficulties. Cognitive behavioural therapy tends to be short term when the presenting difficulties are non-complex. A typical course of CBT may involve between 10-20 sessions which can help address many issues effectively but therapy is usually reviewed every 4 – 6 sessions. At the first consultation you can discuss how many sessions may be indicated.

Confidentiality

As part of my code(s) of practice I am required to carry out continuing professional development, and to engage in regular on-going clinical supervision. This is to ensure an ethical and professional service to clients. I may discuss your case in supervision but would not use any identifying details.

 

Confidentiality does not apply where it would mean that I might break the law or where withholding information means I would breach the codes of ethics. Confidentiality may be breached if I consider there is a risk you may harm yourself or others. In such exceptional circumstances, where there is concern for your well being or that of others, it may be necessary to seek help outside the therapeutic relationship. In such an event where I am considering breaching confidentiality, you will normally be consulted first.

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