What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)?
Cognitive means our thinking or thought processes. These are what cause us to feel and to behave in certain ways. CBT is a therapy which looks at the shared links between your thoughts, emotions, feelings, physical sensations, and behaviour, in any given situation or experience you have. It looks at the way that you naturally or instinctively react in these experiences and whether these are healthy or productive for you.
How Does it Work?
Together as a team, we identify these negative or uncomfortable thought processes & patterns, (NATS). It is a process of finding out what makes you tick the way you do, and what is presently causing disharmony, discontent or pain in your life. We then go on to develop different perspectives, of looking at how we think, in ways you may not have thought of before. These new styles of thinking and feeling are generally more constructive, making us feel healthier, more relaxed, balanced & in control.
It is true that in any given experience whatsoever, that there are numerous different ways of looking and reacting to a situation. Therefore CBT aims to change and remove for good, your ‘Self Limiting Beliefs’.
What Areas of Life Do We Explore?
CBT looks at the impact or knock-on effects these instinctive patterns of reacting and behaving are having on you, both Physically and Emotionally, How they are affecting all kinds of your relationships, work life area, and your general confidence and self-esteem.
Is it More for Past or Present Issues?
CBT works well if you come to therapy with specific areas of concern that you would like to address. CBT are ‘Strategies’ which when learned and put into practice are ‘tools for life’ and you will find yourself using them naturally without thinking consciously about how they are working. This will help you with clarification and decision making. Although CBT may touch on some areas of your past, its aim is to work on the effects of that past that are troubling you in present day.
Whats the Process?
Together we work out a plan, and during and in-between sessions you start to put into practice and experiment with some of the things that you are learning. It seems that it is an interesting journey of exploration and discovery. One way of understanding it is “the past does not have to represent the future”!
How Might I feel With CBT?
It is as if they become a part of you. Some people when they see the benefits and positive insights that have been derived from these different ways of thinking, sometimes get concerned in case they may forget what they have learnt and go back to their old ways of thinking and behaving. From my experience it seems this is highly unlikely. It is like once you have taken that first step, it soon becomes very hard to turn back!
You may well find that all types of relationships in many areas of life improve and are more effective. Perhaps the things that used to bother you, now do not faze you at all because you have different ways, more choice and control with dealing with the life that is presented to you.
How can it help me?
Stress – Anxiety – Panic – Depression – Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) – Self-esteem and Confidence issues – General health problems – Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) – Phobias – Relationship problems – Sleep problems – Family problems – Issues to do with guilt worry, resentment or anger or shame – Panic attacks – Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD) – Social anxiety – Social phobia – Marital discord – Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) – Communication & understanding in relationships – Trauma issues – Ageing – Workplace anxiety – Fear of public speaking – Conflict with authority – Eating Disorders – Insomnia – Chronic pain conditions – Resentments – Low self esteem or confidence – Separation – Divorce – Affairs & betrayals – Work place / Career anxiety – Procrastination – Decision-making -Making changes – Changing unproductive behaviour or beliefs – General self development – Assertiveness or shyness – Lack of direction – Reached a crossroads – General health problems – Stage fright – Conflict with authority – Overcoming fears & much else…..
The skills and tools that you learn in CBT are practical, useful, very helpful strategies. You will find that they can be incorporated well into your daily life, so reducing future stresses and difficulties, long after your sessions end. Research has shown that CBT can be as effective as medication in treating some mental health conditions.