Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

Cognitive behaviour therapy combines two very effective kinds of psychotherapy; cognitive therapy and behaviour therapy.

It is currently the most popular, most recommended therapy by main stream medicine in the UK. The reasons for this popularity are varied, but political forces are currently very influential and its' relatively low cost is significant. It is possible that your GP has recommended CBT.

Although there are doubts about its true value in isolation, it never the less forms a very useful tool, and sometimes an essential part as part of a deeper overall strategem in individual therapy. Whilst CBT can facilitate useful changes in the way in which we interact with our inner world dialogue, other modes of therapy are usually integrated into an individual's treatment schedule to form a more complete solution to our reactions to many of life's challenges. Unfortunately, seldom does one mode of therapy have all the answers.

Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy (REBT) should also be considered as a major candidate for mode of therapy if you have been steered towards CBT by a healthcare professional. It can be argued that REBT has philosophically and ontologically deeper connections that CBT.

Behaviour therapy helps you weaken the connections between troublesome situations and your habitual reactions to them. Reactions such as fear, depression or rage, and self-defeating or self-damaging behaviour. It also teaches you how to calm your mind and body, so you can feel better, think more clearly, and make better decisions.

Cognitive therapy teaches you how certain thinking patterns are causing your symptoms by giving you a distorted picture of what's going on in your life, and making you feel anxious, depressed or angry for no good reason, or provoking you into ill-chosen actions.

When combined into CBT, behaviour therapy and cognitive therapy provide you with very powerful tools for stopping your symptoms and getting your life on a more satisfying track.

CBT is a ”doing” therapy

In CBT, your therapist takes an active part in solving your problems. He or she doesn't settle for just nodding while you carry the whole burden of finding the answers you came to therapy for. You will receive a diagnostic work up at the beginning of therapy to make sure your needs and problems have been pinpointed as well as possible.

It establishes goals that, when met, will enable you to fully realise that therapy is finished!

In many ways CBT resembles education, coaching or tutoring. Under competent guidance, as a CBT client, you will share in setting treatment goals and in deciding which techniques work best for you personally.

Structure and focus

CBT provides clear structure and focus to treatment. Unlike therapies that may drift off into interesting but potentially unproductive side trips, CBT sticks to the point and changes course only when there are sound reasons for doing so. For this reason, it seldom answers the question "why am I like this", but for some this ommision is an acceptable compromise.

As a CBT client, you will sometimes take on essential homework assignments to speed your progress. These tasks which are developed as much as possible with your own active participation extend and multiply the results of the work done in your therapist's office.

What else is different about CBT?

Most people coming for therapy need to change something in their lives whether it's the way they feel, the way they act, or how they respond to the way other people treat them. CBT focuses on finding out just what needs to be changed and what doesn't and then works for those targetted changes.

Some exploration of people's life histories is necessary and desirable if their current problems are closely tied to unfinished emotional business from the past, or if they grow out of a repeating pattern of difficulty, although some therapists do not address this and remain focussed in the hear and now. Many problems stem from the effects of trauma (pl. traumata). CBT alone has no tools to address these effects directly. Many therapists believe that this leads to a failure to address the whole problem. For this reason, and as I want to treat the whole problem; I use CBT as only part of my approach.

The levers of change

The two most powerful levers of constructive change are these . . .

  1. Altering ways of thinking a person's thoughts, beliefs, ideas, attitudes, assumptions, mental imagery, and ways of directing his or her attention for the better. This is the cognitive aspect of CBT.
  2. Helping a person meet the challenges and opportunities in his or her life with a clear and calm mind and then taking actions that are likely to have desirable results. This is the behavioural aspect of CBT.

What is CBT useful in treating?

Other isues for which CBT has demonstrated its application and some effectiveness include problems with relationships, family, work, school, insomnia, and self-esteem.

It can be used for treatment for shyness, headaches, panic attacks, phobias, post-traumatic stress, eating disorders, loneliness, and procrastination.

Although NICE guidelines currently suggest CBT is the only demonstrably effective therapy for depression, for example, this is not the experience of this and very many other therapists.

How often will I be seen?

The answer to this question depends on your individual needs. As a rule, however, most people can expect to begin their treatment with weekly visits. As you improve, the rate of visits will reduce. A few, particularly if they are in crisis, may begin with two or more sessions a week until their condition is stabilised enough that they can safely come only once a week.

Easy Access for Loughborough and from Leicester, Nottingham & Derby

If you are looking to find a psychotherapist, counsellor or hypnotherapist to help with the resolution of a presenting issue, or you find my approach in some area speaks to you in some way, or simply wish to talk to someone without any commitment, then please contact me here in Loughborough. You can discuss anything in complete confidentiality without judgement or criticism in a totally safe environment.

Access is easy from The North side of Leicester, the South Side of Nottingham, including West Bridgford and the South side of Derby. There is plenty of easy parking outside of or close to the office which is located near to Loughborough town centre.

You can find my contact details here. Alternatively, you can just call me on 07595 880250, or email me using the form on this page.