What is Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT)?

‘People are disturbed not by events but by the view they hold about them.’

This is a quote from the ancient Greek Philosopher Epictetus and it is this principle that is at the heart of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy.

Put simply what we are thinking has a profound effect on how we then feel and consequently how we behave.

CBT gives us an opportunity to examine our thinking – the beliefs we have  adopted as we’ve grown up and that may have had a subsequent negative effect on our happiness and success.  By challenging some of our thinking we can change our lives for the better. Unhelpful beliefs, ideas, mental pictures and attitudes can stop us in our tracks and prevent us moving forwards and fulfilling our true potential. It is not about blame (whether directed at others or ourselves) but about taking responsibility by looking at both healthy (rational) and unhealthy (irrational) thoughts.  Healthy beliefs are flexible, based on things that we really want, what we like and prefer but are also realistic.  Unhealthy beliefs lead us to become slaves to our thoughts and sabotage positive change. We can learn to choose how we think and time is spent in my sessions challenging and dealing with any negative automatic thoughts that have become habitual.

It is structured with some practical homework which tests out the positive consequences of acting on any changes in thinking discussed during the session.  Patients are generally seen for 6 sessions and I sometimes suggest the use of hypnotherapy in addition during these sessions.  This can be particularly useful for allowing positive suggestions to be made by me to the unconscious part of the mind where our entrenched beliefs, attitudes and values are stored. This is however entirely voluntary.

Everyone can benefit from CBT as it  builds self-confidence and aids personal development, but it is particularly useful for those who may be struggling with anxiety and/or depression and low self-esteem. It is also used for treating medically unexplained physical symptoms (MUPS) such as chronic fatigue, and insomnia, chronic pain, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), body dysmorphic disorder, anger, drug or alcohol abuse.

 

Comments

  1. Fab website Kate…see you soon…am now ‘following’ on twitter…x

  2. John Sells says:

    Hi Kate,
    I live in Dorset, although have relatives in Bucks.
    Do you ever treat patients via Skype?
    Regards,
    John

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