We have provided detailed information below regarding this subject, but if you’d rather talk to someone – we have experienced CBT experts to choose from, and our customer assistants will aim to match you to the most suitable counsellor. Call us on 020 8158 6650 to find out more.
What is CBT?
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, commonly referred to as CBT, is a therapeutic approach widely used in the management of mental health difficulties.
CBT helps individuals to identify and challenge negative, unhelpful thought patterns, and replace these with ones that are more helpful. By recognising and changing these negative patterns, it can help to change the way we think, feel and behave.
CBT explores current issues and difficulties rather than focusing on the past. Working with a qualified CBT practitioner will help you learn new skills to alter behaviours and apply these into everyday life.
CBT has been well researched and is recommended by NICE for the management of anxiety, depression, OCD, phobias, PTSD and depression.
How long a course of CBT lasts is dependent upon a person’s individual needs but you can typically expect a course to comprise of between 5 and 20 sessions, with each session lasting up to 1 hour.
For an effective result, CBT should only be delivered by an appropriately qualified practitioner.
CBT explained in 5 minutes
Suppose John and Mary, who do not know each other, have both been customers of the same bank for 5 years. They’re both in a queue to request an overdraft, and both are rejected with the message “you need to use this account for your salary if you’d like an overdraft”.
John is deeply offended, gets a bad night’s sleep and can’t concentrate on other tasks. He thinks: “I’ve been this bank’s customer for years, they had no right to do that to me”. He sees his negative feeling as being caused by the bank’s “hostile” reaction – he blames them for how he feels.
With Mary, things are different:
She thinks “Nothing out of the ordinary happened. I was a little disappointed but then I focused on what needs to be done next. So I worked with the bank to transfer my salary over and after another discussion with the manager they got it all sorted. It only took 20 minutes”.
What is the secret to Mary’s positive feeling? It’s not the situation that caused John’s anxiety – it’s his automatically negative thoughts that influenced him.
Very roughly speaking, CBT is a technique that teaches you to react with your thoughts in a constructive and positive manner like Mary, rather than the conditioned/automatic/negative thoughts of John.
Is CBT the best treatment possible?
There is no single “best therapy” for everyone – in different cases, and for different individuals, a custom-tailored therapy approach provides benefits far better than any single type of therapy approach could. “One size fits all” – is not applicable for human beings. If you need some clarification on what is best for you, give our team a call on 020 8158 6650 and we’ll help you through the issue.
What conditions can be helped by CBT?
With the above warning that CBT is not a one-size-fits-all approach and has limitations, it can be effective in an impressively long list of situations and conditions. In most cases it should be used as part of an integrative therapy approach (several custom built/fused and combined approaches). For example, several types of mood disorders such as depression can benefit from CBT. This is a very wide spread problem affecting masses of people, alongside anxiety disorders which includes specific fears and phobias (for example, the fear of certain objects, insects or animals, fear of height, phobia of enclosed places, agoraphobia etc). It can also be of benefit with various panic attacks, social anxiety disorder, OCD and PTSD. Eating disorders are potentially treatable with CBT, and so are certain habits, chronic fatigue syndrome and insomnia. On certain occasions, psychosexual and relationship problems can be treated with this therapy as well.
Do we have CBT therapists?
Yes, we certainly do. We make a considerable effort to be able to offer you the best counsellors, most experienced in CBT skills and with the highest levels of experience. As a note – if you know of an experienced and affordable CBT therapist, who’s a top expert not yet working with us, please let us know – we are always expanding our team of experts.
Don’t procrastinate! Don’t Postpone! Contact us now on 020 8158 6650 and ask how we can help.
Many people who contact us have already heard or read at least a little about CBT. Its recent popularity might mislead you to think that it’s something entirely new, but in fact certain elements of it have been known to scientists for a very long time. The philosophy of stoicism, which is as immensely interesting and applicable today as it was thousands of years ago, expressed that our way of thinking was instrumental in changing our emotions, sense of pain and other factors. In writings from ancient Greece and later Rome, we can find reasonable arguments and detailed descriptions of the fact that by trying to change one’s thoughts, and learning to think logically and positively, we can affect the emotions towards our improvement.
In applications specific to treatment, several precursors of the present-day theory have been known for over 200 years. The works of distinguished Russian scientist Pavlov were the basis for further developments by such prominent US, UK and SA scientists as Watson, Wolpe, Eysenck, Skinner, Rotter, Bandura and others.
These names are known to all students of psychological studies, who obviously appreciate their contribution in what is known as the first wave of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.
Through the merging of the behavioural side from the early days, and the cognitive one, around seventy years ago the modern version of CBT became fully developed. By the 1950s -1960s, the main elements were well known and constituted a range of therapies. These early techniques, with little change, eventually evolved into the blend of several distinctive therapies we have today, all of which rightly fall under the name of CBT. Examples of these therapies are cognitive therapy, rational emotive therapy (REBT), dialectical behaviour therapy, ACT – acceptance and commitment therapy, reality therapy/choice theory, cognitive processing therapy, EMDR, and multimodal therapy, to name just a few.
These excellent techniques, however, are not applicable to all issues and can never be appropriate for 100% of people. The unnecessary preoccupation by the media towards CBT has caused the general population (and even some experts) to greatly exaggerate the usefulness of the system as a panacea for all, when in reality the CBT is most useful when used for specific problems and in conjunction with other techniques.
Give us a call on 020 8158 6650 or use the online chat, if you’d like to find out which therapist is most suitable for your specific issue.