Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)

CBT is a therapy which combines looking at our “cognitions” (which are our thoughts, ideas, mental images, beliefs and attitudes) and our behaviours.

Cognitive therapy ascertains that the way we think can trigger or fuel certain health problems such as anxiety, depression and phobias for example. In therapy, your therapist will help you to understand your thought patterns and help to identify any unhelpful or harmful cognitions which may be adding to your health difficulties.

In terms of behaviours, behavioural therapy aims to help you to change any unhelpful or harmful behaviours.

CBT is a mixture of both cognitive therapy and behavioural therapies. These are often combined because how we behave often reflects how we think about certain things or situations.

CBT has been shown to help people with a variety of conditions such as the following:

o Certain anxiety disorders including phobias, panic attacks and panic disorder

o Depression

o Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

o Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

CBT is a practical therapy where the therapist and patient work collaboratively, focusing on particular problems and working together to overcome them. The patient takes an active role and work is expected to be completed between sessions in order to consolidate new skills being learned.

All patients are treated on an individual basis but most sessions will last 50-60 minutes over a course of 10-15 sessions. However, this can be longer or shorter depending upon the patient and their presenting problems. A treatment plan will be discussed between the therapist and patient at the beginning of therapy and will be regularly reviewed throughout.