CBT, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
CBT, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, is a talking therapy which can help you to change how you think (Cognitive) and what you do (Behaviour). These changes can help you to feel better by focusing on the here and now problems and difficulties. There is acknowledgement of the causes of your distress or symptoms in the past, but simply knowing why something is happening is often not enough to change the patterns of unwanted thoughts or behaviours. CBT uses logic and rationale to challenge errors in thinking such as generalisations, magnifying negatives, minimizing positives and catastrophising with more realistic and effective thoughts, thus decreasing emotional distress and self-defeating behaviours.
It has can help treat a wide range of emotional and physical health conditions including.
- anxiety disorders
- stopping smoking
- stopping or moderating drinking alcohol
- excessive worry
CBT looks at how we think about a situation and how this affects the way we act. In turn our actions can affect how we think and feel. The therapist and client work together in changing the client’s behaviours, or their thinking patterns, or both.
The cognitive element of CBT examines the way your thoughts can trigger or amplify certain feelings and emotions. Your past experiences can often result in misrepresentations of your current situation and automatic thought structures serve to maintain unrealistic beliefs. Just because we ‘feel’ something it doesn’t necessarily mean it is a true appraisal of our current circumstances, for example, if you had been mugged by someone wearing a hoodie, you may well feel anxious every time you saw someone approaching you on the street wearing one. Your experience creates the anxious feeling but just because you feel it, doesn’t mean that the person in the hoodie is dangerous. The feeling is there to warn you of danger according to your past memory and it is up to you to interpret that feeling in a logical way adapted to your present, rather than simply accept the feeling as definite fact. It is of course wise to be vigilant and I use this simply as an example of how our past can create misconceptions in our present if we don’t challenge our feelings rationally.
Behavioural therapy recognises that since behaviour is often learned it can therefore be unlearned. It examines harmful or maladaptive behaviours and helps you to understand why they occur and what you can do to alter them.
CBT looks at how both cognitive and behavioural processes affect one another and aims to help you get out of negative cycles. Often your thoughts and behaviours are intrinsically connected and by working through both these elements during therapy you will be able give yourself back control and form new processes which are better suited to where you would like to be in the future, rather than where your past has been trapping you.
My therapy can either offer you CBT as a standalone treatment or you can choose to combine it with hypnosis, which adds a subconscious level of change to the treatment.
Without hypnosis the treatment I offer is a 5 – 8 session plan of hourly treatments which are £60 per session. At the first session a history of the problem is taken and this is then used to form an individual plan for you. Between each session you will be given some changes to begin to incorporate into your life and by the end of the process you will have all the tools you need to continue with these changes. Follow up sessions can be booked as and when required.
With hypnosis the sessions are longer as each session, after the first assessment, will include hypnotherapy. The cognitive behavioural hypnotherapy sessions are £70 and last between 1.5 hours. Most people find 4 sessions will give them the changes required, but it is very much your treatment and some people need more or less help than others.
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