Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is an evidence based talking therapy that looks at the interaction between our thoughts, feelings, and behaviours. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recommends CBT as a treatment for a number of anxiety problems and depression.
In CBT we aim to understand the unhelpful patterns that might be keeping your difficulties going. We can then develop new ways of managing these problems so you can move towards achieving your goals. People often misunderstand CBT as ‘positive thinking’ but life can be tough and we all face difficulties where positive thinking may not be realistic. CBT however is very useful in identifying whether you could relate to such difficulties any differently, which could improve your quality of life. CBT works to facilitate you becoming your own therapist, so you will be able to apply your newly developed skills to problems as and when they arise in the future.
Further information about CBT can be accessed at https://www.babcp.com/public/What-is-CBT.aspx
What to expect
Initial brief phone call
When you first make contact with me, I offer a free phone call of up to 15 minutes for you to explain briefly what you would like help with. It will also be an opportunity for you to ask any questions and for me to let you know whether I think I might be able to help. Choosing a therapist can be a confusing and daunting task. I fully understand it is an important decision for you to make and you will be under no pressure to commit to meeting.
If you decide you would like us to meet, our first one or two meetings would form our assessment, where we will discuss the areas in your life where you are struggling or feeling stuck. We will also think about what you would like to be different in your life and the goals you hope to achieve. I am sensitive to the fact that talking about problems can be challenging. Our sessions will always go at your pace and you will be in control of what you talk about.
The aim of our assessment is to come to a shared understanding of what is maintaining your difficulties and think of ways forward to help you achieve your goals. It is also a chance for you to decide whether I am the right therapist for you! If we both decided we would like to work together, we will agree a number of sessions. I usually find it is helpful for us to meet for around three sessions initially, after which we can review and see whether you are finding sessions useful. It is often useful to meet weekly at the beginning of therapy; however, the frequency can always work around your schedule.
Subsequent sessions after assessment will allow us to focus on developing new skills to address your difficulties. This will often involve trying out different techniques and ways of thinking and behaving outside of sessions. This will allow you to become confident in managing your difficulties in alternative ways.
How many sessions will I need?
This will depend on what you would like support with. I usually see people for an average of between 6 – 12 sessions; however, some people only require a few sessions and others benefit from 20 sessions. We would agree together the number of sessions that might be helpful after our assessment. We would regularly review to see whether more or less sessions might be useful for you.