Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) has been found to be helpful for a wide range of emotional and physical health conditions. During CBT we are helped to examine how we think about a situation (cognitions) and how this affects the way we act (behaviour). In turn, our actions can affect how we think and feel. The way our body feels is linked to our emotions and our thoughts. If negative interpretations of situations go unchallenged, then these patterns in our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations and behaviour can become part of a continuous cycle:
Everybody is different. So, working together we map out your individual patterns and take note of any thoughts or behaviours that are unhelpful for you. We then think about whether those could be changed in any way. We will focus on what is going on in your life right now, but we might also look at your past, and think about how your past experiences have impacted the way you see the world today.
NICE (The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) is an organisation that produces guidelines that are evidence-based recommendations for health and care in England. CBT is recommended as the most effective treatment for anxiety disorders and is also recommended for the treatment of depression by NICE. NICE recommends CBT in the treatment of the following conditions:
generalised anxiety disorder
obsessive compulsive disorder
post-traumatic stress disorder
There is also good evidence that CBT is helpful in treating many other conditions, including:
physical symptoms without a medical diagnosis
CBT can be used if you are on medication which has been prescribed by your GP. You can also use CBT on its own. This will depend on the difficulty you want help with.
*There are many psychotherapists and counsellors offering cognitive behavioural therapy. Always ensure that your therapist is professionally accredited with the British Association of Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy (BABCP).
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