Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)

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CBT is an evidence based talking therapy for the treatment of common mental health problems such as anxiety and/or depression. It aims to make you feel better by changing how you think ('Cognitive') and what you do ('Behaviour') in response to certain situations.

What happens in CBT sessions?

Sessions are normally offered on a weekly basis for around an hour. In the early part of treatment, the sessions will focus on helping you understand how certain situations, thoughts, emotions, physical feelings and behaviours interact in keeping your difficulties going. We call this a ‘formulation’ or ‘vicious cycle’ but it is really the shared understanding of the problem created between you and your therapist. This can help you deal with overwhelming problems in a more positive way by breaking them down into smaller parts and will lead you to set specific goals for your treatment.

In subsequent treatment sessions you will try out different ways to influence the issues you are experiencing. Each CBT session starts by agreeing an agenda with your therapist to ensure that the therapy stays relevant to the goals you have set. As with learning anything new it is important to practice regularly so your therapist will agree between session tasks with you based on what you have been working on in your appointments. At the end of treatment this learning will be consolidated into a staying well plan that will help you to maintain your progress on a longer-term basis.

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