Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is a talking therapy that looks at how our thoughts, feelings, the way we behave and how our body feels are connected. The therapy focuses on how if we can change one of those things, then the other things also change. CBT helps us to notice unhelpful thinking styles or patterns of behaviour, so that we can feel better faster.
CBT is an evidence based therapy, that is currently recommended by the NHS for a variety of problems. CBT is effective both on it’s own as a treatment option, or alongside medication.
This particular talking therapy is a structured therapy, and each session will involve a recap of the previous weeks work, setting and reviewing goals and using some CBT techniques together to work towards those goals and find realistic solutions. The aim with CBT is that each week you will leave the session feeling a little bit better than when it began. Each week we will agree an action plan, which is a small task to complete between the sessions. The purpose of this is to bridge the gap between sessions, and to give you the opportunity to practise and remember what you have learned. The action plans can be as small as writing something on a post it note or setting a reminder on your phone. By the end of therapy, you will be able to put all of your new skills into practise in your every day life, so that your success continues beyond therapy and into the future.
Although the sessions are structured, WCPS believe in the client, and the relationship between the client and therapist, being at the centre of what happens in the room. It is important that the therapist works hard to make the therapy engaging, no matter what the age of the client, and so as the relationship grows it makes sense for the therapist to bring things that you enjoy into the work. Many younger clients do their best artwork in the therapy room, or find that sharing a meaningful song with the therapist can help to communicate a feeling that is hard to verbalise.
What kind of problems is CBT effective for?
CBT is effective for a wide range of problems from anxiety and depression to more complex mental health issues such as psychosis or personality disorders. Below is a range of issues that WCPS offer CBT for:
- Anxiety (including panic attacks)
- Social anxiety
- Health anxiety
- Personality Disorders
- Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Chronic fatigue
- Anger management
- Sleep difficulties
- Attachment disorders
- Abuse (victims and perpetrators)
- Gender dysphoria
- Sexual orientation
- Self harm
- Suicidal ideation
- complex mental health disorders
- Relationship issues
So what should I expect when I come to therapy?
When you come to WCPS our first meeting will be an initial assessment/consultation. We will discuss our therapy contract, and go over how therapy works so that you can get a feel for if it is right for you. It is also an opportunity for you to meet with me and see if you feel that I am the right therapist for you to work with. In the initial meeting, it is helpful if I can gather some information on what you would like help with, however, I don’t expect anyone to share anything they don’t want to so early on, so there is no pressure to come along and do anything but see how we get along. In the sessions thereafter, we will work together to plan goals and find the best ways to achieve them.