What is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)?
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is a short term, evidence based form of talking therapy.
We provide CBT Therapy online (Skype, Zoom and FaceTime) and telephone to help adults recover from depression, anxiety and low self esteem.
Where it started
CBT is a type of talking therapy first developed by Professor Aaron Beck in the 1960s to help people experiencing depression. It has since been adapted for use with most anxiety disorders, sleeping problems and the impact of some physical health problems.
How it works
CBT works on the idea that the way you think and what you do affects the way you feel.
Thoughts, behaviours, emotions and physical sensations are all connected and influenced by the situation we are in, as shown in the diagram on the right.
As a CBT Therapist I will help you make small changes to your thoughts and behaviours, which in turn will affect your emotions. Changing one area will lead to a change in the other areas.
What happens in treatment
A key aim of treatment in CBT is to teach you to become your own therapist and independently maintain your wellbeing.
We will do this by working together to plan tasks for you to do between the sessions. Such as writing down your thoughts, testing your fears and trying out new things to work towards your goals.
If you were learning to play the piano and had weekly lessons, you would be asked to practice your skills between lessons.
CBT is similar in that you are training your brain to think differently. Expect to be doing something in relation to your therapy most days a week.
How it is different
CBT is different from some traditional forms of talking therapies in a few ways.
In CBT we will focus on the here and now, to see what is keeping your problems going. While we will talk about the past, this will be used to understand how it is influencing your current problems.
If you had fallen into a hole it would be better to first get out of the hole rather than to spend your time analysing how you got down there. Once you are out of the hole you can work on not falling in again. This is the approach we take in CBT, first work on feeling better, then plan how to stay well.
Your first session will be a chance for us to discuss your current difficulties and your expectations for treatment. I may also ask you to complete some questionnaires to help us measure the symptoms you are experiencing.
Together we will use this information to develop a formulation. This is a shared understanding of where your problems started and most importantly what keeps the problems going. Then we will use this formulation and your goals as a road map, to accurately plan interventions and tailor treatment to you as an individual.
In each appointment we will discuss steps you can take to feel better by changing the thoughts and behaviours that keep your problems going.
Treatment is usually between 6 and 20 sessions, at first this will be weekly then spread out to fortnightly then monthly as needed.
In your final sessions we will develop a plan so you can continue to maintain the benefits of therapy.
Self help books and online resources can be used in the treatment of depression and anxiety. Research show this works best when supported by a professional. I will often recommend specific CBT based self help books for you to use alongside your treatment.
Finding out more
Try it for yourself
If you would like to try CBT contact us and arrange a free initial telephone consultation.
Recommended CBT Websites
Self help guides from Northumberland Tyne and Wear NHS Trust on a variety of problems can be found here.
Psychology Tools self help resources
Top Recommendations of CBT Books
to speed up your recovery
Mind Over Mood: Change the way you feel by changing the way you think, 2nd Edition, by Dennis Greenberger and Christine Padesky
Overcoming Perfectionism: A self help guide using Cognitive Behaioural Techniques by Roz Shafran, Sarah Egan and Tracey Wade
Overcoming Low Self Esteem: A self help guide using Cognitive Behaioural Techniques by Melanie Fennell
Break free from OCD: Overcoming Obsessive Compulsive Disorder with CBT by Fiona Challacombe, Victoria Oldfield and Paul Salkovskis