What is it?
CBT stands for cognitive behavioural therapy. It is a form of therapy which focuses on developing strategies for tackling the thoughts and behaviours which can affect how we feel.
Who is it for?
CBT is a NICE-recommended therapy for depression and anxiety disorders.
What does it involve?
CBT usually involves 12 weekly sessions lasting for 50-60 minutes, although depending on the nature of the problems, more sessions are sometimes needed. You and your therapist will work collaboratively together and agree from the outset on the goals for therapy. Sessions are fairly structured, with an agenda being set at the start of the session, outlining what you and your therapist think should be covered. In the early sessions the client and therapist work together to develop an understanding of the client’s difficulties and what is driving them or maintaining them. For example, looking at what thoughts are occurring that increase feelings of anxiety. Your therapist will also help you to work actively to address the thoughts and behaviours; for example, challenging negative thoughts about yourself, experimenting with different ways of responding to anxiety. There is also regular ‘homework’ between the sessions, such as monitoring thoughts, reading, trying out new techniques and experimenting with new behaviours.
During therapy the therapist will ask for and give feedback; this often occurs at the end of sessions and in a review session in the middle of therapy. Towards the end of therapy there is often some work on preventing problems recurring and planning how you can make further progress after the sessions end. After the final session there is usually one follow up session 2-3 months later, to review progress. After discharge from the service some people subsequently opt to return for 1-2 ‘booster’ sessions later where they can be reminded of the work they did in HI CBT and get back on track with making further progress.
We also work with IESO digital health to offer confidential one-to-one cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) with a therapist via secure instant messaging on a computer, tablet or smartphone.
See www.babcp.com for further information about CBT.