Frequently asked questions about CBT

What is CBT?

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy is a form of psychotherapy that can prove very effective in helping people overcome a wide range of emotional issues.

It is based on the idea that how we feel and what we do are affected by what we think. That the way we think about, or interpret a situation is governed by our automatic responses which are often in turn maintained by deeply held core beliefs.

Therefore CBT explores the dynamic link between:
Event = thoughts = feelings = unhelpful behaviour.

How will CBT help?
Under the guidance of a therapist, CBT can help you notice your negative or unhelpful thinking styles and discover the link between what you think, how you feel and what you do.

By learning CBT techniques you will be able to notice your errant (distorted or unhelpful) thoughts, and learn to test the evidence for their validity instead of automatically accepting them as truth. By changing the way you think you can change the way you feel.

Who can CBT help?
Whilst CBT doesn’t always work for everyone, in truth it does for most. If you can think, then you can use CBT and it’s equally as effective for children as it is for adults.

Is CBT difficult to learn?
Not at all. The concept is really quite simple actually. The real skill comes from learning to challenge your thoughts and beliefs. This can take some practice because after all, you’ve had a lifetime to develop them!

A cognitive behavioural therapist will regularly set ‘self help assignments’ for you to work on between sessions. The benefit of this is that issues and problems are resolved more quickly especially when compared to traditional counselling techniques.

How is CBT different from other kinds of therapy?
CBT is certainly not like traditional psychotherapy or counselling. Instead of looking at the past CBT focuses on the present. Certainly it can be helpful to use hypno-psychotherapy or hypno-analytical techniques initially (just to sweep the cobwebs from the cupboards) but it’s not essential.  

Talking about the past can be very helpful in dealing with many life issues, but it’s not always necessary when dealing with anxiety based problems such as panic or social anxiety.

In CBT, you will learn skills that you practice in the real world away from the therapist’s room. The joy of this is that once learned, you have these skills for life.

In many ways a session with a CBT therapist is like going back to school for an hour and taking a new class. You learn key skills that empower you and teach you to overcome emotional difficulties.