If you’re considering going to counselling, you’ve probably come across the acronym 'CBT' in your research. We’ll take you through what CBT is, what to expect and how it could benefit you.
What is CBT?
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is a talking therapy that can help you manage your problems by changing the way you think and behave. It’s basically a brain training method based on the concept that your thoughts, feelings, physical sensations and actions are all interconnected. It combines cognitive (thinking) therapy and behavioural (actions) therapy, and focuses on the relationships between your thoughts, feelings and behaviour.
A key aspect of CBT is that psychological problems can be partly based on unhelpful ways of thinking or learned patterns of unhelpful behavior. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy helps you to learn better ways of coping - learning to change the way you think, and unlearning problematic emotions and behaviours.
What should I expect?
CBT counselling appeals to many people as it can help you to work on practical solutions to your problems, while discovering new ways of behaving in situations that you find difficult. Your therapist will ask a little about your past - we are all shaped by our history and our surroundings, after all - but the focus will predominantly on developing more effective ways of coping with your life today.
There is an emphasis in CBT to help you become your own therapist. You’ll be encouraged to do homework exercises in between counselling sessions – these are to help you develop a toolbox of coping skills which will change your ways of thinking over time.
What are the benefits of CBT?
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy will help you develop an understanding of how your thoughts, emotions and behavior all influence each other. You will be able to pinpoint the destructive thoughts which, in turn, create the negative emotions that fuel problematic behavior. Ultimately, you will be learning how to restructure the way you think to develop healthier thoughts, beliefs and behaviours.
Evidence shows that CBT is effective for a range of problems, including:
- Alcohol / Substance use issues
- Eating disorders
- Anger management
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
CBT supports you to improve your current situation and make lasting changes, teaching you the techniques to use in the face of future challenges. Eventually you’ll be able to better handle emotional distress, helping you calm your emotions and transform any overwhelming negative feelings into more manageable ones. It’s for this reason that CBT is such an effective treatment for such a wide range of issues.
If you feel that you’d benefit from Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, you can self-refer to Liber8 using our online referral form.