Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) is an approach that helps people to develop skills to overcome their problems. It is useful in helping people with phobias, anxiety problems, depression, trauma, eating disorders, habit disorders and many others.
How does it work?
The therapy works by helping you examine the content of your thoughts or cognitions and how these affect your behaviour and lead to your emotional and/or physical problems. Then by using problem solving behavioural and psychological techniques, CBT helps you recognise that these thoughts are no longer relevant to new situations and consequently problematic thoughts and behaviours are replaced with more appropriate ones. In addition to dealing with present problems, you will learn skills to deal with problems that may arise in the future.
What will happen in the therapy sessions?
The therapist will work with you in the following ways:
To understand the beliefs and underlying assumptions you have about yourself and those around you;
To understand how these affect your current behaviour, feelings and thoughts;
To try and change those thoughts and behaviours which cause your problem.
Some elements of your treatment will take place outside the therapy sessions at home, work and in your leisure time. So, you may be asked to complete questionnaires or to keep records and report back on what happens away from the sessions.
A 2014 UK survey found that one in six people tried to take their own life while on a waiting list for psychological therapy.