What happens in CBT Therapy
CBT is a talking therapy, so the therapist you are talking to is highly trained, and BABCP accredited, to help you deal with your negative feelings. However, usually, the most impactful element of the therapy happens between your sessions. This is what makes CBT so effective over the long-term.
Initially, your CBT therapist will help you complete a list of the problems that you want to address. You’ll also develop realistic, flexible and frequently reviewed goals you would like to achieve.
Your treatment sessions will be structured. Together with your therapist, you’ll set an agenda which covers each session and takes account of your changing needs. This collaborative approach includes you focusing on testing new ways of thinking, feeling or behaving, because most of us (but not all) know what our problems are; we need to find out and address why we’re getting in the way of your recovery.
Developing a Collaborative Relationship of Understanding with your CBT Therapist
During your therapy, your CBT therapist will find solutions that work for you; so that you can become your therapist by applying new skills and techniques to old patterns of thinking and behaving.
Your CBT Therapist will also help you to look at the impact of your past and present experiences on yourself and, if relevant, your relationships. A CBT therapist helps you to understand the relationship between:
- Unhelpful behaviours (e.g. avoidance or substance use)
- Thinking distortions (like catastrophising or always looking at the worst part of the experience)
- Being in negative emotional states (like anxiety, stress or depression)
- Physical symptoms (such as lack of energy, muscle tension or palpitations)
Traumatic life events
Learning CBT Techniques
You will take an active part in therapy, including having CBT homework between sessions. Techniques could be completing a thought diary or completing a task to test rules and assumptions that might be perpetuating your problem.
Therapy can be weekly but will always be tailored to your needs and schedule. CBT sessions are typically 50 minutes to 1 hour.
CBT Treatment Plan
After your initial assessment, you and your CBT therapist will agree to your treatment plan. A typical treatment plan looks like this:
- Agree problem(s) and treatment goals
- Agree number of therapy sessions (usually 8 – 12)
- Achieve treatment goals and outcomes
- Decide steps to take to prevent relapse
- Follow up and top up sessions as required
Your CBT treatment plan will always be tailored to your lifestyle and needs, and we are very happy to provide remote therapy by Skype, phone, e-mail and even SMS to ensure a continuation of therapy.
We also provide support in different environments if this is part of your treatment goal. For example, for some problems your CBT therapist can carry out exposure activities or behavioural experiments with you.
Overall, we aim to do what is needed to provide you with the tools you need to be able to manage your life successfully on an ongoing basis.