Cognitive Behavioural Therapy CBT
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is based on the principle that the way we think about ourselves and the world around us, and the way we act up on those thoughts can affect our feelings and emotional well-being. CBT is a talking therapy that recognises that when we become distressed, we repeat patterns of thinking and behaviour, which maintain our difficulties.
Therapy enables us to recognise unhelpful patterns and helps us to develop alternative, more flexible and helpful coping mechanisms – This enables us to recover.
CBT provides a structured approach to talking about our difficulties and how we see ourselves, others and the world. This then stimulates opportunities to question our perspectives and behaviours, enabling changes in our mood. CBT is a short-term therapy with long-term effects. It focuses on helping people regain lost skills and develop new ones. When the CBT techniques and strategies are learnt, they can be used throughout our lives helping us to manage emotional distress more effectively. CBT recognises the importance of past experiences and focuses on what we learnt from them and how they impact on our life now.
This approach is the preferred treatment of choice for most mood disorders. However, CBT may not be suitable for everyone. Following an initial assessment, if you feel that CBT is not for you, we can discuss and direct you to alternative options.
CBT is an effective therapy for:
- Anxiety (Generalised Anxiety, OCD, Health Anxiety, Social Phobia, Panic, Phobias)
- Trauma (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder)
- Work stress and performance anxiety
- Sleep problems
- Pain management
- Anger management
- Bipolar Disorder
- Relationship Problems
Cognitive and Behavioural Psychotherapies is an umbrella that covers a range of approaches. CBT often borrows techniques from those approaches to provide an adapted and tailored treatment plan that fits with the individual needs at the time of therapy.
NICENational Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE)
NICE guidelines recommend CBT as the treatment of choice for the majority of mood disorders. It is proven to help people overcome their distress and reduce the risk of future episodes.
NICE guidance: CBT is the preferred treatment for depression and anxiety. For mild depression medication is not recommended but CBT is. For moderate to severe depressive episodes a combination of medication and CBT is recommended.
Independent related links:
- National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence
- British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies
- Royal College of Psychiatrists
Compassion-Focused Therapy (CFT)
CFT was originally developed for individuals who suffer high levels of shame and guilt, and for those of us who are highly self-critical. Self-criticism, shame and guilt, can be the result of depression and anxiety, or they can be key vulnerability factors for mental health problems.
CFT is an approach which is heavily based on evolutionary and developmental psychology and neuroscience. Our experiences and attachments in early life have a significant effect on the way our brain regulates emotion. People who experience high shame and self-criticism often have difficulty to experience soothing and inner warmth, resulting in symptoms of depression and anxiety.
CFT helps people to become more compassionate towards themselves as well as others, and via compassion to achieve inner warmth and safeness. This results in increasing acceptance of ourselves and improving our emotional well-being.
Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT)
MBCT is an evidence based approach supported by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) for depression. It is designed for people with multiple experiences of depression who are at increased risk of further depressive episodes. It combines current research on mindfulness and cognitive therapy.