The basis of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (abbreviated CBT) is the assumption that your beliefs and thought patterns direct your behaviours. Identifying negative thought patterns is therefore an essential first step, whereafter alternative beliefs can be defined and used in real situations, ultimately changing the unhelpful behaviours of the patient.
The wonderful thing about CBT is that once you learn the techniques involved, you can use them again and again yourself in future situations. You sort of become your own therapist who can go through the same exercises in different situations to solve different problem areas.
To get an experience of the practical techniques involved in this type of therapy, watch this video:
CBT combines cognitive and behavioural therapies and looks at how your thoughts, emotions, physical symptoms and actions are interconnected. We all suffer from hearing that self-critical voice from time to time, but if you find yourself getting caught up in negative cycles of thinking and behaving, CBT can teach you the skills to identify and challenge these destructive patterns so you’re not as overwhelmed by them anymore. This is a practical, short-term type of therapy (usually around 6 sessions) and you may be given ‘homework’ to accelerate and feel fully engaged in the process in between sessions. Although originally developed to treat anxiety and depression, CBT is popular because of its ‘quick results’ and can be applied to a broad range of issues including; phobias, chronic fatigue/pain, bipolar disorder, insomnia, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), panic attacks, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and eating disorders.