What you need to know about CBT
CBT is a type of talking therapy which is designed to help individuals seeking treatment to manage their problems by adapting their thoughts and behaviour. The belief is that this conscious change in how the situation is viewed can lead to positive changes in mood and general wellbeing. Unlike other, more traditional, talking therapies, CBT does not involve talking about issues of the past and instead focuses on whatever is causing problems in the present.
There are many uses for CBT and it’s been proven an effective treatment for a wide range of mental health conditions, as well as for some with chronic physical conditions. CBT is often recommended for anxiety disorders, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), bipolar disorder, anorexia/bulimia, and for people struggling with phobias. It’s also sometimes used to treat those with psychosis, schizophrenia, insomnia, or addictions.
A CBT course usually consists of around 6-10 sessions, with the option of extending treatment if it is felt there is further progress to be made. Sessions are usually half an hour or an hour, and might take place every week or two weeks. In the sessions, your therapist will help you to break down and understand the issues you are facing, as well as how you feel about them. You’ll work together to decide if your current thought processes and actions are helpful and, if not, what you can do to change them.
There are plenty of benefits to CBT and scenarios where it might be used. Sometime other treatments can take months to take effect, whereas results can be gained more immediately from CBT. It’s a highly structured approach, which means it’s easy to follow, and focuses on practical solutions that can be used in everyday life. CBT is also helpful when medicines alone aren’t enough, or even as an alternative option before considering medication.
Best results are normally achieved by committing to the full course, so it’s important that you pick a therapist you feel comfortable with. If you are struggling with a particular disorder, look for a therapist that has experience in that area and, as always, make sure that they are accredited by a professional body. You can find accredited CBT therapists near you with My Health Assistant, so start searching today.