CBT is usually a short-term talking psychotherapy that typically lasts between 10 to 20 weeks, although can be a lot shorter. It can also be a longer-term therapy, depending upon the issue and your needs.
In CBT, we work together and take an approach focused on actions. This is based on the idea that our unwanted thoughts, feelings, emotions and behaviours are maintained by what we believe about ourselves, others and the world around us. We look at how these unhelpful beliefs were created, how they are maintained and how they can negatively impact life today.
By identifying and then changing these unhelpful beliefs, you can expect, for example, to feel better, achieve your goals and live a happier and more fulfilled life.
How does CBT work?
If you are feeling or acting in a way that you don’t like, but have been unable to change, CBT will help you to identify and challenge what isn’t working for you. And at the same time, it will help you to identify and reinforce new, rational beliefs that lead to healthier feelings, emotions, thinking and behaviours.
CBT deals mainly with the present and how problems are playing out in your life today. That’s not to say that the past isn’t important or that we gloss over it, we do not and we explore it as thoroughly as it needs to be. But in general, we concentrate on the present and look at problems as they impact today.
Each of us has the capacity to create, control and change our emotional states. Whilst it is impossible to change the past, it is always possible to change what you tell yourself about it. And in the present, if you change your unhelpful core beliefs, whether about yourself, others or the world around you, you will change the way you act, feel and think, both now and in the future.
What is the research basis for CBT?
CBT is supported by clinical research and substantial evidence base supporting its effectiveness. It is used extensively by the NHS and recommended by NICE (National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence), for many emotional and psychological problems, including treatment for anxiety disorders, stress and depression.
Studies have shown that CBT helps around 70-80% of people. If you can accept that although life events clearly have an influence, it is not the event itself that disturbs you, but what you tell yourself about it that disturbs you, then you are more likely to be in that group.
Not only can CBT provide huge relief, it is often instrumental in helping you regain control and manage your life as you wish to.