Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy

What does Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy involve?

We recognise that occasionally people may feel nervous about meeting a therapist for the first time.

We work with clients from all walks of life who have many different types of problems: we will endeavour to quickly put you at your ease.

Initial Assessment

Initially we meet for an initial assessment consultation in which we would focus upon your current difficulties. This would be followed by a brief exploration of some of the following areas: your family background; early life experience; work history; medical history and relationships.

At the end of the first consultation we offer a preliminary psychological formulation or understanding of your difficulties. Broadly, this psychological understanding will provide a description of the origin of your difficulties, how they are currently maintained and treatment options. We will consider the goals / aims of psychological therapy with you and prioritise them in order. This will enable you to experience a feeling of mastery and control over your emotions early on in therapy.

Treatment Sessions

Treatment sessions usually last for 45 minutes. The overall duration of therapy will vary depending upon the complexity of your issues. In some cases an improvement can be achieved after the assessment itself, whilst in others, a longer period of contact is required before problems are resolved; typically between 4 and 6 sessions are suggested by which time it is expected that some improvements have been achieved. It is recommended that initial treatment sessions are held weekly or fortnightly if possible.

The content of the treatment sessions will vary depending upon the nature of your difficulties. Our clinicians have specialist expertise in a range of psychological therapies including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT); Systemic and Schema Focused Therapy.

What is Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT)?

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is based on scientific principles and has been shown, through extensive research, to be effective for a wide range of problems (e.g. see

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Clients and therapists work collaboratively together to understand problems in terms of the relationship between thoughts, feelings and behaviour. The approach usually focuses on difficulties in the here and now which allows the therapist and client to develop a shared view of the presenting problem. This leads to the identification of personalised, time-limited therapy goals and strategies which are continually monitored and evaluated. We work with individuals, families and groups and the CBT approach can be used to help anyone irrespective of ability, culture, race, gender or sexual preference.

CBT is based on the theory that our thoughts, the way we interpret events around us, create our moods. Treatment involves learning to recognise these negative thoughts and behavioural patterns as they occur and then to challenge and re-think them.

Sometimes, Schema-Focused Therapy is used in addition to CBT which is a more sophisticated form of therapy for people with entrenched maladaptive ways of behaving; please see www.schematherapy .com for more information.

Will it work for me?

Cognitive behavioural therapy's benefits are well researched and, for many conditions, it has been found to be more helpful than any other kind of treatment, including anti-depressants.