COGNITIVE BEHAVIOuRAL THERAPY
CBT & Counselling
Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is the recommended therapy by NICE (National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence) and the Department of Health. (Please see www.nice.org.uk and nhsdirect.nhs.uk). CBT is proven to be effective at treating anxiety and depression and a wide range of emotional disorders. It looks at how our thoughts affect how we feel and how these feelings directly influence behaviour. Have you ever stopped and taken note of what you were thinking when you felt a change in mood? Have you noticed how you behaved when you felt that way? Through CBT you can gain an awareness of: Why is this happening to me, why now and why will my problems not go away? In our sessions it will be possible to teach you invaluable skills that will enable you to manage difficult emotions now and in the future.
How to get the most from your therapy
Mustering up the courage to admit you need support can be a difficult thing to do. Once you have taken this really important step, you are on the right track to make productive choices.
Whether you’re struggling with depression, seeking relationship help or simply need someone to talk to – counselling is a useful tool for many. It's important to understand that both you and your counsellor need to work together to make lasting change.
As with most things in life, you truly get out what you put in, and in this case you are investing in the most important thing – yourself and your future. Take a look at some of the things that you can do to insure your get the most from your counselling sessions.
If your counsellor has advised you to meet regularly, it is important not to skip sessions. Of course there will be times when life gets in the way, but on the whole, unless there is a family emergency or a holiday – show up. Going to sessions regularly will help you maintain momentum and sets you up to get the most out of your experience.
Do your homework
Cognitive behavioural therapy is designed to include ‘homework’ for you to carry out between sessions. This usually entails exercises for you to try and then talk about the outcome in your next session. Other therapy types may require you to do homework in a more periodic fashion to enhance the work you do with encouragement to try new things.
This ‘homework’ helps to take what you’re learning in therapy out into the real world, where you’ll need it the most. It allows you to practise what you’ve learnt and solidify the changes you make. Skipping this part of therapy may slow your progress.
Being honest with yourself and with your counsellor is key. Wanting to hide things about yourself and even lie is a natural response when you’re unhappy, but if you do this you will hold yourself back. Remember that your counsellor is not there to pass judgement. They are there to help you understand yourself better and to help you make positive long term changes.
Being honest also means speaking up when you feel something isn’t working for you, or when you are struggling. Be open about your feelings and your counsellor, you will then be able to adjust the work that you are doing, so you are getting the most from therapy and it is tailored to your own personal needs.