How CBT can help
CBT can help us to understand that thoughts are not facts.
Each session will also incorporate mindfulness techniques which will enable you to work with difficult feelings and to explore how we can learn to accept things we cannot change.
Doing More of What Works…and less of what doesn’t
A phrase you will often hear in therapy with me will be, ‘is this working for you?’ Sometimes when we’re struggling, we develop behaviours that make us feel better in the short term, but worse in the long term. For example, anxiety or panic might cause us to avoid certain places because they make us feel too anxious to bear it. However, by avoiding things, we don’t get a chance to find out if our negative predictions come true, or if we discover that we can cope with bigger situations (job interviews, dates or just speaking to friends on the phone) than we thought possible.
We might start losing touch with people we care about, cutting out hobbies or losing work skills. By limiting our lives, we can end up feeling worse about ourselves and the result is a vicious circle that most of us will have experienced at one time or another.
Help is at hand though, and using CBT, we’ll figure out how you can do more of the behaviours that work for you, and less of the behaviours that make you feel worse.
What will my session be like?
CBT is a collaborative process; I am a CBT therapist but you’re the expert in your life and everyone is different. We will start by exploring your personal situation, your thoughts, your feelings and your behaviours. We’ll build a picture of what you’re going through now and how you got to this point. Then I will help you to understand your symptoms. Very often, what you are going through is a common experience (see Case Studies for some real life examples) and it can help to know that you are not alone. Almost everyone has experience difficult feelings and emotions during their lives, but CBT can help us to find ways of dealing with them.
Once we have a picture of what’s going on, and identified a few goals, we will develop a personalised plan to get you back on track and living the life you want. The conversations that we have in therapy will be important, but it will be the things you do in between sessions that will really help you to move forward. Between sessions, there will be small ‘homework’ tasks, such as keeping a brief diary or trying out a new behaviour. At each session we’ll talk about how you got on with the homework and explore other options.