CBT - Cognitive Behaviour Therapy

CBT was developed by Aaron Beck in the 1970's as an alternative to the psychoanalytical therapies that have dominated psychotherapy for so long. CBT is a way of looking at your thought processes and finding ways to challenge and change them to something healthier and more functional.

CBT has been widely used with the NHS as a short term therapy, often 4-6 sessions lasting perhaps 30 minutes using lots of forms to bring about this change. Unfortunately, this approach will often leave clients/patients feeling frustrated and unresolved, as CBT tends to focus on how you are today, and not what happened yesterday (or five years ago).

An example of this was a client I saw many years ago. She was suffering from bad anxiety. She had seen her GP, been given medication, seen a couple of CBT/Wellbeing workers, all to no avail. She continued to suffer from anxiety despite the attention she received. She turned up to see me, frustrated at her lack of progress (she also thought she was a bad client). I was the first person to ask when her anxiety started - it had been two years ago when she was mugged by someone in the street. Subsequently she had been anxious about going out, had lost her confidence to cope. Everyone else had been treating the symptoms (the danger with the CBT approach), rather than the cause. We worked through what had happened, and after a few sessions, she was OK.

Originally CBT was designed as a medium term therapy, perhaps lasting up to a year. This would give the therapist and client time to develop a relationship (most important aspect of therapy), and then start to work through the problems using CBT techniques.

I use CBT in my work. I think it is a great tool to use, and for clients to learn. However, I am an integrative therapist - I draw from lots of therapeutic models to help clients the way I feel would be best. Therefore I do not use CBT exclusively in my sessions, but integrated into my way of working. I believe that it is important to discuss what has happened, what has brought a client to my office, and then go from there.

If you would like to get more information about me, CBT and therapy in general, please let me know.