Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) in London, New York, or Timbuktu
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, or CBT, is one of the most well-known, evidence-based psychotherapies available; it has decades of academic research proving its effectiveness. CBT has helped people suffering from depression, anxiety, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, eating disorders and phobias. It’s also an effective coaching tool for people who simply want to improve their productivity and/or relationships with people. Because the approach is simple and straightforward, it’s a viable treatment option for persons of every age and background.
First off, what is CBT?
CBT is a therapeutic approach that examines the links among thoughts, feelings, and behaviour. One technique in CBT is the identification of “irrational thoughts” – ways of thinking that don’t serve you, they’re “maladaptive” and unreasonable. The idea that we “need to please everyone to be happy” is an example of an irrational thought. Irrational thoughts are often the cause of anxiety and poor decision-making.
When searching for a CBT therapist, it’s understandable – in fact, very important – to consider practitioner competency. Your emotional health is at stake; don’t entrust your wellbeing to someone unqualified, inexperienced and/or inefficient. But you don’t have to travel far to find a CBT practitioner who can help with whatever issues you’re experiencing. You certainly don’t need to go all the way to the Beck Institute in Pennsylvania where CBT founder Aaron T. Beck still teaches! You can find accredited CBT practitioners in your area, or even easier online. At P-Therapy we offer some very experienced and proficient CBT therapists who can start helping you right away.
CBT Practice Today
CBT is effective on its own, but given the wide range of concerns raised in therapy, and the different orientations of psychotherapists, it’s not unusual to find that CBT today is integrated in other forms of psychotherapy. This is generally a very positive development, as it makes CBT personalised and versatile. CBT is theoretically and practically compatible with other evidence-based approaches; so it’s of benefit to find a CBT therapist who has an eclectic approach.
For example, there is what is called Mindfulness CBT or MBCT (Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy): a mix of meditation/centring interventions with traditional CBT. Mindfulness exercises, which often involve taking note of your feelings without judging yourself or the situation, can be great preparation for the analytical nature of traditional CBT. Mindfulness helps us to remove defenses that are commonly associated with being confronted with our maladaptive habits, such as nail-biting, eating disorders, binge drinking or stuttering. More importantly, mindfulness helps open a person to new ways of thinking, making the benefits and outcomes of therapy significant and long lasting.
These days CBT is also associated with Positive Psychology, though some theorists believe that Positive Psychology actually evolved from CBT. The focus on happiness, compassion, and optimism is great for people who want to improve their ability to de-focus from what they feel is going wrong in their life. Regular gratitude journalling, for instance, can be really effective in getting clients to adopt a more appreciative attitude towards their own life; ensuring that clients can be gentler with, and more accepting of themselves.
Because of their similarities in approach, CBT today is often mixed with Solution-Focused Therapy (SFT). As the name implies, SFT is not concerned with the origin of a condition, instead it actively looks for what needs to be done to remedy the problem. An approach of SFT, for example, is to look for exceptions: times when a symptom e.g. depression or anxiety is not present, and find reinforcers of wellness. Exceptions surfaced during SFT may be integrated with particular stages of CBT.
Lastly, CBT is popular with practitioners of Reality Therapy. Like SFT, Reality Therapy is concerned about going after what you want – and moving on when a desired outcome is impossible or unlikely to happen. Reality Therapy practitioners, like CBT therapists, actively analyse patterns between thinking and behaviour. For the former, it’s important to pay attention to consequences associated with particular choices.
If you’d like to know more about Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, as well compatible psychotherapeutic approaches, contact us at P-Therapy through [email protected]
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