Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) can help with a wide range of problems. It is an effective and safe form of therapy for people of all ages. Clinical evidence and research has shown that cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) can help people overcome life difficulties in a relatively short amount of time. Good health and well-being, is important to us all. Too often everyday worry and stress can become completely overwhelming, leading to raised anxiety and panic feelings. Over time this can really impact on our quality of life. In the same way, low mood and symptoms of depression can interfere with work and home life, affecting those close to us in a negative way.
Many people will seek help from their General Practitioner in the first instance. It is likely that a combination of medication and/or talking therapy such as counselling (see other services) or cognitive therapy will be recommended. Cognitive and behaviour therapy is often combined and this is known as CBT. After completing a course of CBT with us, people frequently say that they have a clearer sense of life direction and enjoy a greater peace of mind. Whether it’s to learn how to manage stress or become physically and emotionally healthier, CBT can help change your life. Professional and personal recommendations ensure that we are one of the leading CBT providers in the Sussex and South East region.
What is CBT?
Cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) is a relatively short-term psychotherapeutic approach. Cognitive behaviour therapy techniques have been shown to be helpful for a wide range of problems and subject to extensive evidence based research. From time to time each of us may experience problems and difficulties that we feel unable to resolve. This can lead to great distress.
CBT looks at the way thoughts (cognitions) and beliefs affect our emotions and the meaning we give to events. This affects our emotional responses and our behavioural reactions. Cognitive behavioural therapy can help us to understand what is happening. Working closely together, we can explore our reactions and this, in turn has a beneficial impact on our feelings and emotional responses.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Can CBT help with panic attacks?
I have been experiencing chest pain, nausea and light headedness, my doctor tells me these are “panic attacks”. They feel so bad that I fear that I may have a heart attack or even die! Surely something this bad must be dangerous?…
A. “Panic attacks” do feel really awful and can be very frightening but essentially they are harmless. A panic attack could best be described as a rapid rise in anxiety with accompanying physical and psychological symptoms. People experience a variety of often very unpleasant symptoms, including: (physical) chest tightness, palpitations, light headed or dizzy feelings, sweating or shaking, breathlessness, feeling hot, nausea, blurred vision, or (psychological) fear of fainting, choking, suffocating, dying or going crazy. Sometimes people experience one or two symptoms, some experience many. Misinterpretation of symptoms and catastrophising, serves to increase symptoms and magnify the fear associated with them. CBT helps people to understand what is happening to them, to identify triggers and learn to manage the symptoms. It teaches people how to overcome unpleasant responses and to recognise how the vicious cycle of thoughts, emotions and sensations, that occur when anxiety appears out of control, can serve to magnify and maintain the problem. Furthermore, many of the behaviours people do to try to keep themselves safe, actually make matters worse. In terms of CBT treatment, sometimes as few as three or four sessions may be all that are needed to help people overcome panic attacks. A combination of education, challenging assumptions and developing new beliefs, holds the key to a panic free future.
J.G – Maidenhead, Berkshire
Q. Is CBT just positive thinking?
If CBT is all about changing your thinking and perspective, surely, doesn’t that mean that it is simply a question of adopting a “positive mental attitude?”…
A. Well, yes and no. Adopting a positive outlook can be helpful for the most part, however, CBT is much more about adopting a “realistic” perspective rather than an overtly positive outlook. Very often people have a “distorted” view the world as a result of “unhelpful” thinking traits, for example, magnifying or minimising events, catastrophising or indulging in black and white thinking. CBT helps by enabling the person to identify unhelpful thinking and replace it with more realistic thinking. Say, for example, you have just given a presentation at work and keep dwelling on the sales figures you misquoted. In your mind’s eye you are now repeating to yourself, “I’m a failure” and you envisage losing your job and any prospect of promotion.
When you describe yourself as a “failure,” this is an example of “labelling”and represents what we describe as “all or nothing” thinking. In other words, you regard your performance as either a “success” or a “failure.” Furthermore, your fear of lessening your opportunities for promotion, or worst still, losing your job, is a really good example of catastrophising or “stinking thinking,” as a colleague once called it! Therefore, If you accept that your performance was “good enough”, as evidenced by the approving nods, smiling faces and applause afterwards, you would more likely be satisfied and not negatively influence your mood and outlook. You would appraise your performance and see where you need to improve next time. Were you however, simply to adopt a positive attitude, you would learn nothing from your experience and probably unrealistically regard yourself as a “perfect presenter.” Making mistakes demonstrates your human side. After all, who would want to work with a perfectionist who never ever made a mistake. I know I wouldn’t!
R.K -Hove, East Sussex