What is Cognitive Behaviour Therapy?
The cognitive part of cognitive behaviour therapy explores the beliefs and assumptions we have, the thoughts and images that go through our mind, our attention and our memories.
When exploring beliefs it can be helpful to think about the beliefs we have about ourselves, the beliefs we have about how other people see and treat us and more general beliefs such as what it means to be strong/resilient and the assumptions we have about how we should be living our life. Our beliefs and assumptions can have an impact on our thoughts and we might start having negative or critical thoughts either about ourselves or others that can make us vulnerable to developing difficulties such as anxiety, depression, low self worth and frustration/anger.
In CBT we also learn to become aware of where we place the spotlight of our attention as what we focus on can also have a big impact on our mood. All the psychologists within The Psychology Company are also very experienced in helping people understand more about their feelings/emotions and this is another key element of CBT. Learning to recognise and name emotions and developing new skills to manage our feelings/physiological arousal and keep grounded and balanced (especially when we experience the more difficult emotions like anxiety and anger which we often tend to want to avoid) can be very helpful.
Finally, CBT also focuses on urges and behaviour and helps people to consider how helpful their behaviour is for both themselves and other people in their life. Sometimes people can get stuck in a pattern of behaviour that is quite self-defeating and stops them being the version of themselves they want to be. We can work with people to help them become more aware, better understand and if necessary start to change their behaviour so they can reach their full potential (both in themselves and in their relationships).
NICE (National Institute for Clinical Excellence) recommends CBT as an effective treatment for a range of difficulties, including Depression, Anxiety and Panic, Social Anxiety, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Body-Dysmorphic Disorder, Eating Disorders (including Anorexia, Bulimia and Binge Eating Disorders) and Paranoia.