CBT – Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

CBT – Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

Personal TargetCognitive Behavioural Therapy, or CBT, is a specific approach to counselling that concentrates on the way in which our thinking, emotions and behaviour are interconnected. The essence of cognitive behavioural therapy is to examine underlying thought processes behind emotional problems and to help generate alternative, more balanced thoughts. If you have spoken to your GP recently about depression or anxiety, you will most likely have been told that you should find a CBT worker and undergo a course of CBT.

In 2008, I was awarded an Advanced Post Graduate Diploma in CBT from the University of Warwick. Significantly, this diploma does not represent my primary training or my experience in counselling and psychotherapy. Rather, it is an additional set of skills to add to an existing portfolio of qualifications in counselling and over 20 years clinical experience.

I utilise CBT to first work in partnership with each individual client and look at the whole of their particular needs and current situation. Then, depending upon each individual’s specific needs and goals, Cognitive Behavioural ideas and methods are gently intertwined with a much more humanistic style of counselling. This differs greatly from how CBT is utilised by many practitioners today, particularly within the NHS where cognitive behavioural therapy has become a “One size fits all” therapeutic model.

I regularly encounter clients who have recently received this type of short term, concentrated CBT either from a GP surgery or other therapist and have found it wanting. Despite understanding the concept that: The way we think determines the way we feel and act, and regardless of the fact that they wish to achieve practical changes in their lives, these individuals are looking for something more than practicality and logic from a counselling experience. It is unfortunate that because of the total focus on thinking by many CBT practitioners, clients are often left feeling that their counsellor neither had the time nor the concern to try and understand the full nature of their experiences and the things that are important to them. In all likelihood this apparent lack of concern was not personally true of the counsellor in question but instead to the nature of how CBT is practiced today – particularly within the NHS. It simply does not allow much room for counsellors to work outside the framework of a client’s belief systems and how these drive feelings and behaviours.

If you would like to ask any questions about CBT and how together we might be able to use it to make changes in your life, I would be more than happy to discuss this with you by telephone prior to making an initial appointment with no obligation to you.