Cognitive Behavioural Therapy – CBT

The History of CBT

In the 1950’s a set of techniques was developed which   focussed on removing symptoms of emotional distress, by dealing directly with   the symptoms involved, rather than their deep-seated, underlying historical   causes. This was called ‘behaviour therapy’ and was found to be very effective   for the treatment of anxiety disorders, particularly specific phobias, such as   fear of animals or heights.

However, behaviour therapy began to be viewed as   limited, particularly with regard to how people could deal with the distress   caused by the content of their thoughts. This was particularly true for the   self-critical, negative thinking style caused by depression.

In the early   1970’s an American psychiatrist called Professor Aaron T. Beck developed a   theory of depression that centred on the unhelpful thinking styles. He devised a   treatment specifically for depression called ‘cognitive   therapy’.  Subsequently the techniques of both behaviour and cognitive therapy   were integrated and found to be effective for a wide range of emotional   problems. This became known as ‘cognitive behavioural therapy’ or CBT.
CBT   uses strategies that focus on both behaviour and thinking to help with the   emotional distress of psychological problems.  These techniques have been  researched extensively and there is now a large body of scientific evidence that   supports the efficacy of CBT.

Reasons for seeking CBT

CBT is  a psychological approach which ongoing research has shown to be effective for a  wide range of problems, for example:

  • Anxiety &   Panic
  • Depression
  • Eating Problems
  • Sleep Disorders
  • Obsessive   Compulsive Disorder
  • Post Traumatic Stress
  • Phobias

What to Expect

CBT can help you to make sense of what may seem like overwhelming   problems by breaking them down into smaller areas. (Situation, Thoughts,   Emotions, Physical Sensations and Behaviour). The therapist helps you to see how   they are connected and how they affect you.

CBT depends on the client and   therapist working together towards agreed goals. It will help you to change   unhelpful aspects of how you think (‘cognitive’) and what you do (‘behaviour’).   These changes can help you to feel better.

Following an initial   assessment of the problem, CBT, if appropriate, is organised over an agreed   number of sessions (commonly 5-8), typically occurring every 1-2 weeks and   lasting up to 55 minutes.

Practitioner Details

Rosalind McMorrow