Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT) has undergone a large number of research trials that has proven its effectiveness and it is therefore widely prescribed by the NICE guidelines. NICE stands for the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence and are the government’s standards and recommendations for the care and treatment of all health problems.
CBT recognises that it is our interpretation of events rather than events in themselves that lead to emotional distress. Equally, our behaviour has a powerful influence on our emotions and thoughts. CBT looks at problems as interactions between thoughts/beliefs, emotions, behaviour, physiology and the environment.
When problems arise we have unwittingly got caught in unhelpful, persistent patterns of thinking, feeling and behaving. CBT helps to identify and make sense of these patterns and aims to reverse them.
CBT is a solution-focused approach to current difficulties. When helpful, it also explores how earlier life events have contributed to current beliefs and behaviours.
Therapy may involve carrying out mutually-agreed tasks between sessions to enhance particular aspects of learning/discovery and reinforce the breaking of unhelpful patterns.
Treatments usually last between six and twenty sessions.