Is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for me?
Yes, if you have clearly identified a problem that you would like to resolve in a structured way and feel motivated to do so. Also, if you prefer not to spend too much time talking about your past, and you feel that your current situation is not a permanent fixed way of being in the world, then Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is suitable for you. CBT is mostly used for dealing with:
- various types of anxiety
- panic attacks
- anger management
- developing coping strategies and skills.
How does it work? CBT interventions follow a clear treatment protocol related to a specific disorder. This means that the therapist will tailor interventions proven to be effective to your case and individual needs. Treatment usually involves identifying the problem and its causes, removing maintaining factors, identifying your strengths and building coping strategies. With your permission, the therapist will occasionally challenge your thinking patterns and demonstrate how these can impact on how you feel and act. During the treatment, you will learn ways to examine your perceptions and your most common thinking biases, and to develop beneficial behavioural habits.
I have heard the NHS recommends CBT Research on CBT efficacy has demonstrated that it is an extremely effective treatment in most cases. However, CBT is also widely recommended by the NHS because it is a short-term, cost-effective response to personal difficulties — assuming that the person is motivated to engage in the therapy, feels comfortable with fast-paced sharing and is not struggling with any long-term and complex issues. Some people feel discouraged and experience loss of self-esteem as a result of their inability to deal with their problem quickly. These feelings are extremely valuable, since they merely signal that a different approach is needed.
Will I get better? Your therapist is there to address any concerns related to your treatment. — It is natural that you would want to know what the future holds. It is practically impossible not to learn something from participating in CBT sessions. How quickly you resolve your issues will depend on your motivation, the complexity of your issues and the amount of time and energy you are able to put into the sessions.
But I already had CBT Some people assume that because they have already tried CBT and experienced no improvement, the therapy doesn’t work. It is helpful to identify the exact causes of the failure. Often, people find that the problem might relate to the therapist’s inexperience, inability to tailor the treatment correctly or failure to build a sufficient rapport with their client. Sometimes, external factors might have been unsupportive during the therapy, or perhaps psychoanalytic therapy may be the best option for your particular issue. It may be necessary to clearly identify what is standing on your way, and tackle these obstacles before commencing the therapy. For this reason, finding a therapist who will not give up on your recovery, but who will instead encourage you to work on resolving your issues with their help is vitally important.