What is CBT?
So, you may have been told about 'CBT' by a friend or family member, perhaps your GP has recommended you try this, or maybe you have already had experience of counselling or psychotherapy..... but what exactly is CBT? and what do we do with this?!
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) refers to talking therapy that emphasises the important role of our thoughts and how we respond to these, in how we feel and what we choose to do. There are actually a number of different specific therapies that are classified or described as 'CBT' and different ways of applying CBT techniques. Cognitive behavioural therapies share a number of common characteristics including that therapists work to find out what clients want to achieve and work in collaboration to set goals for treatment. Therapy is short term, goal orientated and takes a problem solving approach. Therapy focuses on the ‘here and now’ but you might also look at the past, and think about how past experiences affect the way you see the world. Sessions are structured, but the agenda of what will be discussed in the session is agreed together. CBT involves active participation within sessions and gives guidance on how this work can be continued between and outside of sessions. The therapist is there to listen and will not tell you what to do, but will act more as a guide. Together, the therapist and client will work to identify and influence factors that are believed to be causing and maintaining current problems. Particular skills and techniques will be introduced and practiced together. CBT is recommended by NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) for the treatment of anxiety disorders (including panic attacks and post-traumatic stress disorder), depression, obsessive compulsive disorder, schizophrenia and psychosis and bipolar disorder. There is also good evidence that CBT is helpful in treating many other conditions including sleep difficulties, anger, chronic fatigue, chronic pain and physical symptoms without a medical diagnosis. Find out more about CBT here and here.
'Third wave' cognitive behavioural therapies refers to a group of more recent or emerging talking therapies that emphasise the need to work with the process of thinking and transform or relationship with difficult thoughts and internal experiences, rather than debate with the actual content of the thoughts themselves. The aim being to help people develop key skills that can support them to respond to their thoughts and feelings in an open, accepting and flexible way and improve the ability to choose actions that lead to a more fulfilling life. Therapies include dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT), metacognitive approaches, ACT, mindfulness and compassion based approaches.
Mindfulness- Consciously bringing awareness to your here and now experience. Developing skills of paying attention, deliberately, with openess, curiosity and flexibility. Learning mindfulness does not have to involve learning formal meditation or any change in religious beliefs, just being able to enhance the ability to observe and pay attention in a flexible way.
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) - Focuses on reducing the influence of painful thoughts and feelings, 'unhooking' from these to get back to the present moment and in touch with personal values, learning to open up to and make room for your internal experiences and taking effective action guided by your values so you can do the things that really matter to you in your life, work, leisure and relationships. This treatment combines mindfulness skills with experiential exercises and values-guided behavioural interventions. ACT has proven effective with a wide range of clinical conditions including depression, anxiety OCD, workplace stress, chronic pain, the stress of terminal cancer, anorexia, schizophrenia, heroin abuse and cannabis abuse.
I have many years of experience in using cognitive-behavioural therapy based interventions to help people manage or overcome significant
difficulties, achieve personal goals and enjoy improved life functioning and wellbeing. If you would like to find out more about how CBT, mindfulness or ACT could make a difference to
you, then feel free to get in contact with me to talk about your needs and what would be an affordable and workable assessment and treatment approach for you. There is no obligation to go
on to book an initial meeting, but if you want to do this we would discuss a suitable time, day and venue for this, we would agree the cost of assessment and I would send you some
additional key information about psychological therapy. The aim of an initial appointment is to talk about any difficulties you are having,
how they affect you, how they developed and find out more about you as a person, how you want to live and what you want to achieve. We will work to understand your difficulties and situation and
think about ways forward that suit you as a person and your situation. We will consider what type of therapy would best match this and if this is not something I can provide then I can make some
suggestions as to your next steps or other suitable therapists. If you want to bring someone with you to accompany you to the session then that is fine. You can find out more about what therapy will be like on my 'what to expect' page here. If you want to arrange an
appointment, you can call, email or use the enquiry form on the contact page. If you are unsure whether psychological therapy would be right for you or there are things you want to clarify feel
free to get in touch to discuss this.
Regular sessions are offered at the Folkestone Enterprise Centre / Basepoint in Folkestone. At times, I offer home visits where this is clinically appropriate. Feel free to contact me to discuss the possibilities but note, there may be associated travel costs depending on the distance from my regular clinic site.
Unit 31C Basepoint,
Shearway Business Park,
Assessments and meetings can be booked on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays 9.00- 17.30. Folkestone Basepoint Business Centre has parking facilities and on street parking and is accessible for wheelchair users. There is a reception and waiting area available and there are cafe facilities on site.
It is close to J13 of the M20 so easy to reach from Folkestone, Hythe, Dover, Deal, Ashford, Canterbury or Thanet by car.