Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is a well-researched psychological approach used to treat people with a variety of mental health concerns, including anxiety and depression. It was developed by Dr. Aaron Beck.  Research has found CBT to reduce and eliminate anxiety and depression for many people. It has also been shown to help reduce relapse or the re-occurrence of the problem.

CBT combines two types of therapy – Behavioural Therapy and Cognitive Therapy. CBT empowers people to understand how their thoughts, feelings, physical symptoms, and behaviours work together and influence each other. It teaches concrete strategies for improving a person’s well-being and reversing the downward spiral of depression and anxiety. CBT is modified slightly depending on the type of problem. For instance, CBT for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder might spend more time on behavioural aspects than CBT for depression but  the principles of CBT remain the same.

Medications are often prescribed for mood disorders. However, many studies comparing the use of CBT versus medication have shown that CBT is more effective for more people and the effects last for a longer period of time. However, for some people, a combination of anti-depressant medications and CBT may be helpful, depending on their particular presentation. That is something you can discuss with your psychologist.

The number of sessions of CBT you will need to significantly reduce or eliminate your symptoms will vary on a number of factors including, how long you have suffered from your problem and the severity of your problem. Six (6) sessions is usually the recommended minimum for most concerns. Your psychologist can give you a better idea of the number of sessions you may need after your first visit.

For some CBT self-help, check out these links:

www.babcp.com/Public/Self-Help.aspx

www.ntw.nhs.uk/pic/selfhelp

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