Cognititive Behaviour Therapy

Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT)

As the name suggests cognitive-behavioural therapy is a therapy that focuses on cognition and behaviour. Cognition being the, 'mental act or process by which knowledge is acquired including perception, memory, intuition and reasoning' and behaviour being, 'a specific or habitual response to specific stimuli'. Or put simply cognitive is what we think and behavioural is how we react to those thoughts!

A therapy approved by the National Health Service

Cognitive-behavioural therapy is the only therapy that the National Health Service fully endorses because its' effectiveness can be proven by objective, measurable research. Effectiveness in this context being the extent to which the therapy has helped clients to get better and make positive changes in their lives. Most other therapeutic appraoches rely on the clients own reported subjective experience of therapy as a guide to how effective their therapy has been and how much it has helped them.

The origins of cognitive-behavioural therapy

Cognitive therapy was pioneered by Aaron Beck, an American psychiatrist, and further refined by another American psychiatrist, Albert Ellis, who added the behavioural to cognitive creating cognitive-behavioural therapy. He based his approach on the simple notion that it is not 'things' that disturb us but rather it is the way we 'look' at those 'things' that causes us distress and problems.

Put simply cognitive-behavioural therapy seeks to change how we feel and think about things that are a problem for us by changing the way we look at them. For example, if you have a phobia, such as a fear of flying, CBT will seek to uncover the negative and irrational underlying beliefs that have created and sustained that fear of flying. It then challenges and disputes those negative and irrational beliefs in order to change them. The challenging or disputing of these irrational beliefs, and the process of changing them into more positive, rational and helpful beliefs, is one of the major tasks and tenets of the CBT approach.

Cognitive-behavioural therapy - a pragmatic way of working with psychological problems

Cognitive-behavioural therapy is thus a pragmatic way of working with your problems; finding practical and realistic solutions to problems that can cause very real distress, heartache, fear and anxiety. If you would like to work with me to resolve your problems using the cognitive-behavioural approach why not call me and make an appoinment.

Help is just a phone call away!

Charles Davision, Psychotherapy and Stress Management
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