C.B.T. (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy)

CBT is primarily thought of as a therapy that involves the client in first understanding - and then changing - patterns of thought and behaviour that are unwanted and disturbing. These thought patterns might involve "catastrophising" when even small issues can become big problems; or "mind-reading" where we assume others are thinking negatively about us.

CBT works by focusing on the emotional and behavioural difficulties that are in your life now - that is, in the present. Even though it is widely understood that past experiences contribute to current problems, CBT does not tend to look backwards in time to these sources. A great deal of work is also undertaken on the "inner voice", and how it can be used to boost self-esteem and confidence rather than criticise and belittle.

During the sessions, the client is taught to examine his or her feelings; and learns to differentiate between "realistic" and "unrealistic" thoughts. There are a variety of exercises that the client is asked to perform throughout the therapy - mainly as "homework" - which gradually instil new thought process and behavioural changes. It is this active involvement by the client that will allow these changes to take place, developing changes in thinking and behaviour, which will allow emotional changes to follow. The client is actively involved in his or her own recovery, and will find that they come to acquire a greater sense of control over the unhelpful thought patterns that previously seem to lead to feelings of low mood and anxiety.

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