5 Key Facts About Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

5 Key Facts About Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

by Dr Emma Gray - 8th July, 2014

5 Key Facts about Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)

1. Evidence

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is the only type of therapy or counselling that has been shown by research to be effective across a range of mental health problems (including anxiety, panic attacks, depression, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), eating disorders (inc. anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder (BED), eating disorders not otherwise specified (EDNOS)), chronic fatigue syndrome, sleep problems, relationship problems).

Many therapists offer counselling and therapy programmes where either their effectiveness have never been researched or it has been found to be no more effective that sitting on a waiting list waiting for therapy.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) does not work for everyone nor for all problems, it is not a panacea, however, with such a robust evidence base it should always form the first line of a therapy intervention and if it is not offered you should always ask your therapist for a clear and evidence based rationale for why not. Do not waste time and money on unproven therapy or counselling programmes.

2. Skills for Life

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) teaches a range of practical and psychological techniques thus equipping you with the skills for tackling not only current problems but future ones too. This ensures that in the unlikely event that symptoms of anxiety, depression, panic or other mental health problems return or new issues arise, you will be equipped to deal with them independently. In addition the techniques not only enable you to deal with problems but they help you to get the most out of your experiences and relationships by ensuring that:

· the way you think is accurate and helpful

· you can tolerate, manage and appropriately express emotions (positive and negative)

· you do not engage in self defeating behaviours

3. Long Lasting Results

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) works initially at the ‘symptoms level’, to help you to reduce and better manage your symptom and on a day to day basis feel more in charge of your life. This is where, due to funding issues, most NHS therapies stop. However, the Clinical Psychologists and Counselling Psychologists at The British CBT & Counselling Service also use Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) to resolve what underlies/causes the mental health symptoms to ensure that symptoms do not return and improvements are long lasting.

4. Time Limited

Time limited means that Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) identifies and works towards specific goals ensuring that therapy is always focused and moving you forwards unlike other counselling approaches that can feel directionless and unending. The phrase ‘time limited’ however is often misunderstood to mean that therapy will be quick regardless of a person’s symptoms. The duration of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is determined by the severity of mental health symptoms and how long a person has been suffering with them.

5. Effective Across the Lifespan

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is suitable for people with a range of mental health problems (including anxiety problems like panic disorder, stress, generalised anxiety disorder, social anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), problems associated with low self esteem and mood like depression, chronic fatigue syndrome and eating disorders (inc. anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder (BED), eating disorders not otherwise specified (EDNOS), sleep disturbance and relationship problems) across the lifespan, so at The British CBT & Counselling Service we can help adult, children & families and couples.

The Clinical Psychologists and Counselling Psychologists at The British CBT & Counselling Service are specialists in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and where the evidence base is clear, they will always offer this therapy intervention as the first step in a counselling programme. We have therapy services available at clinics in Richmond (Surrey), Clapham (London), Fulham(London), Marylebone (London), Islington (London), Canary Wharf (London), Kings Cross (London), West Bridgford (Nottingham) and Stamford (Lincolnshire).


Dr Emma Gray

Dr Emma Gray

I am often the first person with whom my patients share significant and intimate thoughts and memories; I never take that privileged position for granted nor the opportunity to help someone to feel better about themselves and discover a more fulfilling life. One of my colleague once described me as natural psychologist; I guess she was alluding to the fact that I feel at ease being a therapist, I can empathise with people’s distress and discomfort but don’t feel overwhelmed by it, I can understand their problem and know how to help, it has always just felt like what I should be doing.


Read more about my approach to counselling here...


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