The Future Of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)by Dr Emma Gray - 11th July, 2012
The Office for National Statistics recently predicted that 35% of people born this year will live to be 100 years old. This poses a significant challenge for both physical and mental health services as this ageing population will need increased resources in order to maintain their health and wellbeing . A number of factors need to be considered and incorporated when planning these services including the provision of effective treatments, delivered by skilled professionals, that are acceptable to patients, conveniently placed and affordable for providers (both NHS and private sector).
In the field of mental health Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is going to be on the top of services planners lists; proven to be effective for a wide range of problems (and thus already currently recommended by the government as the best treatment for anxiety, panic attacks and phobias, depression , anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)), time limited (and thus cost effective), accessible, understandable and acceptable for patients and convenient in that it can be delivered via a number of formats (including face to face, phone, online, guided self help). A further advantage of CBT over other types of mental health treatments (including medication) is that one of its key aim is to help patients to develop their own set of coping skills (both practical and psychological) so that they can in a sense become their own therapist. The consequence of this is that individual’s are able to not only tackle and resolve their current difficulties but are equipped to deal with future ones meaning that results are long lasting, relapses rare and usually only one course of treatment is needed. In addition, a course of CBT will not only help patients to re-establish themselves on an even keel but will place them in a superior position than they would have been previously when it comes to dealing with future challenges.
The future for Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) therefore looks bright, already there has been a noticeable surge in the demand for this treatment in the management of more chronic conditions including pain, arthritis, insomnia, diabetes, heart diseases and cancer. Here CBT is used not to demote these serious and distressing conditions to the ranks of psychosomatic disorders and the implicit suggestion that it is ‘all in the mind’ but to enhance quality of life where it has become restricted. Moving forward it is likely that CBT will be adopted to treat the whole range of physical and psychological aliments that plague us.