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Cognitive Behavioural Therapy ( CBT ) 

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy ( CBT ) 
 
Albert Ellis ( 1913 – 2007 ) stated ‘ Men are disturbed not by things but by the view which they take of them.’ 
 
CBT is a short term goal oriented psychotherapy treatment that takes a hands-on practical approach to problem solving. Its goal is to change patterns of thinking or behaviour behind peoples concerns and so change the way they feel. CBT works on changing an individuals outlooks and behaviours by focussing on the thoughts, images, beliefs and attitudes that we hold ( our cognitive processes ) and how this relates to the way we behave. 
THE DEFINITION 
 
In the UK The National Institute for Clinical Excellence ( NICE ) recommends CBT as the treatment of choice for post traumatic stress disorder, OCD and Clinical Depression because of the effective structure of the treatment programme. It is therefore effective for much lesser conditions and for developing emotional and behavioural intelligence and control and resolving maladaptive thinking strategies. 
 
CBT : Confidence v Self Esteem 
CBT allows an individual to be confident and to have positive self esteem because it challenges maladaptive thinking strategies. Many people think they are confident however one bad move or comment and their self esteem plummets taking with it their confidence. It is important to work on both self esteem and confidence to ensure balance. 
 
CBT enables you to : 
Progress from problems to goals. 
Understand your thinking or beliefs. 
Appreciate how they affect your behaviour or the way you feel. 
Challenge the thought / feeling link. 
Find a more appropriate way of rationalising through discussion. 
Resolve problems through appropriate thoughts giving rise to new constructive behaviour. 
 
CBT is affective for : 
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder ( OCD ) 
Eating disorders 
Depression 
Relationship problems 
Anger issues 
Phobias and Panic disorder 
Habits 
Drug and alcohol abuse 
Sleep problems 
Irritable bowel syndrome 
Other chronic conditions – whilst CBT cannot cure the physical symptoms it is affective in assisting people with coping with their condition. 
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy ( CBT ) 
The basic structure of CBT is A + B = C where A is an activating event / a trigger, B is the belief you have about that event based on past experience and C = the consequences. 
 
CBT / A + B = C example : 
A ( the activating event ) : This may be that you hear a dog bark. 
 
 
B ( the beliefs you already have ) : We are born with no beliefs, opinions, views or perceptions. Once we interact we learn the opinions of parents, peers, school, society etc. We automatically start using these beliefs as a template to interpret ourselves, others and the world in general. 
 
Because you have been bitten by a dog you have a belief that dogs bite. 
 
 
C ( consequence ) : Sometimes the interpretation of these beliefs are unhelpful leading to negative consequences and damaging self-talk in response to the Activating Event. These consequences cause stress, anxiety, anger, irritability, aggression, fear, worry, frustration and so forth. 
 
Because you have a belief that dogs bite then you fear all dogs bite and may begin an avoidance strategy. You may avoid going to the park, avoid going to friends who have a dog and so on. This avoidance may begin to affect your every day life in a way that creates anxiety and stress. 
 
CBT can work with your anxiety and reframe your belief about dogs. Once you change your belief about dogs to something you choose which serves you better for example ‘ some dogs bite and its sensible to be respectful of the fact they are wild animals however some dogs are man’s best friend, a source of exercise and relaxation….and so on…’ Once your Belief is reframed the consequences ( your feelings, thoughts and behaviours ) will change. You will be more able to visit friends who have dogs / go to the park and enjoy a walk and generally be much more in control of your response. 
 
 
Remember : feelings affect thoughts and thoughts affect behaviours 
 
 
 
If you are interested in CBT please feel free to give me a call. 
Telephone : Fiona 07968 106113 / 01908 989 652 
 
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