Before you start to look for a CBT therapist, it is a good idea to find out more about what the therapy entails and how it works.
What is CBT?
CBT (Cognitive Behaviour Therapy) is predominantly a form of ‘talking’ therapy. Once you find a therapist that you feel happy with and you have been through your first session together, they will decide how many more you need. This will depend upon the condition that is being treated and how well you respond. Your therapist will make use of this proven technique to disrupt and eradicate your damaging thought patterns, replacing them with new ones that do not cause you distress or fear. It makes no difference whether or not you are taking anti-depressants or other medication prescribed by your GP; research shows that CBT works well with or without prescription drugs being involved.
You and your therapist
Very much a hands-on type of therapy, the better your relationship with your counsellor, the easier you will find it to work through the processes. As well as asking you plenty of questions and getting you to talk openly and freely, you may be given some work to do at home. This helps you to learn new habits whilst embedding the changed way of positive thinking into your mind. You will gradually see that it is not events in life that are upsetting but the way that you perceive them. Once negative thoughts creep in and you start to believe them, it is not long before your whole thinking process is tainted, even though the perceptions are false. After a while, this harmful way of thinking becomes so powerful that your behaviour is affected; the way you act reinforces the way you are thinking and a vicious and negative cycle begins. It is your therapist’s job to take you away from this and challenge these negative thoughts with new ones. Eventually you will find yourself thinking positively and this is when the changes brought about by CBT will start to kick in.
A workout for the mind
Your counsellor will ask you to vocalise some of your negative thoughts such as, “None of my friends really like me,” and investigate where they originated from, whether they are based on truth and whether or not they help you. You will also be shown strategies to deal with anxiety going forward.
Think of CBT as a workout for the mind; by repeatedly bashing the negative thoughts and changing the way you think, you will feel and act differently. By finding the positive alternative thought for each scenario, your anxiety will gradually diminish along with any physical or mental symptoms.
What conditions can CBT treat?
Widely used, CBT can be used to treat a vast range of conditions, such as:
- Anxiety, fear, phobias, stress, panic attacks and OCD
- Body dysmorphia
- Depression including post-natal
- Drug and alcohol addictions
- Eating disorders
- Relationship and sexual problems
Finding the perfect CBT therapist to suit you
So you can see how the therapy works and how it might suit your particular situation. The question is, how do you locate the ideal therapist suited to work with you? This is important and we cannot stress enough that feeling comfortable and secure with your therapist is important; the stronger the relationship between you, the more easily you will open up and the better the CBT therapy will work. Your therapist needs to be compassionate, professional and empathic as far as your issues are concerned.
You will see that our website has a section whereby you can fill in your details, tell us what type of therapist you are looking for and where you live and then be provided with a choice of suitable professionals. All you then need to do is get in touch with them, discuss the service that they can offer, charges and whether or not they provide a sample session at a reduced fee.
After you first session, you can assess you how feel and book further slots, based upon recommendations from your therapist. If you don’t feel that you are a good fit for each other then you should take a step back and try another professional.
It is worth the time finding someone that you feel comfortable with as that way your CBT sessions will work far more effectively.