The counsellor’s role is to facilitate a healing environment which respects the client’s own values, personal resources and capacity for self-determination.
Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is a talking therapy. It helps you manage problems by helping you recognise how your thoughts can affect your feelings and behaviour. CBT combines a cognitive approach (examining your thoughts) with a behavioural approach (the things you do). It aims to break overwhelming problems down into smaller parts, making them easier to manage.
CBT has become one of the most popular forms of talk therapy and is recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) for common mental health conditions, like depression and anxiety. During the treatment, your therapist will work with you to help you focus on the “here and now”. They will help you recognise how past events may have shaped your thinking and behaviours, teaching you how to not only adapt your thoughts but manage them.
What is CBT?
CBT combines two approaches for a practical and solution-focused therapy. The therapy is very active by nature, so you may be expected to take a proactive role and complete tasks at home.
The idea behind CBT is that our thoughts and behaviours influence each other. The premise is that, by changing the way we think or behave in a situation, we can change the way we feel about life. The therapy examines learnt behaviours, habits and negative thought patterns with the view of adapting and turning them into a positive.
Unlike some other therapies, CBT is rooted in the present and looks to the future. While past events and experiences are considered during the sessions, the focus is more on current concerns. During a CBT session, your therapist will help you understand any negative thought patterns you have. You will learn how they affect you and most importantly, what can be done to change them.
CBT looks at how both cognitive and behavioural processes affect one another and aims to help you get out of negative cycles. The emphasis on behavioural or cognitive approaches will depend on the issue you are facing. For example, if you are suffering from anxiety or depression, the focus may be on the cognitive approach. If you have a condition that causes unhelpful behaviour (such as obsessive-compulsive disorder), the focus is likely to be the behavioural approach.