Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT)
Why Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT)?
Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, often shortened to CBT, has one of the best evidence bases for treating depression and various anxiety disorders (such as OCD, generalised anxiey disorder, social anxiety, PTSD etc). This evidence has been published by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE). NICE provides national, independant evidence based guidance to all medical and mental health professionals practising in the NHS. This evidence is provided as guidance as to the best ways in which to treat both physical and mental health conditions. Having worked in the NHS for most of my career I continue to implement and use these guidelines to provide the best possible care to my clients.
How does CBT work?
CBT is based on the idea that how we view a situation then influences how we behave and feel both emotionally and physically. Our behaviour then affects our mood, how we think and how we feel. CBT looks at these patterns of thinking and how they can be changed to make you feel better. CBT breaks problems down into small parts. This helps you to better understand the problem and make it less overwhelming. CBT can be used to help adults, children (from aboout 8 years old depending on their developmental level) and adolescents.
What does CBT work for?
CBT has a good evidence base for treatment of the following disorders:
Panic, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), schizophrenia, social phobia, agoraphobia, health anxiety, specific phobia, generalised anxiety disorder (GAD) and body dysmorphic disorder (BDD). There is also good evidence that CBT is helpful in treating chronic fatigue, anger management, chronic pain and sleep difficulties (some hypnotherapy is also very helpful for sleep difficulties).
Therapy and medication:
I am often asked about whether therapy can work without medication. This very much depends on your own individual circumstances and I will be very happy to discuss this with you. Depending on your set of difficulties some evidence suggests that there are good long term outcomes when using medication and a talking therapy (such as CBT) together.
How long is each session?
I normally run sessions for 50-60 minutes. When treating PTSD and Social Anxiety some sessions will require 90 minutes. This can also be the case with other difficulties such as OCD, depending what we are working on. We will always discuss this first and 90 minutes sessions will not happen every week, possibly 2-3 times within one course of therapy and only if appropriate. 90 minute sessions cost £75.00
How many sessions?
This varies greatly on your own individual circumstances and the particuar difficulty that you have. Depression often requires 12-20 sessions and sometimes more. A panic disorder can require around 5 sessions but sometimes other things come up and again can require more. When we first meet we will discuss this.
CBT and the NHS
You can access free CBT from the NHS. CBT is offered in primary care for mild to moderate depression and anxiety disorders. Many services do have long waiting lists. CBT in primary care is offered by Improving Access to Psychological Therapy service which often shortened to IAPT. Just google "Kent IAPT" and the various providers will come up for you to contact. Children and young people can access CBT from Children and Young People's services (often shortened to CAMHS). Again, there are often long waiting lists but just google "CAMHS Kent" and the contact details will come up.
Some useful links for CBT:
(please note that I take no responsibility for information published by other websites. I will however only supply reference sites that are well known to be reliable. Please be careful which websites, other than those recommended here you read)