What is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)?

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is a talking therapy that can help you manage your problems by changing the way you think and behave.

It’s most commonly used to treat anxiety and depression, but can be useful for other mental and physical health problems.

Many therapists and organisations use CBT to help challenges such as addiction. Put simply this does not work! It is very easy for people to be shoved into pigeon holes with 1000’s of other people. We don’t do that here because we know every person is individual. What works for one, won’t necessarily work for the next person.

Cognitive behavioural therapy is based on a concept (and that’s all it is), that your thoughts, feelings, physical sensations and actions are interconnected, and that negative thoughts and feelings can trap you in a vicious cycle. We get that bit.

CBT aims to help you deal with overwhelming problems in a more positive way by breaking them down into smaller parts. 

You’re shown how to change these negative patterns to improve the way you feel.

Unlike some other talking treatments, cognitive behavioural therapy deals with your current problems, rather than focusing on issues from your past. 

In simple terms it looks for practical ways to improve your state of mind on a daily basis. The downside to CBT can be it’s a short-term fix, so you may need regular CBT sessions. Not what we ideally want.

Like any therapy, CBT is purely a theory

Some of the advantages of CBT include:

– It may be helpful in cases where medication alone hasn’t worked
– It can be completed in a relatively short period of time compared with other talking therapies
– The highly structured nature of CBT means it can be provided in different formats, including in groups, self-help books and apps
– It teaches you useful and practical strategies that can be used in everyday life, even after the treatment has finished 

Some of the disadvantages of CBT to consider include:

– You need to commit yourself to the process to get the most from it – a therapist can help and advise you, but they need your co-operation
– Attending regular CBT sessions and carrying out any extra work between sessions can take up a lot of your time
– Cognitive behavioural therapy may not be suitable for people with more complex mental health needs or learning difficulties, as it requires structured sessions
– It involves confronting your emotions and anxieties – you may experience initial periods where you’re anxious or emotionally uncomfortable
– Cognitive behavioural therapy focuses on the person’s capacity to change themselves (their thoughts, feelings and behaviours) – this doesn’t address any wider problems in systems or families that often have a significant impact on someone’s health and wellbeing 

Some critics argue

Some critics also argue that because CBT only addresses current problems and focuses on specific issues, it doesn’t address the possible underlying causes of mental health conditions, such as an unhappy childhood. We get to the core issue which is preventing you living the life you truly deserve.

In summary, although it can be helpful for some people at The RAW Org we have far more powerful means of working with a mix of CBT thrown in.

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