What is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy?

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) enables individuals to identify and challenge negative or unhelpful thoughts that may be keeping them trapped in lifestyle patterns that no longer serve them. Through CBT, people can finally deconstruct these thought patterns and learn how to break down seemingly insurmountable challenges into manageable parts to live life with more ease.

CBT helps many people understand that they do not have to “believe” all of their thoughts. With this modality, a therapist helps clients “fact-check” their thoughts and seek evidence to analyse their long-held beliefs. Someone with anxiety, depression, or other mental health difficulties who feels that their thought patterns are holding them back in life can find relief through CBT.

There is an abundance of research highlighting the benefits of CBT. Studies have shown that individuals with mental health conditions such as depression or anxiety who complete CBT treatment demonstrate a significant reduction in the severity of their symptoms compared with their initial levels (1). Additionally, researchers have found that in some cases CBT can be as effective as antidepressant medication, and when it comes to preventing relapses for depression symptoms, CBT can actually be more effective than medication (2).

Through CBT, people can gradually affect changes in their thought patterns, emotions, and, eventually, their behaviours. This can have a significant positive impact on an individual’s quality of life.

How Does Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Work?

If a therapist recommends CBT to an individual, they will begin the treatment process by learning more about the client’s background and their reasons for seeking therapy. After exploring their clients’ personal struggles and symptoms, they will discuss how their symptoms may be exacerbating their negative thoughts and beliefs. Understanding how depression, anxiety, past trauma, or another condition can affect one’s perspective and self-image can actually provide some initial relief.

Overall, CBT is a collaborative approach. During sessions, a therapist will assist their client in identifying the root causes of certain negative beliefs and fears. Together, the therapist and client will investigate where a particular belief came from. The client will examine their beliefs and can slowly begin to rewrite these thought patterns to form a perspective that will better serve them in their daily lives. Over time, they’ll develop an acute sense of self-awareness and self-compassion, pick up relaxation techniques that will enable them to feel calm and grounded in stressful situations and gain confidence in their ability to solve problems.

Who Can Benefit From CBT?

CBT is appropriate for people of all ages who are dealing with issues such as trauma, depression, anger management struggles, difficulties with sleep, and chronic stress. CBT is also widely used for treating people with various anxiety conditions, including generalised anxiety, separation anxiety, social anxiety, panic disorder, and phobias.

To tailor treatment to their client’s personal needs, therapists can integrate CBT with additional therapeutic modalities, including Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), and mindfulness practices. When working with children, counsellors can also combine CBT with play therapy to create an engaging, age-appropriate treatment plan.

Our Background In CBT

All of the therapists at Sherwood Psychology are skilled at applying CBT to support clients dealing with unique challenges. Before recommending CBT to a new client, we carefully evaluate their symptoms, goals, and resources to determine if this approach to treatment would suit them.

Our therapists have provided CBT to clients in a variety of settings, including schools, hospitals, and medical clinics. Through treatment, clients can learn how to utilise lessons drawn from CBT in their daily lives, and their therapist can guide them through noticing and questioning unhelpful thoughts and breaking down their fears into manageable pieces so that they can gradually face challenges. The therapist will introduce targeted CBT strategies to assist clients with the problems and symptoms they want to address. This is a highly customizable approach to therapy.

Why We Offer CBT

At Sherwood Psychology, we provide therapy services to children, teenagers, and adults. Through supporting clients across a wide age range, we have seen firsthand how CBT can benefit people of all ages.

When working with children and youth, our therapists will involve parent(s) when appropriate in the treatment plan. For instance, a counsellor might speak with a parent about the specific CBT strategies that they’ve worked on with their child during sessions. They may also discuss how parents can apply these techniques outside of sessions to support their child’s progress.

You Can Find Relief From Negative Thoughts And Reclaim Your Agency

If you’re interested in scheduling a therapy session or learning more about our practice’s approach to CBT, we invite you to fill out our contact form to book an appointment or a free 15-minute consultation.

(1) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/
(2) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/

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