cognitive behavioural therapy (cbt)
CBT is a talking therapy that can help you manage your problems. It enables you to make sense of the difficult issues you face by breaking them down into smaller, easier to handle, parts. It works on the premise that your thoughts, feelings, physical sensations and behaviours are all interconnected. Each one affects the others, and together they can trigger negative spirals in us. Its methods set out to help break such unhelpful cycles.
CBT is able to achieve its often-impressive results by changing the way you think and behave, providing you, in the process, with practical tools to examine those things that may make you feel bad, frightened or anxious. Its methods will help you to get to grips with negative thought patterns in such a way as to make them more manageable. Skilfully tackling these will in turn change the way you feel and the way you function.
Developed by Aaron Beck and others, CBT is an integration of cognitive therapy and behaviour therapy. After working out, with your therapist, what you are able to change, you will be asked to practice changes in your daily life. Your therapist may ask you to keep a diary during the process, which may also involve some exposure therapy. This is a form of CBT that teaches you to face your fears by increasingly exposing yourself to them. The aim is to desensitise the negative effects of certain situations.
Although CBT is widely used for treating depression, anxiety, panic attacks and phobias, it is also sometimes used to help people cope with the physical symptoms of long-term health conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and arthritis. One of the advantages of CBT is that, even after your sessions have ended, you will be able to continue applying the principles you will have learnt to your daily life. In this way, you will be empowered to reduce the likelihood of a relapse.
Many hypnotherapists use aspects of CBT in their practice; some even go so far as to call themselves CBT-hypnotherapists. Although their approaches are somewhat different from each other, the disciplines of Hypnotherapy and CBT do have quite a bit in common. For instance, both address dysfunctional emotions, unhelpful patterns of behaviour and the content and nature of your thoughts. Also, the procedures of both tend to focus on the “here and now” and they both tend to be relatively quick, solution-focused interventions. Together, they can form a powerful force for change in your life.
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“Our wounds are often the openings into the best and most beautiful part of us.”