CBT is an evidence-based, active psychological therapy in which client and therapist team up to help the client move from problem to goal. A CBT therapist would usually help you focus upon:
- Patterns of behaviour – for example avoidance, checking, social isolation
- Thoughts, attitudes, assumptions and beliefs – e.g. the way you see yourself, the world around you or other people
- Mental activities such as dwelling and ruminating, where you tend to focus your attention, planning and preparing.
Therapy usually starts with an assessment session, leading to a working theory about how your problem is maintained, and a plan on how you could begin to overcome it. Therapy sessions focus on understanding how to break out of the vicious cycles that are maintaining your problem. Usually there is a strong focus upon ‘homework’ tasks to carry out between sessions. These might include reading some relevant material, deliberately changing patterns of behaviour, written exercises, imagery techniques, attention training exercises, and will be tailored to your problems and goals. For a broad introduction to some of the wide range of techniques and principles used in CBT, I recommend a book that I co-authored called ‘Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Dummies’, published by John Wiley & Sons.
How long does the session last?
Sessions last for 50 minutes.
Normally they start on the hour and finish at ten minutes to the hour.