How does CBT work?

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) looks at the connection between thinking (cognitions), feelings (emotions), bodily sensations (physiology) and actions (behaviours).  If these interact and form unhelpful feedback loops, one can get trapped in negative emotional states.  This can lead to people feeling excessively anxious, depressed or angry. 

In CBT, both client and therapist will work together and develop a shared understanding of the current difficulties, their original cause, and in particular what keeps them in place now.

This is often put down on paper as a drawing or diagram (formulation).  It will guide the work of the following session which introduces a variety of specific techniques or tools to address unhelpful thinking and less successful behaviours. 

The therapist will coach you to how use these tools in the session and, most importantly in your day to day life.  This practical work will often result in an even more precise understanding and give you some effective tools to tackle difficulties. 

Towards the end of the treatment, you will know a variety of techniques which work well for you. Finally, we will make a plan of when and how to use them should you be faced with similar difficulties in the future (relapse prevention).  We can then review this in subsequent booster sessions.

Dr TOM G WERNER  Psychiatrist & CBT-Therapist