Cognitive behavioural therapy
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 generalised anxiety disorder and depression, but can be useful for other mental and physical health problems.
CBT is based on the concept that your thoughts, feelings, physical sensations and actions are interconnected, and that negative thoughts and feelings can trap you in avicious cycle.
CBT aims tohelp 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 someother talking treatments, CBT deals with your current problems, rather than focusing on issues from your past. It looks for practical ways to improve your state of mind on a daily basis.
The course of treatment usually lasts for between five and 20 sessions, with each session lasting 30-60 minutes.
During the sessions, you'll work with your therapist to break down your problems into their separate parts such as your thoughts, physical feelings and actions.
You and your therapist will analyse these areas to work out if they're unrealistic or unhelpful and to determine the effect they have on each other and on you. Your therapist will then be able to help you work out how to change unhelpful thoughts and behaviours.
After working out what you can change, your therapist will ask you to practise these changes in your daily life and you'll discuss how you got on during the next session.
The eventual aim of therapy is to teach you to apply the skills you've learnt during treatment to your daily life.
This should help you manage your problems and stop them having a negative impact on your life even after your course of treatment finishes.
Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) can be as effective as medication in treating some mental health problems,but it may not be successful or suitable for everyone.
Some of the advantages of CBT include:
Some of the disadvantages of CBT to consider include:
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.
If you think you have a problem that may benefit from treatment with CBT, the first step is usually to speak to your GP.
Your GP may be able to refer you for CBT that's free on the NHS, although you may have to wait.
If you can afford it, you can choose to pay for your therapy privately. The cost of private therapy sessions varies.
If you're considering having CBT privately, ask your GP if they can suggest a local therapist.
The British Association for Behavioural & Cognitive Psychotherapies (BABCP) keeps a register of all accredited therapists in the UK and The British Psychological Society (BPS) has a directory of chartered psychologists , some of whom specialise in 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 generalised anxiety disorder and depression.
Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) can help you make sense of overwhelming problems by breaking them down into smaller parts. In CBT, problems are broken down into five main areas.
Carol Cattley had cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) following the death of her husband.