CBT Therapy in Plymouth

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Cognitive-behaviour therapy (CBT) suggests that how we think and read situations is essential in how we feel and behave.

 

It proposes that we often have unhelpful negative or unrealistic ideas about ourselves and the world around us, making us feel low, anxious or upset. 

What Is CBT Therapy and How Does It Work?

 

In England, 1 in 4 people will experience a mental health problem each year. While mental health awareness is increasing, many people do not seek the help they need to recover. One source of support is therapy, such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).

 

Attending therapy gives you a safe space to express yourself and learn strategies to navigate emotions. There are many different types of therapy, but a common treatment is CBT, which can be helpful for a variety of mental health difficulties. 

 

So, what is CBT therapy, and how does it work? 


CBT therapy is a talking therapy with a therapist, but there is a specific structure, and there is usually a set number of sessions. 

 

CBT works by helping people identify, break, and change unhelpful thought patterns. It's usually split into five areas:

  • Situations

  • Thoughts

  • Emotions 

  • Physical feelings 

  • Actions

CBT views these areas as interconnected, so they impact each other. The therapy is based on the premise that thought patterns often contribute to mental health difficulties, emotions, and destructive behaviour.

 

For example, your thoughts about a particular situation will impact how you feel physically and emotionally and how you react. 

The therapist guides you through the different CBT stages during therapy:

  • Identifying and becoming aware of negative thoughts

  • Practising new coping skills and reshaping thought patterns 

  • Goal setting

  • Problem-solving 

  • Self-monitoring and reflection

Identifying and changing thought patterns can be challenging. Many people have had the same thought patterns for years. CBT has a structure to help you find different ways to break habits and find new healthy coping techniques. 

What Issues Can CBT Help With?

CBT can help with a variety of different issues, including:

  • Anxiety disorders

  • Bipolar 

  • Depression

  • Eating disorders 

  • Hoarding 

  • Perinatal mental health problems 

  • Phobias

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

  • Schizophrenia

  • Self-harm

  • Sleep disorders 

  • Stress

  • Substance use disorders 

CBT can help many people experiencing mental health issues or difficulties with specific thought patterns and behaviours.

 

CBT can also manage physical health problems, such as chronic pain. Around 28 million UK adults experience chronic pain that lasts for over three months, so CBT can be a lifeline. 

Sometimes CBT is used with other treatments to help with specific issues, such as schizophrenia. 

What Happens During a CBT Session?

CBT sessions can vary depending on the client's issue and what has occurred since the last appointment. You will usually start by checking in with how you are feeling.

 

A standard session framework will focus on CBT's goal-orientated approach:

  • Learning about your mental health difficulty 

  • Working through exercises to explore thoughts, feelings, and behaviour

  • Planning activities to practice in your own time 

  • Discussing past sessions and your progress

A CBT session will help you understand why you feel a certain way and learn techniques that you can use long-term in your life. Your therapist will help you find the best coping strategies for you, and your work outside sessions will help inform what happens in a session. 

Your first session will look different. Usually, you will agree on your goals for treatment and other details, such as the length of each session and how many sessions of CBT you need. You will also get to know your therapist and their approach. 

How Many Sessions of CBT Are Needed?

Usually, CBT is a short-term therapy which lasts for an agreed amount of time. Typically, you have between five and twenty sessions. However, it is individual and depends on several factors:

  • Type of difficulty 

  • Severity of symptoms

  • How long symptoms have presented or situation has lasted

  • Progress speed

  • Support outside of therapy

  • External stress factors

Your therapist will continue to assess how you are doing, and you will make a plan together. They will give you the confidence to feel safe in the therapy space and ready to progress from CBT therapy when it is the right time. Your therapist will equip you with new skills you have practised and feel able to use in your everyday life. 

Is CBT Therapy Effective?

Many studies demonstrate the effectiveness of CBT. It is the leading evidence-based treatment for many disorders, including eating disorders.

Pros

  • Helpful where medicine has not worked.

  • It is relatively short and effective compared to other talking therapies.

  • Helps with practical and useful strategies to overcome negative and unhelpful thoughts that you can use in your day-to-day life.

  • The therapy can be provided through groups, self-help books and online.

Cons

  • Commitment is required.

  • Therapy can involve emotional confrontation.

  • It may be unsuitable for people with complex mental health issues. 

CBT can help you recover in a short period of time and have helpful strategies to use in everyday life. However, it is not for everyone, and several factors impact its effectiveness:

  • Willingness to change

  • Commitment to work outside sessions

  • Patience 

  • Ability to embrace the structure

  • General commitment to recovery

You might not notice changes overnight. But if you are willing to commit to the therapy fully, you can benefit from CBT's effectiveness. CBT is a structured therapy that empowers the individual, and your therapist will also help you find ways to stay on track. 

What Is the Success Rate of CBT?

This can depend on many factors, including the type of mental health difficulty, for example, the success rate can differ between depression and eating disorders but overall has an impressive success rate, ranging from 50% to 75%.

The success rate can also depend on what other treatment you are having alongside therapy. It is essential to pick a reputable therapist you can trust to get the most out of CBT. 

CBT Therapy in Plymouth

CBT can offer many benefits, including giving you a new perspective and direction in life. I offer CBT in conjunction with other therapies, so I don’t generally have the same formal structure or a specific number of sessions.

 

I have had people come to me in the past who think CBT will be a quick fix, I see it a bit like a sticking plaster, it can offer short term effective relief, but if the underlying anxiety and issues aren’t addressed the client will continue to struggle long term.

As a qualified and experienced counsellor, I provide a safe, confidential and welcoming space for therapy sessions. Please feel free to contact me to learn more about my services. 

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If you're looking for a CBT Therapist in Plymouth or online, please get in touch with me. I offer a free 20-minute consultation with no obligation.

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