Everything you have to know about Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
Updated: May 16
Cognitive-behavioural therapy is a time-bounded, goal orientated, rational talk therapy, proven to be very effective in helping people to address issues such as anxiety, depression, work / relationships-related stress, PTSD, sleep deprivation, etc., just to name a few. But what’s the main difference between CBT and other psycho-active approaches?
There is a belief that a psychotherapist can help a client to manage the way one thinks and responds to the external stimuli. And it’s true. However, many people who have never done any therapy have a pretty limited idea about psychotherapy in general and CBT in particular. CBT unlike many other modalities has nothing to do with endless talks about problems. It’s very much positive and goals orientated proactive type of therapy. It’s more of a collaborative team-work rather than coaching. CBT employs very particular tools and techniques to teach the brain to react the way we want it to (beneficial responses) and not the way it used to (very often maladaptive pattern based on fears and past traumas).
When should I go for CBT?
1. Anxiety&stress responses (fight/flight/freeze/fawn), anger tendencies, obtrusive racing thoughts, emotional eating, and impulsive behaviour (the behaviour we normally ask ourselves: “why did I do/say that?) - are the most common issues for CBT therapy.
2. Relationships related issues is the second common cause.
3. The third one is peak performance. CBT as no other methods in psychotherapy is performance/goals orientated. Normally career/business/professional coaching includes elements of CBT. Ask your coach if he/she is CBT trained and qualified.
How many sessions do I need?
Generally, 5 to 10 sessions of 30-60 minutes are enough to address 1 core problem with few possible comorbidities (accompanying issues). Every session includes homework you will be asked to prepare. So, don’t have an illusion that CBT is just a venting session with a professional listener. It’s a collaborative WORK and in order to achieve what you want you have to be:
1. Aware of a problem
2. Ready and willing to work hard and be uncomfortable for a period of time as any change (especially personal change) is uncomfortable process
3. Be prepared that your life will change together with you
Remember, that a therapist is just an experienced facilitator, not a magician. Your therapist will provide you with tools and techniques and help you to implement that weapon into your day-to-day life. But no one therapist will be able to do the work instead of you.
Cognitive-behavioural therapy has 5 main stages:
1. Exploration (the problem is discussed and broken down into smaller pieces). It normally takes 1-3 sessions, depends on the complexity of the problem and your readiness to open up and explore the painful area.
2. Case formulation (goal, time, methods and techniques are discussed and set in a form of SMART written plan). SMART is and acronyne for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Time-bounded. Stage 2 usually - 1-2 sessions. Why it’s important to write things down and prepare your homework – read in the next article.
4. Interventions (the therapy itself). This stage includes 1-2-1 sessions once or twice per week conducted in the therapist’s office or on-line + homework. The length of this stage depends on your effort, consistency, and homework fulfilment. There is no need to have 1-2-1 sessions more often because you need time to prepare for the next session. So, your therapist does. Plus your brain needs time to consolidate information and introduce the novel more adaptive behavioural patterns into your day-to-day life on a practical bases.
5. Closure. When the results are achieved (and sustainable), and a client is able to maintain results without a therapist the therapy is closed. We, at LimitlessPsyche, normally create PP handouts and supporting printed materials for every session as well as provide our clients with homework templates.
6. Follow-up. Normally follow-up sessions are conducted once a month or less often if needed. We make sure that all our clients will have high quality support post-closure.
Benefits of CBT:
Proven to be effective in treating almost all mental disorders as well as mood problems
Takes way less time than any other therapeutic modalities apart from Neurofeedback (which we also employ at LimitlessPsyche to support success of our clients)
Alters stress-response of the autonomic nervous system in a beneficial way forever that improves immune system functioning and overall health
Supports proactive approach and creativity
Introduces support network and quality support post-closure
Improves social skills and emotional intelligence
Where and how to find a right therapist?
LimitlessPsyche is an international leading holistic Neurofeedback and CBT practice founded by cognitive-behavioural neurophysiologist and neurophysiologist Tatiana Dmitrieva in 2015. We are involved in a cutting-edge scientific research and collaborate with few famous medical schools in the UK, and the US. We have an access to scientific network and apart from our highly-skilled and qualified experts we will be able to find you the best professionals in the fields of mental health and well-being as well as cognitive and physical peak performance all around the Globe.
Meet Tatiana Dmitrieva - a trained cognitive-behavioural neuropsychologist, qualified nutritionist, a fellow member of ACCPH (Accredited Counsellors, Coaches, Psychotherapists and Hypnotherapists), ISSA (International Sport and Science Association), as well as Institute for Applied Neuroscience and HeartMathInstitute, experienced CBT and psychoanalysis practitioner and hypnotherapist. To know more about Cognitive Behavioural Therapy in London, visit limitlesspsyche.com.