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CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) 

At Hola Therapy we typically draw on CBT strategies combined with other therapy models over a course of therapy. However we can also offer a CBT-only, short-term course of therapy. 

What is CBT? 

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is an umbrella term used to describe a range of strategies that help you change the way you think (cognitive therapy) and act (behavioural therapy).  

It is often considered the ‘gold standard’ in therapy due to the high level of research supporting it. 

How CBT works

Previously, therapy was often undertaken up to five times a week, for years on end in order to see results. CBT changed that. It found that you can experience change relatively quickly by skipping straight to what is happening right now. This meant therapy became accessible to many people who was inaccessible to in the past.

 

CBT focuses on the interrelatedness between our thoughts, feelings and actions (rather than our childhoods or pasts). 

For example, I have a party coming up. I thinkNo one is going to like me”. I then feel anxious and low, and my action (or behaviour) is to stay at home - feeling even more anxious and low.

 

In CBT, you would examine that thought ("No one is going to like me") and challenge it by looking at the evidence for or against it. You would also become very mindfully aware, noticing the impact of that thought on your feelings (anxious and low). And finally, you would choose actions that promote positive feelings, such as going to the party anyway. 

CBT is based on the idea that thoughts, feelings, physical sensations actions are always connected, and we can easily become trapped in negative cycles. Until we consciously break out of them. 

CBT Uses 

CBT can help with: 

  • Depression 

  • Anxiety 

  • Panic Disorder 

  • Phobias 

  • Insomnia 

  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder 

  • Bipolar Disorder 

  • Eating Disorders 

  • Alcohol misuse and much more.

  • It’s also now used for treating psychotic disorders and many drug misuse disorders. It is also sometimes used to treat physical disorders such irritable bowel syndrome, chronic pain and chronic fatigue to help people cope better with their symptoms. 

 

How often are sessions needed? 

Our CBT sessions are 50 minutes and are typically every week or 2 weeks.

 

A course of CBT usually lasts 6 to 20 sessions. 

During these sessions you’ll learn specific strategies to break down your problems into smaller parts. 

CBT typically sets ‘homework’ so you’ll be encouraged to keep logs and trial different strategies outside of session.

Pros of CBT 

  • No dependence on the therapist - you learn the strategies to help yourself

  • It is effective in a relatively short period of time. 

  • In teens, it’s been shown that even in the absence of depression or anxiety, the skills learned in CBT promote mental wellbeing and resilience. 

  • The benefits of CBT continue after the therapy has finished. 

  • It is highly structured 

  • It is as effective as medication for many conditions without any side effects 

  • Time and cost effective for equally positive results 


 

Some of the disadvantages include: 

 

  • You need to commit to the process and put in the work outside of session to get the most out of it. This can take up a lot of time. 

  • It is not an insight-orientated approach and does not dedicate time to exploring your history, trauma or contextual challenges contributing to the problem. 

  • It involves confronting your feelings and increasing self-awareness, which can be emotionally uncomfortable. 

  • It does not address wider systemic issues or underlying causes of mental health issues 

  • It may not be suited to people with more complex mental health needs 

 

If you are interested in a course of CBT, we have a number of therapists offering this. Please contact us here to book an appointment. 

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