What is CBT?
CBT, or Cognitive Behavior Therapy, is a type of therapy, which has been proved to help treat a variety of conditions in adults, youth, and children. CBT looks at how we think about a situation and how this affects the way we act. In turn our actions can affect how we think and feel. The therapist and client work together in changing the client’s behaviors, or their thinking patterns, or both.
What problems can CBT help?
Research has shown that CBT treatment can help with the following problems:
- anxiety disorders (including panic attacks and post-traumatic stress disorder)
- personal difficulties
- relationship problems
- obsessive compulsive disorder
- schizophrenia and psychosis
- bipolar disorder
There is also good evidence that CBT is helpful in treating many other conditions, including:
- chronic fatigue
- behavioral difficulties in children
- anxiety disorders in children
- chronic pain
- physical symptoms without a medical diagnosis
- sleep difficulties
- anger management
CBT can be used if you are on medication which has been prescribed by your doctor. You can also use CBT on its own. This will depend on the difficulty you have.
How CBT is delivered
CBT can be offered in individual sessions with a therapist or as part of a group. The number of CBT sessions you need depends on the difficulty you need help with.
Often this will be between five and 20 weekly sessions lasting between 30 and 60 minutes each. You and your therapist will discuss your specific difficulties and set goals for you to achieve. CBT is not a quick fix. It involves hard work during and between sessions. Your therapist will not tell you what to do. Instead they will help you decide what difficulties you want to work on in order to help you improve your situation. Your therapist will be able to advise you on how to continue using CBT techniques in your daily life after your treatment ends.