What is cognitive behavioural therapy? Your thinking patterns can significantly impact your behaviour, which in turn can reinforce the way you think. As a result, negative thoughts can set in motion a vicious and destructive cycle that can be difficult to break.
Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is a form of talking therapy that helps you to examine how you think, your attitudes and beliefs (the “cognitive” element) and how you act (the “behavioural” element).
Cognitive behavioural therapy helps you learn about the ways in which these two elements interact with each other, giving you the power to break the habit of negative thinking and allowing you to take control of your own thoughts and behaviours. So, what is cognitive behavioural therapy and what can it do for me?
According to the charity Mind, CBT can be an effective therapy for a number of problems, including:
- anger management
- anxiety and panic attacks
- chronic fatigue syndrome
- chronic pain
- drug or alcohol problems
- eating problems
- general health problems
- habits, such as facial tics
- mood swings
- obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
- post-traumatic stress disorder
- sexual and relationship problems
- sleep problems.
While CBT cannot be said to ‘cure’ all of these conditions, it can give the sufferer the tools they need to prevent or cope better with their symptoms.
CBT has been proven so effective that it is now offered on the NHS for the treatment of common mental disorders, such as depression and anxiety.
The Royal College of Psychiatrists, state that CBT is:
- One of the most effective treatments for conditions where anxiety or depression is the main problem.
- The most effective psychological treatment for moderate and severe depression.
- As effective as antidepressants for many types of depression.
If you suffer with mental or emotional problems speak to your GP about possible treatments you might try.