Cognitive and Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
CBT is a type of psychotherapy that assists people to change unhelpful or unhealthy patterns through exploring and working on thoughts and feelings, and understanding how these impact on behaviour. This approach encourages us to take a closer look at the content of our thoughts and how they work. It involves a level of emotional articulation, self-reflection and introspection. In examining our patterns of thinking and behaving, we realise we have the power to shift our internal state in order to create more positive emotions, beliefs and behaviours in our daily lives.
CBT is a collaborative process; it engages people to act as a 'co-therapist' in counselling and can often involve doing 'homework' away from sessions. This means applying tools and coping strategies introduced in counselling to our every day lives, to put into practice taking control of our thought patterns. Some strategies that are often taught in CBT include relaxation, deep breathing, goal-setting, social skills building and problem-solving.
Learning new skills to nurture our internal experiences can be an empowering way to manage difficult emotions as they arise. This helps us to take charge of the way we respond to and feel in our world, putting us on the path to mental wellness.
While an effective therapy for many people, CBT is not always helpful for people with extremely high levels of anxiety, long-term depression or who have experienced trauma.
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