About CBT

Looking after your mental health

Seeking help can feel daunting and overwhelming. Having the right information may help by giving you an informed choice and answering some of the questions you may have. Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapy, usually called CBT, is an evidence based therapy used widely across the UK in both NHS and independent practice.

It is recommended by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) for many types of problems and diagnosis. Below is some information on what CBT is and how it works.

FAQ's

What is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)?

CBT is effective for a range of stress, pain and mental health difficulties. CBT focuses on difficulties that are being experienced in the here and now. Past experiences which are thought to have influenced presenting problems may be identified and discussed especially if this makes sense of the current problem. However this is not the main focus of sessions.

CBT breaks down a problem into smaller understandable aspects such as thoughts, behaviours, mood and emotions, physical symptoms and the environment in which this is taking place. It can then be easier to see where changes may be made. As all these areas link together, often a change in one area, say how we think about something or how we react, can have a positive knock on effect as to how we feel. This in turn can help with the big picture.

What is CBT useful for?

CBT is an effective treatment for a range of psychological and physical difficulties. CBT is thought to be one of the most useful treatments when anxiety, depression or pain is the main problem.

I can help in working with the following difficulties:

  • Anxiety including panic attacks and agoraphobia
  • Depression
  • Excessive worry (general anxiety)
  • Habits, such as hair pulling
  • Health anxiety (hypochondriasis)
  • Insomnia
  • Low self esteem and low confidence
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Persistent pain
  • Traumatic experiences and Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Social anxiety
  • Specific phobias
  • Stress

CBT does not claim to be able to cure all the problems listed, but might be able to find different ways to live and cope with the problems.

For more information on CBT – what it is and how it can help please see the following links:

What you can expect from Cognitive Behavioural Therapy?

Engaging in a talking therapy can be difficult and it is important that you feel you are being listened to and that trust can develop.

CBT has structured appointments to best make use of the appointment time. There is an emphasis on a collaborative therapeutic relationship, a sense we are working together and that we are both experts. We will adopt a curious and almost scientific approach to find out how else presenting problems may be thought about or tackled. We will consider what other ways issues can be approached and identify and practice any skills and strategies that may help you in working towards your identified goals. Working on things discussed in sessions, outside of the appointments, forms an important part of CBT.

We will meet initially to discuss what your needs are, to gain a shared understanding of the problem and find out what your goals for therapy might be. It is also a time for you to ask any questions you might have. The first meeting usually involves developing a diagrammatic picture, called a formulation, which tries to make sense of what keeps the problem going, or why things are not getting better. Individuals often find this process interesting and useful. Often it helps both you and your therapist make a decision about whether CBT might be helpful. If together we decide to go ahead, we will agree a regular time slot either weekly or fortnightly.  Each session lasts 50-55 minutes.

Confidentiality

Your confidentiality is important to us

Confidentiality is maintained throughout our work except for certain exceptional circumstances in which I have a legal or ethical obligation to share information, which conflicts with clinical confidentiality. This would include if I think you are at risk to yourself (for example an intent to commit suicide or deliberate self harm), a risk to other people, if children are thought to be at risk and if you are at risk of harm from others.

Also I have regular clinical supervision which is a standard requirement for those providing talking therapies. Clinical supervision is time for me to consult with a senior colleague in order for me to reflect on my practice and maintain a high quality professional service incorporating best practice. Your name and any other information which could identify you will not be revealed. If you wish to discuss this further please do so right away.

Apart from these exceptions, I would always seek your permission before discussing any aspect of our work with anyone else.

To find out more about how CBT might help you, and how we might work together contact me, Naomi Kirby on 07597 393803 or naomi.kirbycbt@gmail.com.

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