My journey to becoming a CBT Therapist started as an anxious, perfectionist teenager. Having experienced my own difficulties, I knew I wanted to help others improve their mental health and overall wellbeing. I was drawn to Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) because it’s not just about talking – it’s about making changes and getting stuff done to improve how you’re feeling.
CBT is a form of talking therapy offered by Cognitive Behavioural Therapists and Psychologists. As well as being endorsed by the NHS, CBT is the number one treatment recommended for depression and anxiety disorders by the National Institute for Health & Care Excellence (NICE). It can also be used to treat a range of other issues including low self-esteem, perfectionism, stress and burnout.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapies also include approaches such as Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT) and Mindfulness. These are often referred to as ‘third wave’ cognitive behavioural therapies. More on this later!
The key idea behind CBT is that what you think (cognitive) and what you do (behavioural) affects the way you feel. Sometimes we can find ourselves stuck in vicious cycles where our thoughts and the things we’re doing to solve a problem inadvertently keep it going. This means we continue to experience the negative feelings associated with the problem. In many cases, it can also make it difficult to move forward with our lives.
CBT can help you deal with overwhelming problems in a more positive way by breaking them down into smaller parts. You’ll learn how to change negative patterns to improve the way you feel. Unlike some talking therapies, CBT deals with your current problems, rather than solely focusing on issues from your past. It can also help you identify practical ways to improve your state of mind on a daily basis.
In your first assessment session, we’ll discuss your current difficulties and I’ll gather information about you and your situation to make sure CBT is the best therapeutic approach.
We’ll create a written understanding of the difficulties you’re experiencing, explaining how they came about and exactly how they’re being maintained in relation to beliefs, thoughts, emotions, bodily sensations and patterns of behaviour. Clients often find this process extremely helpful and reassuring. Not only does it provide clarity, but it also gives you a hopeful understanding of how you can overcome your difficulties.
During the treatment phase of CBT, we’ll usually meet weekly to talk things through in a proactive way. We’ll also agree therapeutic tasks for you to complete in between sessions so you can start putting the things you’re learning into practice in real life.
The great thing about CBT is that it’s a collaborative therapy. I’m the expert in CBT and you’re the expert in you. We’ll figure things out together, so you can move beyond your difficulties and get on with your life. I’ll be with you every step of the way, making you feel safe and supported and allowing you to take things at your own pace.
I did. One of the things that makes my approach unique is my ability to draw on my training in Mindfulness and Compassion Focused Therapy. These are known as ‘third wave’ therapies. This means they go beyond the ‘thoughts lead to feelings lead to behaviours’ model associated with classic CBT. Instead of tackling individual issues or simply ‘reducing symptoms’, these therapies focus on developing skills that can help you navigate daily life more effectively.
Yes! Studies have shown online CBT is just as effective as face-to-face therapy. I love the added benefits of online therapy – no travel time, no paying for parking, no waiting rooms, and convenient sessions that won’t interfere with your day. You can learn more about my online CBT services here.