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CBT, EMDR, ERP – there are a lot of different terms and acronyms used when it comes to mental health support! We want to help you better understand what these terms mean, how the therapies work, and what they help with.

All therapies have one goal – helping you to better manage and improve your mental health. Today, let’s take a closer look at Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). 

What is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy?

CBT, or Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, is based on the concept that your thoughts, feelings, physical sensations and actions are interconnected, and that negative thoughts and feelings can trap you in a negative cycle.

CBT can help you find ways to manage the things that are troubling you, such as by breaking them down into separate and smaller parts.

CBT is a type of talking therapy that will deal with your current problems, instead of issues from your past.

What can CBT be helpful for?

  • Low mood
  • Stress
  • Worry
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • Panic or social anxiety
  • Managing long-term health conditions, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or chronic pain

What will happen in a CBT session?

If CBT is the right therapy for you, you will usually have a weekly or fortnightly session with a therapist. The number of sessions varies depending on your needs, but generally it would be between 6-12 sessions, lasting between 30-60 minutes.

In these sessions, you’ll work with your therapist to explore your problems and put them into different categories: thoughts, physical feelings, and actions.

The end goal of therapy is to help you understand and learn to manage your problems using the skills you learn during therapy.

Let’s take a look at some of the advantages of CBT:

  • CBT can help you to see positive changes very quickly.
  • You will learn practical strategies to use in your daily life, which you can continue to use after your therapy has finished.
  • It can help you to see the ways that you can change unhelpful thoughts, feelings and behaviours.
  • It can be provided in a variety of ways, including online, in-person, or over the phone. This means you can fit it around your other commitments and means you don’t necessarily have to travel for therapy.

Now, let’s take a look at some of the other things to consider about CBT:

  • It may not be a suitable therapy for people with more complex mental health needs or learning difficulties.
  • It may be difficult as you confront your emotions and anxieties.
  • CBT focuses on current issues, so it does not address things that have happened in your past.
  • Having CBT includes attending your sessions and doing some extra ‘homework’ activities in between sessions, so this will take up some time.

How do I find an NHS CBT therapist?

At Everyturn Mental Health, we offer NHS Talking Therapies (including CBT) in a number of areas across the country. Click here to see if we offer talking therapies in your area.

You can also click here to use the search tool on the NHS website to help you find your nearest service.


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