What is Cognitive Behaviour Therapy?
Cognitive Behaviour Therapy is the leading, evidence-based form of counselling or talking therapy for emotional or psychological issues such as:
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy looks at the relationship between thoughts, feelings and behaviour. When we experience an emotion or feeling that is unhelpful or unwanted, it usually follows an unhelpful self-statement or thought. Often there is a pattern to such thoughts and these are called “unhelpful thinking styles”. Over time these “thinking styles” can become a habit, and when used constantly they can cause emotional distress.
Briony’s full list of qualifications and training in this area are listed here.
What are Unhelpful Thinking Styles?
Examples of unhelpful thinking styles are listed below. Once these patterns of thinking are identified the person can make changes to replace these patterns with ones that are more positive and helpful.
Mental filter – Looking at the negative parts of a situation and minimising the positive parts. “I got one poor mark, therefore I am hopeless.”
Jumping to Conclusions – assume we know what someone else is thinking (mind reading) and make predictions on the future based or little or no information. “This relationship is going to end badly as we had one disagreement.”
Personalisation – blaming yourself for everything that goes wrong when you may be only partly or not all responsible for a situation. “My team lost as I played badly.”
Catastrophising – blowing things out of proportion… “what a nightmare I am stuck in traffic again!”
Black and white thinking – seeing only one extreme or another- being either wrong or right, good or bad. “ I am hopeless at games because I lost that game.”
‘Should-ing’ or ‘must-ing’ – Putting unreasonable expectations on yourself and others. “I must ring my mother every day or I am a bad daughter. My friend should ring me at least once a week or they don’t care.”
Over-generalisation – taking one instance and imposing on all other situations “ Everyone else has it better than I do…or I never get a break!”
Labelling – making global statements based on behaviour in specific situations when they may be many examples not consistent with that label…”I am a poor friend because she did not ring me back.”
Emotional reasoning – basing your view of things or behaviour solely on a “feeling” one has. “I have the feeling it is going to a terrible day so I will stay in bed… or….even though he is nice to me I have the feeling he doesn’t like me”.
Magnification or minimisation – magnifying the positive attributes of others and minimising your own positive attributes.
Does Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Work?
CBT has been assessed in a number of high quality studies. It has been applied to all the different psychological disorders and has been found to be effective.