Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, CBT, Cambridge
So what about CBT then?
Imagine the following conversation:
You come to me and say: ‘I’m looking for somebody who can help me use my Windows PC, would you be able to do that?’
And I reply: ‘Sure, I can do that.’
So you continue by asking: ‘Do you use Excel I have heard that it’s great. It’s in the news all the time and a lot of magazines seem to be talking about it, and that’s why I would like to use it, too.’
I then say ‘I don’t really use Excel on its own much, I sometimes use it a little bit in combination with other things. You see, for the type of work I do, I tend to mainly use Word, PowerPoint and Photoshop. But if you are looking for somebody to just teach you Excel specifically, I can refer you to my friend Janet, she uses it exclusively all the time in her work. Just while I’m looking up her address, would you like to tell me a little bit more about what you are trying to do with your PC?’ to which you answer:
‘I’m hoping to write a book. I’ve been wanting to do this for years now, but somehow I just can seem to do it on my own. The material for it is all up there in my head and it keeps spinning round and round, and it’s really starting to cause me quite a lot of stress. It might sound silly, but it’s actually keeping me awake at night and because I’m not sleeping terribly well I’m exhausted during the day. This means that I’ve had to take time of work and, you know, I’m a little bit embarrassed to admit this, but I’ve even started to have panic attacks over this.’
So I say: ‘I see; but you know Excel isn’t really suitable for writing a book. I think you really want to use Word. You see, Excel is suitable for producing charts and tables that can do automatic calculations whenever you update them and things like that, but it’s not really going to help you with your book, I’m afraid. I would suggest that we do go ahead and work on this together, but we use Word for the main body of text that you’re going to write. If you want to include pictures in your book as well, then I’d suggest we do those in Photoshop and then embed them into our Word document. And similarly, if there are some tables that you want to include in your book, we can produce those in Excel and then also incorporate them into our Word document. Does that sound like something you’d like to do?’ and you say:
‘Yes, that sounds like a plan; but basically you’re saying that Excel isn’t suitable for what I’m trying to do?’
I reply: ‘No, I’m afraid it isn’t.’
Then, finally, you say: ‘So why does everybody keep going on about Excel, if in reality it’s so utterly useless?’ and I’d say: ‘Well it’s not useless, in fact it’s really quite good for some things, it just isn’t suitable for everything.’
In those last few lines, substitute Excel with CBT and you get the gist of a conversation that I have with new clients about once every week. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (or more commonly known as CBT) is one of several different types of talking therapies available today. The reason it is featured so much in the news is because it is, at the time of writing, the only form of talking therapy that is available on the NHS. The difference between CBT and other talking therapies, such as counselling or psychotherapy, is usually the approach to what can be addressed in sessions and the focus of the therapy itself. CBT tends to be a lot more directive with sessions focusing on very practical issues. A CBT therapist may give you specific exercises and ‘homework’ to do in between sessions, and you won’t generally have as much of an opportunity to explore your feelings and any underlying issues that may have triggered your crisis.
In their introduction to CBT, the NHS website puts it this way: ‘CBT cannot remove your problems, but can help you to manage them in a more positive way.’
At The Therapy Room we have a team of highly qualified practitioners who will be able to recommend which type of therapy is best suited for your own specific needs and goals, giving you the best possible results. Together we can treat a wide variety of issues, including:
- Anger Management
- Eating Disorders
- Family Issues
- Panic Disorders
- Post Natal Depression
- Recurring Nightmares
- Relationship and Marriage Counselling
- Traumatic Experiences
Why not contact us today, to see how we can help you?
About the author:
Christine Schneider has been working as an integrative counsellor and psychotherapist since 2005, successfully providing therapy for individuals, couples and small groups. In addition to her therapy work, Christine runs workshops on topics such as assertiveness, communication for couples, time management, coping with stress and anxiety, and negotiation skills.