Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
The goal of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is to solve problems concerning dysfunctional emotions, behaviours and cognitions through a goal-oriented and systematic procedure. Regaining control of reactions to stress and stimuli reduces the feeling of helplessness that often accompanies anxiety disorders.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy works on the principle that the thoughts which produce and maintain anxiety can be recognised and altered using various techniques, thereby changing the behavioural response and eliminating the anxiety reaction. Meta-analysis on management outcomes of CBT has shown it to be effective for generalised anxiety disorder, unipolar depression, panic disorder with or without agoraphobia, social phobia, post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and childhood depressive and anxiety disorders.
A number of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy approaches have been designed to address both the general symptoms of anxiety and specific disorders. The therapy is often manualised, with specific technique-driven brief and time-limited interventions for specific psychological disorders.
Clients learn to:
– Keep a diary of significant events and associated feelings, thoughts and behaviours;
– Question and test assumptions, evaluate beliefs that might be unhelpful and unrealistic;
– Gradually face activities which may have been avoided;
– Try out new ways of behaving and reacting;
– Implement the relaxation and distraction techniques learnt to reduce anxiety.
Generally, going through Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is not an overnight process for clients. Even after clients have learned to recognise when and where their mental processes go awry, it can in some cases take considerable time and effort to replace a dysfunctional behavioural process or habit with a more reasonable and adaptive one.
At Learning Discoveries Psychological Services we often use other interventions either prior to or in conjunction with Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. These interventions include: diet and nutrition, neurofeedback and Heart Rate Variability (HRV) training.