Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
CBT is a talking therapy. It has been proved to help treat a wide range of emotional and physical health conditions in adults, young people and children. CBT looks at how we think about a situation and how this affects the way we act. In turn our actions can affect how we think and feel. The therapist and client work together in changing the client’s behaviours, their thinking patterns, or both of these.
There is a great deal of research evidence to show that CBT works effectively in treating depression. This research has been carefully reviewed by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE).
NICE provides independent, evidence-based guidance for the NHS on the most effective ways to treat disease and ill health. CBT is recommended by NICE for the treatment of anxiety disorders.
CBT is not a quick fix. It involves hard work during and between sessions and you will discuss appropriate tasks for you to work on in between sessions. Your therapist will not tell you what to do. Instead they will help you decide what difficulties you want to work on in order to help you improve your situation. Your therapist will be able to advise you on how to continue using CBT techniques in your daily life after your treatment ends.
Mindfulness is the state of being both fully aware of the moment and of being attentive to this experience. To practice Mindfulness a person must focus on what is happening inside their body and mind in real time. This sounds very simple but in practice it can be much harder to do.
How often do you find that you have finished a meal without really tasting it? Or arrived your destination without remembering any of the journey? Our fast, modern pace of life is one reason why this happens-we have become very used to multi-tasking-and sometimes we have learned to ‘live inside our heads’ for other reasons. Whatever the reason, Mindfulness helps to improve our quality of life and there is a large body of research to show that it can alter our brain chemistry.
Mindfulness can be used in many ways and enhances other therapeutic approaches. It helps people to notice and change their reactions to events, increases resilience during difficult times and leads to greater contentment with life generally.
Adapted from Buddhism, it is now a National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) approved therapy.
‘If you let cloudy water settle, it will become clear. If you let your upset mind settle, your course will also become clear’ Buddha.
Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT)
Compassion Focussed Therapy or CFT grew out of the recognition that the human brain is a product of evolution. We are social beings and both our early and current social contacts are central to understanding mental health problems. The relationship we have with ourselves underpins a wide range of problems and affects our day-to-day experience of life.
Thankfully we have also involved mechanisms to offset these destructive tendencies. Our minds naturally focus on the negative and we can be very self-critical and judgemental of ourselves and others as a result. CFT helps people to develop the capacity to mindfully assess, tolerate and respond in alternative more realistic ways. It promotes physiological changes in your body in much the same way that the thought of hot buttered toast makes our mouth water and feel hungry.
CFT enhances other therapies, particularly Mindfulness and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy but where CBT is focused on thinking and behaviour, CFT looks at the emotion behind the thoughts. It is particularly helpful when we experience a lot of shame, have low self-esteem, anger issues, eating problems and depression but it’s uses are limitless.