Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) is based on the idea that how we think (cognition), how we act (behaviour), how we feel (emotion) and what is happening in our bodies (physiology) all interact together. Specifically, our thoughts strongly influence our feelings and our behaviour; therefore unhelpful, negative and unrealistic thoughts can be a major source of distress.

How does a CBT therapist work?

CBT addresses the vicious circles that can arise between negative thoughts, self-defeating behaviour, difficult emotions (such as overwhelming anxiety) and physiological reactions (such as sweating and trembling). CBT

The aim of CBT is to empower the client to generate cognitive and behavioural solutions to problematic aspects of his/her life. Various approaches to specific problem areas are experimented with between the individual and the therapist.

A CBT therapist uses a variety of techniques directed at three areas: cognition, behaviour and physiology, in order to help with emotional difficulties.

  • – in cognitive work, clients learn to find alternatives to their unhelpful thinking patterns
  • – in behavioural work, clients learn activity scheduling, social skills, assertiveness etc
  • – in physiological work, clients are taught relaxation techniques, meditation etc

Integrating CBT and Hypnotherapy

CBT work is usually done without hypnosis, often in the form of "homework" tasks for the client to complete between sessions. This is useful to back up the trance work.

Trance work is the most rapid way to access the subconscious mind, where the problem invariably is, but sometimes the client has difficulty in relaxing or concentrating, as a result of their condition. This is often the case with depressed patients, and those suffering from obsessive or compulsive disorders, who are often hyper-vigilant. In these cases, CBT is useful in the early sessions to prepare the way for conventional hypnotherapy, allowing an atmosphere of trust and a readiness for change to develop.