CBT for Anxiety and Depression
CBT for anxiety and Depression in Warrington.
Do you struggle through each day facing anxiety or depression?
Then you know how exhausting it can be just to function or get through each day. In some respects it makes you extremely strong because you have learned to deal and cope with the symptoms, however, this problem shouldn’t define who you are as a person! You deserve to be free of these symptoms, to live a healthy and happy life!
With the help of CBT and Hypnosis we can work together to reduce and finally, eliminate your symptoms. I work from my Warrington office and see people each day suffering with these negative feelings and overpowering thoughts, and as an integrative therapist I can use hypnotherapy as well as CBT for anxiety and depression, to ge to the bottom of why you feel and more importantly, think in a negative way.
I have written a description of CBT and what it aims to achieve.
The basic goal of cognitive behavioural therapy is to ultimately alter the behaviour of the individual, from a negative way of functioning to a more positive way of functioning, and this is done by challenging the negative automatic thoughts that the client forms and helping them to identify more rational ways of thinking that are less threatening. These thoughts are often triggered by assumptions about situations, which often distort the individual’s view of themselves, others and the world around them. If the individual can alter their thinking then it is likely that the feelings associated with negative or distorted thinking can also be altered. Once the feelings are changed the impact on the persons behaviour is also altered to a more positive way of functioning.
The use of CBT aims for two specific outcomes for the client or patient. Firstly the cognitive aspect of the client is examined to spot distorted patterns of thinking such as, Generalising, Mind reading, magnification, Polarization, Catastrophising, personalisation and blaming. From these types of thinking patterns the cognitive bias can be worked on for a more positive way of perceiving things, helping the client to rationalise their thoughts and see alternatives and more realistic considerations.
The second key outcome is to challenge the behaviour that is triggered by the negative thought patterns. The thought processes have an impact on the clients feelings and if these feelings are negative, for example, anxiety or fear, then the individual may introduce behavioural coping strategies such as avoidance of the situations which elicit that negative feeling. Therefore CBT aims to alter the client’s behavioural patterns for a more positive and helpful conclusion. If we look at the case of a severely depresses client, we can observe that there is more than likely a failure to understand how and why their negative automatic thoughts and resulting feelings are feeding back into the depressive state of mind. So it can therefore seem impossible for the individual to break such a cycle of updating, self-affirming behaviour that only serves to confirm the feelings already set in place. CBT attempts to halt the behavioural problems that result from, and then re-inform, the depressive feelings, and consequently CBT is used to identify and ultimately challenge the negative thoughts and beliefs that may very well be regarded as entirely natural and acceptable.
Cognitive behavioural therapy has emerged as one of the most renowned and widely used methods for dealing with and treating depression, and many medical practitioners in numerous countries have embraced this particular approach. Here in the UK, CBT has become the approach chosen by the National Health Service (NHS) for the treatment of patients suffering from moderate to severe depression. This decision was endorsed by the ‘National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence’ (NICE), recommending its use as a cost effective and immediate approach backed up by clinical research and constant review.
The NHS states that CBT is the most successful approach for dealing with depression, as official documents note, “CBT says that your problems are often created by you. It is not the situation itself that is making you unhappy, but how you think about it and how you react to it” (NHS, 2010).
CBT is probably the only modality to be backed up by empirical evidence proving its efficacy. There have been many randomised controlled trials and systematic reviews over the years, highlighting the value of CBT, and because of its methodical approach it is one of the more measurable therapies. By this I mean, that because CBT encourages goal setting, homework tasks and (controlled) experiments, it is far easier to keep track of a client’s progress. There is a fundamental interest to gather evidence from the client to help formulate a case conceptualisation and during the process of the therapy the therapist and client will develop a problem list, set goals for the short, medium and long term, keeping a thought or mood diary and carrying out behavioural experiments. Each of these aspects can be logged as the client progresses through the therapeutic process.
I believe that in most talk therapies, the clients’ accomplishment at overcoming their problem is proof itself that the certain modalities are efficient, however, in CBT there is far more emphasis at evidence gathering, thought recording and experimentation.