CBT stands for Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. It’s a talking therapy. This means that you have the support of a therapist. But, what is CBT and how can it help with anxiety?
CBT is a combination of exploring the way you think with how you behave. For example, thinking negative thoughts might trigger feelings of anxiety or worthlessness. This could make you avoid people or turn to drink or drugs as a way of burying the anxiety. CBT concentrates on the way you feel now. It focuses on the present, not the past.
Who is it for?
It will suit you if you are suffering from anxiety, panic attacks or phobias. You need to be willing to put in some hard work and attend therapy sessions regularly. It probably won’t help though if you have problems that stem from your past. You might be better off with counselling.
You can have between five and twenty sessions. Each session lasts between half an hour and an hour. You can go weekly or fortnightly.
What you’ll do
Your therapist will talk to you about how you can cope with your feelings. They will teach you ways to change the way you think so that you become less anxious. A therapist will suggest exercises to help you. You might not find them easy to do. Take your time, do things at your own pace.
Say you’re anxious about leaving the house. Your therapist might suggest you open your front door and spend a minute or two on the doorstep. After that maybe you’ll walk to the end the path and then to the end of the street. Bit by bit, if you take your therapist’s advice you could begin to spend longer outside.
CBT isn’t an easy fix. You must be prepared to face your anxiety and maybe do things that make you feel uncomfortable. But, with the support of your therapist, you might find that CBT helps you to change negative thinking.
Where to find help
There are various ways you can access CBT. You can either join a group session or see a therapist on your own.
If you are registered with a GP you might be able to get CBT on the National Health. You don’t need to see your doctor. Contact the psychological therapies service online. The service is only available in certain areas though. You need to fill in the name of your doctor to see if the service is in your area. Your doctor’s surgery might also run CBT sessions on the NHS.
If you want information about private therapy, look online. Websites like BACP or BABCP which are professional bodies. You can also ask your doctor if they have any recommendations. Some therapist offer treatment using the internet with a Skype connection.
Beating the Blues is a CBT course available to buy online. It may be able to help you if you are suffering from anxiety or depression. An online service is useful if you don’t want a face to face talking therapy.
Don’t keep your feelings to yourself. It’s easy to feel that family and friends will think you’re being a pain in the neck. But, what you’ll probably get is lots of support and love. Combine this with CBD therapy and you might just get the help you need.