Cognitive behavioural therapy, also known as CBT.
Helping to change negative thought cyclesCBT helps people become aware of unhelpful thoughts or behaviours. Once we’re aware of things that aren’t helping us, we can start to change them.
Stress, low mood and anxiety can affect many people at different times in their lives. We might feel low due to loss. We might feel anxious about money. Although we often cannot change events in our lives, we can change how we respond to them.
CBT counsellors can help you to break down difficult experiences. They can work with you to recognise and question negative thoughts. Together you can set helpful goals, like learning coping skills, or trying different ways to move forward.
By becoming aware of behaviours, habits and negative thoughts, we can make positive changes.
How can this type of therapy support you?
Understanding how thoughts, emotions and behaviours all affect each other can be helpful. It means we can understand how we get stuck in a ‘cycle,’ and what we can do to get out of it.
For example, somebody who has been through a divorce may feel like they have failed. They might think they can’t ever be in another relationship. This could make them feel low and hopeless. This could lead to a negative cycle, where they sit at home alone and become more isolated.
But rather than accepting this way of thinking, a CBT counsellor can help them to realise that many marriages end. The person could learn from any mistakes, move forward, and feel hopeful about the future. That hopefulness then means they become more social, and meet more people.
CBT can involve keeping track of what you are thinking, feeling and doing, and then trying out new approaches. Your therapist will not make decisions for you. They will help you decide what difficulties you want to work on to help you improve your situation.
The goal is to learn skills you can use to help in your daily life. The more you practise, the more of a habit these techniques can become.