If your child, or someone you know, is struggling with psychological issues, you may be looking for the appropriate therapy to help them. A very popular therapy which is used with both children and adults is CBT. CBT is short for cognitive behavioural therapy.
What is CBT used to treat?
CBT is most commonly used for mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression, however, it can be useful for many other mental and physical health problems.
How does CBT work?
Cognitive behavioural therapy is based on the belief that your thoughts, feelings and actions are all interconnected. Psychologists believe that when negative thoughts and feelings associated with trauma, or mental health, are trapped, this can spiral into a negative cycle.
CBT is a type of therapy which aims to identify the main triggers which are causing negative emotions and create coping mechanisms to break down the problems into smaller, more manageable parts. During CBT therapy, patients will practise how they can change negative patterns in order to improve the way they feel. In contrast to other therapies, and medications such as antidepressants, CBT looks for practical ways to improve the mental state on a daily basis, teaching methods which can be used throughout life.
What are the uses of CBT?
Alongside anxiety and depression, CBT can be a very effective tool to treat a number of mental health conditions when other methods have not been successful.
CBT can help people cope with mental health conditions such as:
- OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder)
- BPD (borderline personality disorder)
- Eating disorders – for example, anorexia, bulimia, BED
- Sleeping disorders – such as insomnia
- Trauma related disorders such as PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder)
- Addiction – alcohol, drug misuse etc
As well as mental health conditions, CBT can also be used to treat patients with long term physical health problems such as:
- Chronic pain
- CFS (chronic fatigue syndrome)
- IBS (irritable bowel syndrome)
CBT cannot help relieve the symptoms of physical health conditions, but it can help people cope with the mental toll of having constant health problems, and help them cope with the stress that comes with a medical condition.
How often do you have to have a CBT session?
If CBT has been recommended to a patient, individuals will usually have a session either once or week, or once every other week. Most commonly, a course of CBT treatment will last from 6 to 20 sessions depending on the individual’s needs.
Each session will tend to last from 30 to 60 minutes. In the sessions, the therapist will ask questions about the patient’s problems and separate them into thoughts, and physical feelings. Once the issues have been identified, the therapist will provide effective ways of changing negative thoughts and behaviours.
From these sessions, the therapist will ask for the individual to practise these coping skills and thought processes in daily life and monitor if it is working in the following sessions. This is helpful so that both the patient and therapist can see what is effective and if there are different methods that should be tested. The coping methods that are learnt during the course of the CBT sessions should help the individual navigate through life and negative thoughts, even after the course is finished.
If you think that your child is in need of CBT, or have been advised by a healthcare professional that CBT may be the correct therapy for them, it is important to find a company which is experienced. Meadows Psychology Service is a company which has a team of highly skilled and knowledgeable therapists with years of experience in psychological assessments and therapy. Providing support and care during the early stages of life can reassure and provide children with trust and eliminate negative experiences in the future.