The pros and cons of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is a very popular therapy that is widely available privately and through the NHS. It is classed as a ‘talking’ therapy and can be very effective in the treatment of mental health conditions, either alongside, or as an alternative to medication. In fact, many GPs and medical professionals will recommend a course of CBT to patients before medication is prescribed.

What is CBT?

The concept of CBT is that there is an interconnection between the thoughts, feelings, sensations and actions of a person. If there are negative feelings or thoughts, these can impact on the other areas and the patient becomes trapped in a vicious cycle. CBT helps the patient to understand these interconnections and break down issues and problems into parts, so that they can be analysed and dealt with positively.

Your CBT therapist will not discuss issues from your past, like a counsellor or psychiatrist may do. They are more concerned with providing you with tools and techniques to deal with daily and future negativity. CBT is applicable in the treatment of many conditions, including anxiety, depression, eating disorders and sleep issues. It can also sometimes be used as part of a treatment programme for patients with IBS or chronic fatigue syndrome.

The benefits of CBT

There are many advantages to undertaking a course of CBT. It can be treated in a relatively short space of time (compared to other therapies) and session times are usually short and well structured. There are many resources available to support you, both during your course and afterwards. You will be taught helpful techniques that can be applied in daily life, even many months or years after the original therapy has taken place.

There are some downsides however. Patients must be willing to fully commit themselves to the full course of treatment, which will include the therapy sessions plus applying the techniques afterwards. Patients must also be aware that they may have to confront some revelations about themselves that they are uncomfortable with, and they need to complete the course regardless of this. The structured nature of the sessions may not be suitable for everyone, and the therapy will not address any external factors affecting the patient.

You can browse our directory today to find CBT therapists in your area.

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