Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, was developed by Aaron Beck in the 1960’s.

It is also known as Cognitive Behaviour Therapy and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (American spelling) as well as CBT.

Professor Beck was the first person to recognise the significance of thoughts in relation to people’s feelings and behaviours, in particular that our thoughts determine the way that we feel.

Furthermore, Beck also recognised that what we think on a day-to-day basis when encountering situations, are, in turn, determined by our core beliefs and values.

In this way, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy argues that we understand and make sense of our experiences based on our core beliefs which determine how we think about those experiences which then leads to us behaving in certain ways that are consitent with those beliefs.


Core Beliefs – Thoughts – Outcomes

For example, if you have a core belief that “making mistakes is unforgivable” then when you do make a mistake you may think to yourself:

“Oh NO! I hope nobody notices that mistake or I’ll be in trouble”

and then, when somebody DOES notice the mistake, you may be filled with fear and anxiety about what sort of trouble you’re going to be in.

This experience can be thought of as comprising of three separate components:

  • The Core Belief = Making mistakes is unforgivable.
  • The Thoughts = “If somebody spots my mistake I’ll be in trouble”.
  • The Outcome = Experience feelings of Fear and Anxiety.

Because the subsequent feelings of fear and anxiety are based upon the core belief that making mistakes is unforgivable, the outcome reaction is coherent – it makes complete sense based on what is believed to be true.

Anxiety and fear are not the problem here, the ’cause’ of the distress is the core belief itself because not only is making mistakes a completely NORMAL human trait, but mistakes are almost always forgivable.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy seeks to address the core belief itself through understanding how your feelings (fear and anxiety) relate to your thoughts (I’ll be in trouble).

Applying a Psychosocial perspective also helps to get away from the idea that the core belief is somehow faulty and moves towards the understanding that this core belief was almost certainly learnt from care-givers earlier on in their developmental years.

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How does Cognitive Behavioural Therapy work?

Normally a programme of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy takes place over a period of 10 to 20 weeks with weekly sessions.

Our advanced CBT programme (CORE) has been designed to produce maximum benefits in 10 sessions.

Firstly, because the way you think about your day-to-day experiences is determined by your core beliefs, the early sessions of CBT involve exploring and measuring these beliefs.

Secondly, once you are able to uncover your core beliefs, your thoughts about certain experiences will make more sense.

Thirdly, by understanding how you have made sense of your experiences in the past you can then begin to make changes to your thoughts and beliefs in order to create new, and more useful, emotional outcomes.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is built upon 5 core CBT principles developed by Aaron Beck which are used extensively in our CORE Programme.

Cognitive Behavourial Therapy Session - CBT therapist and Client

CBT is Clinically Proven

No other form of psychotherapy has been more rigorously examined than Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and there are vast amounts of scientific research supporting it’s effectiveness across a wide range of emotional problems.

Unfortunately, this also means that the bio-medical sector has tried to medicalise the approach by claiming that CBT is equivalent to taking a drug for an illness.

This can often be seen in the bio-medical literature when describing a number of doses of CBT that a client has been given – a ridiculous concept at best!

Despite this, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy remains an excellent way of helping people to uncover, comprehend and change beliefs and values that may no longer serve a useful purpose in the present life context.

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Behaviour Change Framework – BCF

Our Cognitive Behavioural Therapy programmes are enhanced by applying the Behaviour Change Framework (BCF).

This scientifically proven protocol clearly defines the incremental stages of behaviour change that you need to go through in order to achieve long lasting and sustainable change.

Drawn from the Transtheoretical Model of Behaviour Change (TTM), the framework provides a roadmap that not only gauges the current stage of progression through the change process, but also indicates if more change is required before entering the next phase of therapy or coaching.

In this way, we are able to ensure that you get the best possible level of support in overcoming your problems as well as ensuring that we don’t terminate the change process prematurely.

You can read more about the Science of Change here.

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Arrange a FREE initial consultation

If you’d like to find out more about overcoming mental health problems using cognitive behavioural therapy then why not arrange a free initial consultation with us.

During this consultation we will discuss your particular problems and the potential solutions in a safe and confidential environment without you having to commit to any therapy or counselling going forward.

The consultation lasts around 50 minutes and is a great opportunity to meet our therapists and decide if you would like to proceed with any support.