3 Things People Get Wrong About CBT

If you are thinking about reaching out for CBT therapy in Billericay or online, chances are you will have a few questions. CBT, despite being one of the most popular therapeutic interventions in the UK, is still largely misunderstood. The phrase ‘cognitive behavioural therapy’ may put some people off, due to it sounding rather technical and perhaps intimidating.

You may have some preconceptions about what to expect from CBT, or simply feel unsure about how it works. To help you understand CBT a bit better, this blog walks you through the three things people most often get wrong when talking about CBT.

CBT ‘Cures’ Depression or Anxiety

Perhaps one of the most common errors people make about CBT, and therapy in general, is that it acts as some kind of panacea - that your problems will be ‘solved’ after a series of sessions. This, unfortunately, is not true. Mental health, particularly anxiety or depression, is more complex than that.

The goal of CBT is not to ‘cure’ anything, but rather to help you manage difficult thoughts and emotions when they come up. CBT provides you with practical tools that can be used to prevent you from entering the same unhealthy thought patterns that contribute to depression, anxiety, and other issues like addiction.

CBT is a ‘One Size Fits All’ Therapy

Although CBT does draw from established structured protocols for managing various issues, it is far from rigid. I always adapt my CBT service to suit the particular personality and needs of each client. Everyone has a different history, different circumstances, and different issues they wish to focus on. Working with someone who has a substance abuse problem, for example, will require an approach that differs from an individual who wants to work on their obsessive-compulsive disorder.

It could be that some techniques which are helpful for some people are not useful at all for others. As CBT therapists, we have to adapt our approach to the needs of each individual, because we are all unique.

CBT Ignores Emotions 

Given the way CBT essentially focuses on replacing unhealthy thought patterns with healthier, more realistic interpretations, it is often believed that the process is somewhat devoid of emotion, but this is just not true. In fact, emotions play a key role in CBT therapy. Our work together focuses on the connection between thoughts and emotions, and the connection between behaviour and emotions. The skills taught during CBT are all about improving emotional states, so the idea that emotions are somehow unimportant is simply incorrect.

By changing how we think about our thoughts, we also change the way we feel, which in turn influences our behaviour. That process is the essence of CBT, helping people to escape from being prisoner to the same unhelpful emotions.

You might have a few more questions about how exactly I work as a CBT therapist in Billericay and online. If so, feel free to give me a call at any time. 

©2022 Sharon McHugh

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