We are now seeing face to face client again using masks and hand sanitiser to protect clients from Covid while visiting our clinics. We also offer video call sessions.
by Dr. Becky Spelman on 21/03/2020

CBT THERAPY IN LONDON, OUR WORLDWIDE BRANCHES AND ONLINE

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is a proven approach to psychotherapy designed to help people to develop effective coping strategies that will help them to deal with a wide range of psychological issues.

CBT focuses on a problem-solving approach to help people learn how to react in a different, more positive way to the situations that can lead to problem behaviours. By learning new strategies, you can also learn how to change your behaviour and reactions, and how to think about things in a more positive way, thereby improving your life across a range of aspects.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy works best when the individual has a specific sort of problem, such as anxiety, substance abuse, pain management, depression, an eating disorder, etc. It can also help to relieve the stress and social anxiety often associated with conditions such as ADHD and chronic health problems. By focusing on the problem and how you respond to it, you can engage with your CBT Therapist in creating a new set of behaviours and reactions. Over time, these new behaviours and reactions can lead to lower levels of stress and anxiety, and to an incrementally better approach to the factors that trigger them.

Depending on the person in question, and the problems that they have, CBT can be conducted together with a range of techniques, including how to change thinking patterns, eliminating negative self-talk, mindfulness, and breaking unhelpful behavioural patterns. If you have problems with, for example, substance or alcohol abuse, CBT will take place in the context of also addressing this issue in practical terms.

CBT can also help people with a range of psychiatric disorders. Used in conjunction with their medication regime, it can help them, in particular, to manage the stress and anxiety that accompany their condition and, in the process, contribute to a reduction in their symptoms and an improvement in their quality of life. In some cases, it can lead to medication being reduced or even becoming unnecessary.

CBT TECHNIQUES

If you come for CBT, you will have a series of sessions with a therapist in London, who will discuss your problems and how they are affecting you currently, offer you techniques to help you to learn a new set of behaviours, and help you to practice this new skill until it has become embedded. You will also be given “homework” in the form of practicing your new skills outside the environment of the office in which therapy takes place. In the process, you should experience an improvement in your symptoms. While the goal of CBT is a relatively rapid improvement and the cessation of therapy, you can always come back for a booster session at any time.

CBT FAQs

Depression is a common mental or emotional disorder that can have an extremely damaging impact on someone’s quality of life. However, with therapy, most people can experience a dramatic improvement in their symptoms. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is a proven approach to this potentially serious disorder.

CBT works by helping patients to modify their thought patterns and behaviours in order to obtain more control over their mood and actions. Working with a therapist, they will explore how they feel in various situations, and examine the ways in which they react and behave in response to their depression.

Patients will work with their therapist to figure out which life circumstances are associated with their depression, and what behaviours and reactions to triggers in their environment would be more useful in terms of minimising depression and enhancing mood. Over time, they will learn how to integrate these new, more useful, behaviours into their lives and they will become enabled to create lasting change. CBT is about self-empowerment rather than developing a long-term relationship with a therapist. Therefore, patients are given the opportunity to practice and develop skills on their own, with a view to ensuring that their time in therapy is finite.

Patients are encouraged to engage with tools that they can use at home, such as keeping a journal, or noting times when circumstances make things worse for them. These tools will incrementally assist them in learning how to control and change thoughts and reactions to events associated with their depression; how to accurately understand and assess situations beyond their control and how they react to them; how to engage in self-talk that is positive and accurate, rather than self-critical; and how to use self-evaluation in order to learn how to reflect and respond in an appropriate manner. These tools, and the abilities they bring, will continue to be of use long after the therapy sessions have come to an end.

If you would like to talk to someone about Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Depression please get in touch with us at the Private Therapy Clinic by telephone at: 020 3887 1738 or by email at: info@privatetherapyclinic.com.

Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is a condition that can be extremely distressing, and that can persist over a long period of time. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is a proven technique that can vastly improve the quality of life of people with this disruptive disorder.

People with GAD often experience such severe anxiety that they can never really relax, and the impact on both their physical and their mental health can be very severe. Untreated, GAD and its symptoms tend to get worse, as people often withdraw from social contact in an effort to minimise it. Sometimes, people attempt to manage their symptoms by resorting to alcohol or substance abuse. While this can provide them with a temporary crutch, over time this sort of maladaptive response can only make things worse.

People with GAD are often unable to identify the things that make them feel anxious. Because they are anxious most of the time, they need to find a way to manage and ameliorate their symptoms in every situation. For many, CBT is the solution that they are looking for.

CBT assumes that thoughts, feelings, and behaviours are all connected, and that by making changes in one area, problems in another can be improved. In the case of GAD, often the tendency to worry about issues rather than proactively solve problems is a destructive behavioural pattern that has developed over time, contributing to a serious problem with anxiety.

Working with their therapist, patients with GAD can gradually learn problem-solving skills and behavioural techniques that will help them to manage their anxiety. Over time, they can learn to reduce their anxiety and negative feelings and respond to triggers in their environment in a healthier way.

Depending on the specifics of their situation, patients with GAD may engage in CBT on its own, or as part of a suite of therapeutic approaches to their issues, which might include learning techniques such as mindfulness meditation to help them to control their emotions and to achieve relaxation.

If you would like to talk to someone about CBT for GAD please get in touch with us at the Private Therapy Clinic by telephone at: 020 3887 1738 or by email at: info@privatetherapyclinic.com.

People who suffer with Health Anxiety, which has been traditionally known as Hypochondria, typically experience great anxiety about their health, to the point whereby the impact on their quality of life can be considerable. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is a proven technique to help them to manage their symptoms effectively.

Up to a point, we are all concerned about our health. However, Health Anxiety goes far beyond normal health concerns. Someone with Health Anxiety sees symptoms of illness where there are none, or assumes that minor symptoms mean that there is something terribly wrong with them, even when their doctors assure them they are fine.

Anyone with Health Anxiety who continues to suffer despite being physically well can benefit from CBT, which will give them the tools they need to manage their symptoms on their own, and to improve their quality of life.

Patients will work with their therapist to figure out when their Health Anxiety tends to flare up, and what behaviours and reactions to triggers in their environment seem to make things worse. As they become more self-aware, they become enabled to develop new, more useful, behaviours in response to these triggers.

CBT is about self-empowerment rather than developing a long-term relationship with a therapist. Therefore, patients are given the opportunity to practice and develop skills on their own, with a view to ensuring that their time in therapy is limited. They are taught techniques to reduce the impact of Health Anxiety on their lives and encouraged to practice them at home and to keep a record of their progress over time. Gradually, most patients become empowered by therapy and their own progress, and start to see a marked reduction in symptoms.

If you would like to talk to someone about Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Health Anxiety please get in touch with us at the Private Therapy Clinic by telephone at: 020 3887 1738 or by email at: info@privatetherapyclinic.com.

People who suffer with Panic Disorder experience frequent attacks of panic or fear, and the impact on their quality of life can be considerable. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is a proven technique to help them to manage their symptoms effectively.

It is normal and healthy to feel panicky and afraid when we really are in a dangerous situation, but people with Panic Disorder often panic even when there is no danger or risk in their environment at all. The result for both their mental and their physical health can be considerable. Our bodies naturally produce substances such as cortisol and adrenaline when we are at risk, but when we produce elevated levels all the time, it can be very dangerous for our health. CBT helps patients with panic disorder by teaching them how to recognise the things that trigger the disorder in them, and how to manage their symptoms more effectively, greatly reducing the impact on their quality of life and on their health.

Patients will work with their therapist to figure out when they tend to panic, and what behaviours and reactions to triggers in their environment seem to make things worse. As they become more self-aware, they become enabled to develop new, more useful, behaviours in response to the situations that they associate with panic and feelings of intense fear.

CBT is about self-empowerment rather than developing a long-term relationship with a therapist. Therefore, patients are given the opportunity to practice and develop skills on their own, with a view to ensuring that their time in therapy is limited. They are taught techniques to reduce the impact of Panic Disorder on their lives and encouraged to practice them at home and to keep a record of their progress over time. Gradually, most patients become empowered by therapy and their own progress. They will find that their panic attacks become much less frequent, and that they are more in control of their fear.

If you would like to talk to someone about Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Panic Disorder please get in touch with us at the Private Therapy Clinic by telephone at: 020 3887 1738 or by email at: info@privatetherapyclinic.com.

People who suffer with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) experience symptoms that include obsessive thoughts—unwelcome, unpleasant thoughts that they find themselves unable to stop thinking about—and compulsive, repetitive behaviours that they feel compelled to engage in to relieve their anxiety. OCD can have a significant negative impact on someone’s quality of life. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is a proven technique to help them to manage their symptoms effectively.

OCD is a long-term mental health condition, so it is crucial to find a way to significantly reduce symptoms. In some patients, medication can help in the short term, but it is not a good long-term solution to the problem. CBT helps by identifying the factors in the patient’s life that tend to aggravate their obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviours, and to replace them with a more useful way of thinking and responding to stress. By the time they come to therapy, many people with CBT are very aware that their behaviour is out of control, and often feel quite despairing about it. CBT can, quite quickly, help them to start gaining a sense of mastery over their symptoms.

With CBT, the therapist and the patient may explore the origins of the condition, but the main focus is on learning new behaviours and new ways of thinking to replace behavioural and thought patterns that have been impacting negatively on the patient’s way of life.

CBT is about self-empowerment and acquiring the skills necessary to manage the condition on one’s own. Therefore, patients are given the opportunity to practice and develop skills, with a view to ensuring that their time in therapy is limited. They are taught techniques to reduce the impact of OCD on their lives and encouraged to practice them at home and to keep a record of their progress over time. Gradually, most patients become empowered by therapy and their own progress. They will find that their OCD manifests much less frequently and that they are more in control of their thoughts and behaviours.

If you would like to talk to someone about Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder please get in touch with us at the Private Therapy Clinic by telephone at: 020 3887 1738 or by email at: info@privatetherapyclinic.com.

People who suffer with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) have experienced a trauma in the past—abuse, rape, an accident, war, domestic violence, etc.; many different types of traumatic experience can lead to the condition. In response, they have developed symptoms that can include obsessive, unwelcome thoughts about the event, and feelings of intense anxiety or panic. The condition can impact seriously on their ability to function in everyday life. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is a proven technique to help them to manage their symptoms effectively.

People with PTSD can often feel quite despairing and worry that their lives will never be as they were before they experienced the traumatic event. Particularly if they have been dealing with PTSD for many years, they may feel that they are permanently damaged. Many try to deal with the condition on their own, often resorting to using alcohol or other substances to attempt to ameliorate symptoms. Patients initially presenting for treatment often benefit from the short-term use of medication, but CBT offers them a way to manage their symptoms that can show real benefits quite quickly, and gives them the tools they need to rebuild their lives after trauma.

If patients can attend therapy shortly after experiencing trauma, their symptoms may be reduced, but for people with PTSD, CBT can help them to rebuild their lives even years after the initial traumatic event. Working with their therapist, the patient learns about how their feelings, thoughts, and behaviours interact, and acquires the skills they need to learn how to respond differently, and more usefully, to negative emotions and damaging behaviours.

CBT is about gradually becoming able to manage a condition on one’s own. Therefore, patients are given the opportunity to practice and develop skills, with a view to ensuring that their time in therapy is limited. They are taught techniques to reduce the impact of PTSD on their lives and encouraged to practice them at home and to keep a record of their progress over time. Gradually, most patients will find that their PTSD symptoms appear much less frequently and that they are more in control of their thoughts and behaviours. With time, they can move beyond trauma.

If you would like to talk to someone about Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder please get in touch with us at the Private Therapy Clinic by telephone at: 020 3887 1738 or by email at: info@privatetherapyclinic.com.

A phobia is specific anxiety disorder predicated around a fear of something, or of a situation, that is so intense that the afflicted person can respond to encounters with huge fear, anxiety, and negative behaviours such as hyperventilating or fainting, all of which can impact very seriously on their quality of life. For example, someone with a phobic response to air travel might organise their whole life around avoiding it, even to the extent of damaging their own work prospects and personal happiness. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is a proven technique to help people with phobias to manage their symptoms effectively.

People with a phobia often feel that their feelings and reactions to their trigger are so entrenched that they are irreversible. They may have grown so used to organising their lives around avoidance that they doubt that things can ever be different. However, possibly in combination with other forms of therapy such as exposure therapy, CBT offers a real and meaningful way forward to anyone who finds that a phobia is having a negative impact on their life.

CBT helps the patient to challenge their irrational thoughts and beliefs and, gradually, to accept that there is no real basis to their strong negative response to their trigger. Over time, they can learn how to respond differently, and more rationally, to the thing that they strongly dislike or fear.

CBT is about gradually becoming able to manage a condition on one’s own. Therefore, patients are given the opportunity to practice and develop skills, with a view to ensuring that their time in therapy will end after a relatively short period of time. They are taught techniques to reduce the impact of phobias on their lives—ideally to eliminate phobic responses completely—and encouraged to practice them at home and to keep a record of their progress over time. Gradually, most patients will find that their phobic symptoms appear much less frequently and that they are more in control of their thoughts and behaviours.

If you would like to talk to someone about Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Phobia please get in touch with us at the Private Therapy Clinic by telephone at: 020 3887 1738 or by email at: info@privatetherapyclinic.com.

The term “self-esteem” refers to a person’s subjective evaluation of themselves and what they are worth. Persistent low self-esteem can be extremely damaging to the individual’s quality of life, impacting on their ability to form positive relationships with others, to progress at work, and much more. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is a proven technique to help people with low self-esteem to learn how to think about themselves in a different way.

It can be difficult for people with low self-esteem to accept that they need therapy. They may be so used to thinking of themselves as having little worth that they simply accept this as the truth, and continue behaving in a way that reflects this belief, such as engaging in constant self-criticism or living with a generally negative outlook on life. However, CBT offers a real and meaningful way forward to anyone whose low self-esteem is holding them back from having a happy and rewarding life.

CBT helps the person with low self-esteem to challenge their entrenched views of themselves. By providing them with practical tools, which might include positive thinking techniques and learning how not to engage in negative self-talk, CBT is about gradually becoming able to manage a condition on one’s own and, sometimes, to completely eliminate problematic symptoms. Therefore, patients are given the opportunity to practice and develop skills, with a view to ensuring that their time in therapy will end after a relatively short period. They are taught techniques to raise their self-esteem, and encouraged to practice them at home and to keep a record of their progress over time. Gradually, most patients will find that they acquire higher levels of self-esteem, with a corresponding enhancement in their quality of life.

If you would like to talk to someone about Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for low self-esteem, please get in touch with us at the Private Therapy Clinic by telephone at: 020 3887 1738 or by email at: info@privatetherapyclinic.com.

If you would like to talk to someone about having cognitive behavioural therapy in London, please get in touch with us at the Private Therapy Clinic by telephone at: 020 3887 1738 or book online.

Tics, which often begin in childhood and persist throughout the individual’s life, can be a challenge to well-being, and a considerable cause of stress. Tics do not typically respond well to conscious, unguided efforts to repress them, and are generally made worse when sufferers are ridiculed or punished for behaviours that they have no control over.

While medication is sometimes used to treat tics, with varying degrees of success, an approach called Cognitive Behavioural Intervention for TICS (CBIT) has been clinically proven to dramatically improve the manifestation of tics in both children and adults.

We know that tics can originate in a combination of both neurological and environmental factors. Therefore, by working with environmental issues, and at the same time retraining the brain, we can dramatically reduce the extent to which individuals display tics. We know from scientific research that the human brain remains “plastic”, retaining the potential for change, throughout the lifetime, and that the interactions between the individual’s neurological make-up and the environment are complex and nuanced. This means that just because someone may have a neurological predisposition to display tics, they can still learn how to respond differently to the triggers in their environment.

There are three major elements to CBIT:

  • The patient learns how to be more aware of their tics and of the feeling that they need to engage in tic behaviour.
  • They learn how to engage in a different behaviour when they become aware of the urge to display a tic.
  • They make simple changes to their lives that can help them to reduce their symptoms.

While some patients have already integrated techniques to manage their condition into their lives, with varying success, CBIT takes the form of a structured therapeutic session over a fixed period of time, such as ten weeks, with a session every week. During sessions, the therapist works with the patient around the three issues highlighted above. For example, someone who feels the urge to cough, blink, or roll their eyes can be taught techniques such as mindful breathing to help them to short-circuit the urge, and then to use a different behaviour, instead. They can also work to identify the factors in their lives that seem to trigger or exacerbate their tics and introduce techniques to help them to reduce their stress levels during those incidents. For example, a patient might notice that their tics are worse when they have to speak in public. They will benefit from using stress-reducing techniques, such as mindfulness, to lower their stress levels and thereby reduce the temptation to engage in tics.

While many people with tics can suppress their tics on their own for a period of time, this can be a very frustrating experience for them, that adds to their feelings of stress and can actually make things worse in the longer term. Instead, the goal of CBIT is to integrate new behaviours such that, over time, they become second nature, and therefore remove the need to engage in voluntary suppression. As the person’s ability to understand and manage their tics grows, they become more confident and self-empowered, and less inclined to react to situations that used to trigger them. Over time, the “new” behaviours that they learn to replace tics often also fade away as their ability to manage their condition develops.

Healthcare professionals from a range of backgrounds, including general practitioners and nurse practitioners, can offer help for people with tics, but CBIT—which offers proven long-term relief from the condition—can only be effectively provided by therapists who have been specifically trained in this field.

If you would like to talk to someone about Cognitive Behavioural Intervention for Tics, please get in touch with us at the Private Therapy Clinic by telephone at: 020 3887 1738 or by email at: info@privatetherapyclinic.com.

References

Beck JS (2011), Cognitive behavior therapy: Basics and beyond (2nd ed.), New York, NY: The Guilford Press.

David D, Cristea I, Hofmann SG (2018-01-29). “Why Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Is the Current Gold Standard of Psychotherapy”. Frontiers in Psychiatry. 9: 4.

Hofmann SG, Asmundson GJ, Beck AT (June 2013). “The science of cognitive therapy”. Behavior Therapy. 44 (2): 199–212.

Piacentini, J., Woods, D.W., Scahill L., Wilhelm, S., Peterson, A.L., Chang, S., Ginsburg, G.S., Deckersbach, T., Dziura, J., Levi-Pearl, S., Walkup J.T., 2010, “Behavior Therapy for Children with Tourette Disorder: A Randomized Controlled Trial. “Journal of the American Medical Association, 303:1929-1937.

Chang S.W., Piacentini, J. & Walkup, J.T., 2007, “Behavioral Treatment of Tourette Syndrome: Past, Present, and Future.”Clinical Psychology Science and Practice, 14(3):268-273.

Avia MD, Ruiz MA (2005), “Recommendations for the Treatment of Hypochondriac Patients”, Journal of Contemporary Psychotherapy, 35 (3): 301–13

Beck JS (2011), Cognitive Behavior Therapy: Basics and Beyond (2nd ed.), New York, NY: The Guilford Press.
Bisson JI, Cosgrove S, Lewis C, Robert NP (November 2015), “Post-traumatic stress disorder”, British Medical Journal, 351.

Bono, J. E.; Judge, T. A. (2003), “Core self-evaluations: A review of the trait and its role in job satisfaction and job performance”, European Journal of Personality, 17 (Suppl1): S5–S18.

Borkovec, T. D., Newman, M. G., Pincus, A. L., & Lytle, R. (2002). “A Component Analysis of Cognitive–behavioral Therapy for Generalized Anxiety Disorder and the Role of Interpersonal Problems,” Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 70, 288–298.

Brewin CR (1996). “Theoretical foundations of cognitive-behavior therapy for anxiety and depression”, Annual Review of Psychology, 47: 33–57

Butler, A. C., Chapman, J. E., Forman, E. M., & Beck, A. T. (2006), “The empirical status of cognitive-behavioral therapy: A review of meta-analyses,” Clinical Psychology Review, 26, 17-31.

Clark DA, Beck AT (2012), The Anxiety and Worry Workbook: The Cognitive Behavioral Solution, New York: Guilford Press.

Hewitt, John P. (2009), Oxford Handbook of Positive Psychology, Oxford University Press. pp. 217–224.

Gould, R. A., Otto, M. W., Pollack, M. H., & Yap, L. (1997). “Cognitive Behavioral and Pharmacological Treatment of Generalized Anxiety Disorder: A Preliminary Meta-analysis,” Behavior Therapy, 28, 285–305.

Grant JE (14 August 2014), “Clinical practice: Obsessive-compulsive disorder”, The New England Journal of Medicine, 371 (7): 646–53.

Kessler D, Lewis G, Kaur S, Wiles N, King M, Weich S, et al. (August 2009), “Therapist-Delivered Internet Psychotherapy for Depression in Primary Care: a Randomised Controlled Trial,” Lancet, 374 (9690): 628–34.

LeBeau RT, Glenn D, Liao B, Wittchen HU, Beesdo-Baum K, Ollendick T, Craske MG (2010). “Specific phobia: a review of DSM-IV specific phobia and preliminary recommendations for DSM-V”, Depress Anxiety, 27 (2): 148–67.

Stein, MD, Murray B.; Gorman, MD, Jack M. (2001), “Unmasking social anxiety disorder” (PDF), Journal of Psychiatry & Neuroscience, 26 (3): 185–9.

Winerman, Lea. “Figuring Out Phobia” Archived 2007-10-05 at the Wayback Machine, American Psychology Association: Monitor on Psychology, August 2007

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