Psychologists Sydney / Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
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Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

We are cognitive-behaviour-therapy specialists, qualified to help you using the latest evidence based techniques.

With locations across Sydney we can help you choose a CBT therapist with experience treating your particular issue.

Call us or make a website enquiry to make an appointment at an office near you.

How CBT works

Cognitive behaviour therapy – also known as CBT – is a therapeutic approach that is focused on identifying problem ‘behaviours’ and ‘thoughts’ that lead to low mood and depression, or which generate worries and anxiety.

If you can relate to being a general worrier, or often find yourself taking a negative view of a situation or are often harsh on yourself, then CBT could be a good treatment for you.

CBT therapy is generally considered a short term treatment. It is scientifically proven as effective for many types of mental health issues such as depression and anxiety.

What issues does CBT work well with?

cognitive behavioural approaches to counselling

Cognitive behaviour therapy has been shown to be extremely effective with a wide variety of problems and issues.

One of the most effective and common uses of CBT is for anxiety related disorders.  This includes panic attacks, generalised anxiety and specific phobias or social phobias.

The basic treatment is to engage the thinking skills of the client, so that you begin thinking about what is making you anxious and why.  Relaxation methods are strongly recommended and in anxiety provoking situations, using relaxing thoughts to counter anxiety is part of the CBT treatment.  With enough experiences with transforming anxiety into relaxation, the symptoms of the anxiety disorder resolve.

Another common disorder that cognitive treatment is used with is mood disorders like depression. An example of how CBT treatment would work for depression would include the following steps:

1. Keep track of depression symptoms during the week (sleepiness, down mood, poor concentration, etc)

2. Note what thoughts were being experienced when depression symptoms were strongest (I can’t believe I lost my job, this will never get better, I’m a loser, etc)

3. Learn to assign counter-thoughts for negative thoughts (I’m a loser/I’m a winner, I can’t believe I lost my job/I will find another wonderful job).

4. Learn to assign activities to encourage healthier mood (sit outside for 1 hour each day when weather allows to encourage serotonin production, talk a walk every day, go to social activity once a week).

5. Assign activities to encourage positive reinforcement (apply for 5 jobs every week, research alternative career paths, etc).

6. Assign positive self statements or more realistic self statements (I am a worthwhile person, I do have transferable skills, I am an outgoing personable individual, My friends like me and enjoy my company etc).

7. Review negative feelings/thoughts versus positive feelings/thoughts.

Generally, speaking cognitive behaviour therapy seeks to address negative thoughts and feelings that have become a pattern and transform them into positive and more productive thoughts and feelings about the situation.

Some clients and therapists may decide to combine CBT with mood stabilising antidepressant or anti-anxiety medication, which is the most effective combination of treatments. Taking Medication is not a requirement of participating in CBT.

Who benefits most from cognitive behavioural therapy?

CBT is generally intended to be a short term approach to therapy and counselling.  It is most often recommended as the initial approach to mental health issues.

As mentioned above, mild to moderate depression, anxiety and other mood disorders often benefit from CBT.  Also, intermittent treatment of bipolar disorder appears to benefit from CBT therapy.

Deeper long term problems may not be well addressed by CBT.  Long term treatment like psychotherapy is better able to address extensive history of a particular problem and unravel the reasons why the problem has emerged and help clients investigate and become conscious of the underlying issues that stem from their personal history.

Where can I find a CBT therapist?

If you are struggling with relationship issues, mood problems or other difficulties we can help you to find a professional counsellor at locations across Sydney. Feel free to contact us for more information or to make a booking today.

How was CBT developed?

Cognitive behavioural therapy was developed in the late 20th century in response to psychodynamic and person centered therapies that required on long periods of treatment and focused a great deal of attention and efforts on personal history and intensive evaluation of how a person became the person they are and why they developed problems.

In the early years of CBT, Albert Ellis primarily focused his attention on the thoughts and rational and logic behind symptoms that plagued individuals with mental health problems. Later, in the 1980s and 1990s, behavioural therapy was merged with cognitive therapy to create CBT. Behaviour therapy focused on identifying problem behaviours and offering alternative activities which relieved symptoms. The blending of cognitive therapy and behaviour therapy brought together the idea that thoughts influence behaviour and as a result, if you change the thoughts about a problem, then you can change the behaviours associated with the problem.

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