What is cognitive behavioural therapy

Cognitive behavioural therapy is a form of talk therapy. It is short term and goal orientated. It helps you manage your problems by changing the way you think and behave.

Unlike more traditional psychological treatments, cognitive behavioural therapy focuses less on things that have happened in your past. Instead, it focuses more on the problems you are currently facing. It helps you deal with overwhelming problems by breaking them down into smaller pieces and dealing with them individually.

It can help treat anything from sleeping disorders to anxiety and depression. It works by identifying negative thought patterns and vicious cycles in your everyday life. Then it helps you to deal with them in a more practical way.

An important advantage of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is that it can be completed in a relatively short timeframe compared to other types of talk therapy. Research has also shown that it can be just as, if not even more effective than only taking medicine in most cases. The skills that you learn in cognitive behavioural therapy are also practical and useful and can be incorporated into everyday life.

If CBT is recommended, you’ll have between 5 and 20 sessions about every 2 weeks. During these sessions, you’ll work with your therapist to break your problems down into separate parts such as thoughts and feelings. You and your therapist will then work together if these parts are unhelpful or even harmful. Your therapist will then help you figure out how to change your unhelpful thoughts and feelings.

CBT does have it’s sceptics, however. Reputable psychologists state that it is focused on the symptoms and not the cause of those symptoms. It does, however, deal with those symptoms effectively and as a result, helps to tackle the cause.

In the end, it is up to the patient to decide what would suit him best, but any licensed professional will be able to help him/her do so.

Health Professions Council of South Africa:
Registration number PS 0057843

Board of Healthcare Funders:
Practice number 0580635

Psychological Society of South Africa (PsySSA)

International Association of Applied Psychology

International Psychology Network