What is CBT?

What is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)?

Our therapists mainly offer CBT, as this is the most popular, proven therapy for those suffering from stress, anxiety and low mood. So, what is CBT?

CBT is an evidence-based therapy that suggests that changing unhelpful thinking patterns and unhelpful behaviours can make us feel a lot better. CBT favours a ‘here and now’ approach, such that unhelpful thoughts and behaviours that are maintaining the problems can be tackled. CBT has protocols to guide therapists on how to help you with certain difficulties. These protocols have been rigorously tested and are shown to be effective. However, therapists use some flex with these approaches to adapt them to each client, as we know that one size does not fit all.

We use different types of techniques in CBT to skill you up to become your own therapist. Our aim to make ourselves redundant by giving you the power to help yourselves going forward. We can help you to work out what is maintaining your problems, e.g. unhelpful thought patterns or behaviours, and work on reversing these, e.g. by challenging negative thoughts, controlling worries, learning problem solving skills, reducing avoidance, etc. We have discussions and test ideas out with little experiments – whoever said CBT is a talking therapy was wrong, it’s a doing therapy! Furthermore, therapy isn’t done to you, but done together. Collaboration is key.

Why go private over the NHS?

When you are struggling with your mood, we know you want to solve the problem fast, and be able to talk to someone in a matter of days. The top thing our clients say is how quickly they were seen compared to the NHS.

We love the NHS, but appreciate it is overstretched and waiting times are incredibly long. Having worked in the NHS ourselves, we know that you may have to wait up to 2 weeks just to see your GP to find out which service you need. Then, you may need to wait a few weeks to have an assessment booked with your local Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) service, and then a further 26 weeks in some areas to start one to one treatment.

For most people, this isn’t even full CBT but is low intensity CBT, meaning that the sessions are shorter (30 minutes), less frequent (fortnightly) and not delivered by fully qualified or accredited CBT therapists, but instead by low intensity practitioners. If you still need to see a CBT therapist after these sessions, it could be another 20 weeks wait in some areas. That could mean you are waiting up to one year for CBT in the NHS from the time you decide to seek help. This is not great, particularly as we know there are better outcomes for your health if you receive help quicker.

For children, the situation is even more desperate. Some Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) operate a two-year waiting list. There are plans and funding from the NHS to reduce this, but unfortunately this is unlikely to kick in for a while.

For this reason, we started Brighter Life Therapy to ensure fast access for our clients, with fully qualified and accredited therapists from the offset. Furthermore, we have years of experience in lecturing, supervision and research, which keeps us up to date with protocols and new ideas to help our clients. Our aim is to speak to you within 48 hours and start working with you within two weeks.