This blog tries to help you decide if Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) could be right for you. In the previous posts I have asked you to think about what you want from therapy, if the CBT model makes sense to you and described the main elements of the CBT structure. Finally, we’ll consider the evidence of what works for different problems.
CBT has an impressive evidence base for being effective. NICE (National Institute for Clinical Excellence) therefore recommends CBT as the main, or one of the main, therapeutic approaches for anxiety disorders and depression. It has also been recognised that it can be helpful with chronic fatigue, medically unexplained symptoms, chronic pain conditions and other presentations. Please see the following link for further information: http://www.babcp.com/files/Public/what-is-cbt-web.pdf and also go to the page ‘What is CBT for?’ on this website.
For certain presentations NICE has recommended CBT as well as other approaches. For example, depression can be treated with CBT, but also counselling and other types of therapy depending on what the main factors are which contribute to depression. CBT is recommended for anxiety disorders including panic and agoraphobia, social anxiety, health anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), worry problems and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The fact that CBT focusses not only on the thoughts and feelings but also on what you do, or don’t do, appears particularly helpful with anxiety and depression. Nevertheless, for the treatment of PTSD both trauma-focussed CBT and EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing) are recommended.
Furthermore, CBT has evolved over the past decades and different approaches have emerged such as compassion-focussed therapy, ACT (or Acceptance and Commitment Therapy) and Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT). Each of these have begun to gather evidence for their effectiveness in relation to particular presentations.
So there are a number of options and you can contact different practitioners to find out what therapy with them would involve. Also, speaking to the therapist and meeting them will help you decide if you feel safe with them and if you think you can benefit from therapy with them. This is really important in helping you choose not only the right therapeutic approach but also the right therapist.