To consider if Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) right for you we have talked about what you want from therapy and if the CBT model makes sense to you. In this post we’ll look at the characteristics of CBT.
3. Does the CBT structure suit you?
As described in the posts below CBT is goal and change focussed. In order to make progress in this way we use a certain structure. Rather than the therapist being the expert who can ‘fix’ things for you, we work together on the problem. You bring your knowledge of yourself and your life; we bring our knowledge and experience of CBT.
Therapy is time limited because the idea is that over time you gain new knowledge and skills and move towards ‘becoming your own therapist’. This is likely to require you to put some time aside in between sessions, for example for reading or keeping notes or trying out new ways of doing things and practising what you have learned in therapy.
After an agreed number of sessions we will review therapy to ensure that what we are doing is helpful. Also, at the beginning of each session you will agree how you want to use the time; you create a structure by ‘setting an agenda’. Of course, sometimes things emerge in session which may need to take priority and you may change your plan with your therapist. At the end of the session you will have an opportunity to reflect on what you have gained from it and to give feedback. This is so we can both be clear what is, and is not, so helpful for you.
From this you can see that if you prefer a more free-flowing style in therapy overall and in each session, CBT might not feel so comfortable for you. If on the other hand you want therapy to focus on the changes you want in your life and you are happy to work towards these with your therapist CBT can really help you do this.