What is CBT?
Cognitive Behaviour Therapy is a form of talking therapy which can be used to treat people with a wide range of mental health conditions. CBT helps people to develop alternative ways of thinking and behaving, and looks at the relationship between thoughts, feelings and actions in order to ease emotional and psychological distress.
CBT counselling can help us to identify and cope with specific challenges relatively quickly, and I use this combined with an integrated client-focused talking therapy in order to help you make lasting change and understand the ‘why’ as well as the ‘what.’
CBT is more measurable than some other talking therapies, and tends to get very good results, it is therefore widely supported by the NHS.
I use CBT skills and theory to influence my sessions, but it is not always the primary focus. The beauty of working in an integrated way is that we can create a therapeutic experience that is right for you. I do not take a one-size-fits-all approach to my work.
How long are the sessions?
Each counselling session lasts for 50 minutes. Within each session we will set a loose agenda according to your overall goals for therapy, which can help to keep focus on the topics which are of most importance to you. Your first session will be a good opportunity to ask any questions and to set out some of your goals and wishes for our time spent together. Whilst CBT sessions are quite structured, as I work in an integrated way with traditional talking therapy - you will find there is more space for us to take time and explore within a session.
Will there be homework?
Whilst I really dislike the term ‘homework’, there will be some mutually-agreed tasks for you to work on in-between sessions. These are always tailored to suit my clients on an individual basis. Some of them may be useful, some of them not so, but it is only by trying things out that we get to know what works best for you and the best ways of helping you move forward. Most clients tend to learn the most in the time spent after the session, drawing your own conclusions by working through the tasks set, which is the most powerful way to create lasting change.
How many sessions will I need?
Everyone is different, with different needs and goals for therapy. As with most things, we get out what we put in. The amount of sessions you choose to have is down to you, and is not a decision you need to make upfront. I tend to recommend no fewer than 10 sessions, but some clients returning to therapy after having found it useful before, may find that 6 sessions is enough, almost like a ‘top-up’. Likewise, other clients choose to come to therapy for many months, if not a year or two. There is no right or wrong amount of time to spend on your therapy journey, what matters most is what you take from it.
Can I bring someone with me?
It is really important to the therapeutic relationship and to the work itself, that sessions remain confidential and on a one-to-one basis. What you choose to share with loved ones outside of our sessions is up to you. Clients with mobility difficulties or severe anxiety may choose to have a family member or friend support them in getting to and from appointments, but that person must remain outside the therapy room for the duration of the session.
By that same token, any sessions that take place over the internet or the telephone, must be done at a time and space that the client will remain undisturbed.
Do you offer sessions online or over the telephone?
The Covid-19 pandemic has meant most therapists have had to adapt to working online. I am pleased to be able to continue to offer sessions over Zoom or via the telephone on an ongoing basis to clients who may live far away, or find face-to-face sessions impractical for whatever reason. We can discuss your needs during your initial telephone consultation which lasts around 10 minutes and is free of charge.
Where are you based?
Face- to-face sessions are offered at The Yews Centre, Haywards Heath. I practice from my own home for remote sessions, in a confidential, dedicated space.