Therapy Warwickshire
   Home      What is CBT?
Therapy Warwickshire prides its self on providing a professional, friendly and common sense approach to CBT. That means making it work for you and your needs, using therapy to help you to get the best from yourself.
CBT, or Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, is a talking therapy. CBT can help you to make sense of overwhelming problems by breaking them down into smaller parts. This makes it easier to see how they are connected and how they affect you. It works by identifying, understanding and changing the vicious cycles that keep difficult or unhelpful feelings going. It provides you with the opportunity to consider what you think and do, and what it does to the way you feel. We will explore the way your beliefs, thoughts, view of the world and actions influence how you feel.  Working together we will consider how you can become more aware of your thinking, do something differently with your thoughts and make changes in how you respond to these thoughts to change the way you feel for the better.

For example

You wake up on a Monday morning for work and think ‘I can’t go in today’, you imagine your boss being critical towards you (these are the cognitions), you feel stressed, exhausted and sick and quite overwhelmed. You phone in sick pulling the cover back over your head and spending the day in bed (behaviours). In the short term you feel relief but what the real cost of this?

· You spend the day beating yourself up about ‘being useless’

· Feeling guilty for phoning in sick

· Feeling angry at your boss whom you have no power to change and taking it out on those around you causing arguments and you feeling even worse about yourself

· Being even more worried about the criticism which you predict will be dished out and the consequences of not being at work if you are able to face work on Tuesday morning

· Sleeping in the day which disturbs your sleep the following night

· Drinking three quarters of a bottle of wine to try and relax before the following day which results in a hangover

This is a vicious cycle. We can’t change the job role, the working hours or the boss but we can think about how you can change and adapt to manage the feelings this situation generates.

CBT won’t make you think positively but it often is a side effect of therapy.


What to expect from my first appointment?

Firstly a friendly face, who won’t judge you or be surprised by the things you might share. This appointment is an opportunity for us to really think about what has motivated you to come, why it might be a problem and what you want to change and consider. Once we understand these things more then we can consider how CBT can and cannot help.

I pride myself on being an honest ethical practitioner, if I feel CBT can only address part of the problem I will tell you and allow you to make an informed choice. Sometimes, I may feel that a different approach with an alternative therapist might be better to address a particular part of your problem, I see supporting you to make an informed choice to be an integral part of my role.
My aim of the first appointment is for you to leave feeling you have a better understanding of why you came and what is maintaining your ‘problem’, to have a understanding of how CBT works in practice, and how CBT can and can’t help and what would be useful for you to do next.


Appointments are generally an hour long and ideally weekly particularly at the beginning as this helps us to get to know each other and really understand what is maintaining the ‘problem’. That said, I do live in the real world and recognise that money, time, work and family commitments can all be a challenge. Ideals aren’t always realistic and an important part of my first appointment with everyone is thinking about these practicalities.

Everyone’s needs are obviously different but you will usually meet with a therapist for between 5 and 20 sessions, depending on the problem, your motivation to change it and what life may throw at you whilst you are working hard to make positive change.
You decide what you want to deal with in the short, medium and long term.
In the first few appointments, we will think about how CBT could help and you will check that you feel comfortable with it and me! In these first appointments we try to understand about how your past and background might be effecting what’s happening now, but its important to highlight that CBT very much focuses on the ‘here and now’ but sometimes it’s useful to glance over your shoulder and think about where you have come from.
At the beginning of each appointment we will be reviewing the things we covered in the previous session, things you have been working on at home between appointments and agree what would be useful to focus on in that appointment to move you towards your goal.
The appointments themselves are only half of the picture, CBT will ask a lot of you and it really is true ‘you will get out what you put in’ and that means ‘homework’. It’s all very well understanding something and working through it with me during an appointment but the art to good CBT is that you finish therapy as your own therapist. Feeling confident that you can identify and make the changes you need when you are flying solo and that only comes through commitment and practice.
However, its rather different to the homework you might remember from school, this is always collaborative, and focused on giving you the change you desire. For example, this could be recording your thoughts to help us understand what’s happening in a particular situation, or something practical like ‘experimenting’ by talking to stranger to test out or challenge your fears about what might happen.