Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

overcome anxiety
encourage calm

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get rid of my anxiety?
Simply put, this would be impossible! Anxiety is a normal, human reaction to a perceived threat situation. When we notice we are anxious it is usually accompanied by a myriad of physical sensations: wobbly legs, raised heart rate, shortness of breath, dizziness, to name but a few.

This classic ‘Fight, Flight or Freeze’ response is really important when there is an ACTUAL threat, like being cornered by an aggressive dog. However, it is common for this adrenaline reaction to be triggered when it is not really necessary because we have become so good at looking for threat. Over time, this anxiety is going to build up and cause us distress unless we can establish some strategies to tame it.

Does CBT work?

This is a frequently asked question! In a nutshell, you reap what you sow. CBT work can be challenging. If you have been avoiding certain situations or emotions, this might be providing short -term relief from anxiety, but engaging in these situations again can be distressing and is easier with support from a therapist.

My job is to provide support for you whilst you do this. I work in a graded way so clients do not feel thrown in at the deep end.

If you can develop new, healthy behaviours and thinking, then you will start to feel better.

How many sessions will I need?
NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) guidelines usually suggest between 6 and 15, one -hour sessions. However, you may not need this many. Some clients have felt the benefit after just a few sessions and may come back for top up sessions if they feel they need some more support. We can discuss this further either at assessment or contact me for more information.
How effective is CBT for anxiety?
CBT can be really effective for a range of anxiety issues. In the short term, it can help challenge unhelpful thinking styles and behaviours but it can also provide long-term, skills and strategies to defend against anxiety. You don’t unlearn the good work you have done, you can draw upon it over a lifetime.
How can I treat anxiety at home?
There are many small yet significant changes that can help reduce anxiety:

 

  1. Reduce your intake of alcohol, nicotine and caffeine.
  2. Start regular exercising, if you don’t already. Even a daily, 10- minute walk will make a difference.
  3. Practise deep breathing techniques throughout the day. There are plenty of apps out there to help with this.
  4. If sleep is a problem, focus on establishing a routine. Try to go to bed at the same time every night and put away tablets, phones, laptops etc. at least two hours before bed. No text, email or internet shop is more important than getting a good night’s sleep!
What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness has its roots in Buddhist meditation. In the 1970s, Jon Kabat-Zinn adapted Mindfulness to help the reduction of stress. Being Mindful is about attending to our thoughts, feelings and sensations, without judging them. It’s about being ‘present’, without future thinking or ruminations on the past.
What does it mean to be Compassion-Focused?
Compassion-Focused Therapy is a type of psychotherapy that was developed by Professor Paul Gilbert, OBE.  CFT is about developing compassion towards ourselves and others and developing a greater understanding of life’s difficulties and challenges, rather than avoiding them.  This way, we are better able to deal with difficult situations when they inevitably crop up.

 

We can often be extremely self-critical and hard on ourselves, which is counterproductive. It is far more helpful to develop an understanding of why we respond the way we do in situations, so we can work towards changing our thoughts and behaviours and strengthening our positive mental health.