What is CBT?
CBT is a problem-based talking therapy that is well studied and has extensive research evidence to show it is one of the most effective treatments for low mood, anxiety and stress.
CBT involves the collaborative development of a Cognitive Behavioural formulation of your problem. This is used to identify unhelpful thoughts, difficult feelings and behavioural responses in order to better understand the links and maintenance factors between them.
CBT encompasses a range of techniques and approaches that address thought, emotions and behaviours. Once these have been identified the focus is on the use of a wide range of strategies to help you overcome them.
This can help to keep track of unhelpful behaviour, habits and patterns of mood.
This can be an important step in recovery. I will help with values and goal identification and the monitoring of these.
Learning and practicing problem-solving skills can help to identify and solve problems that arise from life stressors both big and small.
Identification and management of unhelpful thoughts
It’s important to learn how these are functioning, this can lead to self discovery and awareness. New tools can help you manage these differently.
Identification and management of difficult emotions
A deeper awareness can be developed here and new tools can be taught to help you manage these in a more helpful and self compassionate way.
Practice of new skills
New coping skills can be learnt and practiced in therapy settings and in-between sessions to deal with particular situations.
The ultimate goal of CBT is to teach you that while you cannot always control every aspect of the world, you can take control of how you interpret and respond to things in your environment.
CBT involves you using the time in-between therapy sessions to try things out, record information and bring feedback to the next session. The outcome of interventions are continually monitored, evaluated and modified when required, to give the maximum effect.
This approach can be used to help anyone, irrespective of ability, culture, race, gender or sexual preference.
What is ACT?
Acceptance and commitment therapy is effective in treating and preventing relapse into the vicious cycles of anxiety and low mood because the ACT tools helps you to manage any thoughts and any feelings. These ACT tools are plentiful and ultimately, with the right toolkit for you, your relationship with your thoughts and feelings can be changed. This means that whatever thoughts/worries/obsessions come along, you have a way of dealing with them.
Often it is the struggle with your unhelpful thoughts and feelings that is the actual issue, rather than the thoughts and feelings themselves.
Acceptance and Commitment therapy is one of the ‘new wave’ Cognitive Behavioural therapies. It combines aspects of traditional CBT based treatments with a range of other psychological techniques including:
Commitment and behavioural change.
There are 6 processes central to the effectiveness of ACT, these are;
Diffusion (stepping back and looking AT thoughts rather than from them)
Acceptance (making room for difficult feelings and getting out of the struggle with them)
Attention to the present moment
The principal goal of this treatment approach is to increase psychological flexibility; instead of teaching strategies to facilitate the control of thoughts and feelings, individuals learn to develop a different relationship with their inner experience, whereby they notice and accept what is occurring and then step back from it - this is diffusion. This creates space and allows individuals to explore options which were previously not visible.
Faced with a new range of alternative responses to these thoughts and feelings, the individual is better equipped to manage them and if they choose to, change their responses to them.
ACT is empirically based on modern learning theory and Relational Frame Theory (RFT). It can help with a wide variety of disorders and problems including OCD, Anxiety, low mood, addiction, adjustments, relationships, stress, sleep.