A BBC guide explains how CBT is based on the idea that problems aren’t caused by situations themselves but by how we interpret them in our thoughts. These interpretations have an impact on our feelings and actions.
How does this work in practice?
For example, if someone you know walks by without saying hello, what’s your reaction?
You might think that they ignored you because they don’t like you, which could make you feel rejected. So you might be tempted to avoid them the next time you meet. This could increase the bad feeling between you both and generate more “rejections”, until eventually you believe that you are an unlikeable person. If this happened with enough people, you might start to socially withdraw.
But how well did you interpret the situation in the first place?
CBT aims to break negative thought cycles by helping people to spot problematic ways of reacting and replacing unhelpful thoughts with more useful or realistic ones. For example, did the person who just “ignored” you actually see you? Were they really just in a hurry?
Basing your reaction on the evidence
Making sure your reaction is based on the evidence can be a challenge for people with mental health problems, as their thinking styles can be well-established. When someone is depressed or anxious, negative thoughts often persist, but more positive thoughts are easily forgotten.
Treating Anxiety with CBT & Applied Relaxation
At Behavioural Freedom, I use a skills-based model for treating anxiety. During our sessions, I will teach you relaxation techniques and helpful ways in which you can fundamentally, positively and permanently change the way you behave, think and act. It’s also important to note here that you can’t be stressed or suffer from anxiety when you are in a relaxed state. The skills you’ll learn during your time with me will be vital to both your on-going treatment and perhaps more so as you leave my care.
A combination of Applied Relaxation and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is considered by the British Medical Journal to be one of the most effective therapies to alleviate anxiety and put you on a path to having a positive mind-set and being able to live life to the fullest, free of worries. By combining both and adding in the element of hypnosis, I believe this is the most effective, pragmatic and relevant approach to the treatment of anxiety.