Many of us have never had therapy sessions before and feel uncomfortable talking to a complete stranger about our problems. You are not alone and it is perfectly normal to think like this.
CBT, or Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, is a form of therapy that can help you change the way you think about yourself, the world around you and the behaviour that is associated with it.
It will focus on the situation and ways to improve that behaviour, rather than analyse past causes as in normal therapy. It can be used to treat a range of disorders from depression to anxiety and insomnia to eating disorders.
Other than the above mentioned, what else can you expect from a CBT session? Generally, your therapist with CBT training will want to gather information about you. This will help them understand your current situation and how best to approach the sessions. Be open and honest, this will help the sessions in the long run.
What are your goals?
This will give the therapy a clear structure and aim. What are you hoping to achieve by the end of the sessions? What do you need help with? Collaborate with your therapist on the long term goals. It is fine to start off with a vague idea such as ‘I want to be happier’, but you may need to decide on something more specific further on into the sessions. For example, a goal to treat depression could be to get a new job or learn a new skill.
Begin sessions with an agenda
Use the beginning of the session to discuss a brief review of the last session, any homework given and check-ins with moods since the last session. It should also be used to discuss topics that you might want to talk about that can be related to a specific goal for that session.
A therapist may assign you some homework to do for the next session. Don’t worry; you won’t get detention if you don’t do it. The idea of giving homework is to help reinforce what was discussed for that session. A way to look at them would be as an ‘action tasks’. These could be anything from buying a new diary or clock if you want to improve time management, or keeping a diary of daily moods and thoughts.
Each session should have a follow up on the action tasks as it creates a sense that you are physically making an effort to improve.
It is important to see your CBT Trained therapist as a partner, someone who is willing to work with you to resolve negative problems in your life. It is also good to keep in mind that it is not an overnight solution. CBT sessions can be painful and hard work. The more sessions you have, the easier it gets and the more you will improve. Even if you feel down that day, attending your session may lift your mood.
CBT sessions can bet extremely tough, it is always a hard path to work towards improving the negative aspects in your life. Dedication and commitment are the key to improving your life.
By Harry Price
Harry Prices has many talents, as well as being a full time blogger, he is a keen painter too.