To celebrate the 1st World CBT Day, Youth Trust IYAPT CBT Therapists Kirsty and Gill have put together a blog to help explain what CBT (Cognitive Behaviour Therapy) is and how it can help.
What is CBT?
CBT is a type of talking therapy, it usually starts with some open questions… what is the main problem you would like help with? Could you tell me in your own words what is difficult for you at the moment? What else is difficult? Then more closed questions will follow- Can you tell me more about it? What is it like when you feel worried? What do you feel in your body? Do you feel a funny feeling in your tummy?
It is used as a way of helping people to recognise when they are having unhelpful thoughts and how to see it from a different angle by encouraging the person to problem solve and see the situation from a different perspective. When working with young children I may talk about looking through different glasses to help reinforce the concept. We can also use role play with toys, animations and special interests to help demonstrate new ways of thinking and looking at what their difficulties are and playing out possible improved outcomes. Sometimes some additional support is given to help recognise different emotions, we can also include parents and carers in the sessions when appropriate to help reinforce the strategies into real life situations. Worksheets and cartoons can help to reinforce this concept and evidence how our thoughts, feelings and behaviours are all linked.
CBT is a structured and brief model of therapy that doesn’t delve into the cause of the problem but looks at the present issues the client is having. It can be very effective with young people suffering from different types of anxiety including OCD, Social Anxiety, low mood and depression with young people keeping ‘Thought Diaries’ and worksheets for behavioural activities. This helps them to challenge their negative thoughts and behaviours with alternative ways of thinking and behaviours. Young people are encouraged to look at methods they use to avoid situations and challenge their anxiety instead.