What is CBT?
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is a general term for any therapy dealing with the thoughts, beliefs, and behaviours which cause negative and unhelpful feelings like anxiety, stress and depression, unhelpful habits and phobias. Cognitive behavioural hypnosis teaches you how to identify such thoughts – for example, panicking, worrying and always assuming the worst, over-generalising in a negative way, and jumping to pessimistic conclusions – and replace them with positive, realistic, and helpful thoughts.
“We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts we make our world.” – Buddha
They lead us in the direction they are following. So, for instance, if we are thinking negative, limiting thoughts, thats the direction in which we will go – right long the path that we are creating with our thinking. If our thoughts about our own capabilities are regularly self defeating, critical and empowering, that’s the path they will take us along. The path of self defeat and limited opportunities.
Napolean Hill explains it this way:
That which people believe, talk about and fear, whether it be good or bad, has a very definite way of making its appearance in one form or another.
We all know about the power of positive thinking – about the scientific basis behind like attracting like – about karma and what goes around comes around – so why is it we fail to truly grasp the real truth about the power of negative thinking?
A cognitive behavioural therapist concentrates on stopping, challenging and replacing negative thinking, rather than in going back and examining the root causes. The evidence based, practical approach of CBT has been found to be more effective than those treatments, such as psychodynamic therapies, which seek to ascertain why the problem has arisen in the first place – a therapist who does not use a CBT approach may treat you for many months or even years, but endeavouring to find the cause of a problem does not necessarily help to alleviate it – if I have a stone in my shoe which is hurting me, my aim is to remove the stone, not to work out how it got into my shoe in the first place!
There is a huge amount of evidence supporting the use of hypnosis and hypnotherapy with CBT for cases of stress and anxiety. Relaxation and hypnotherapy are excellent ways to achieve stress relief. CBT encourages you to develop ways of reducing stress by looking at problems and life events from a fresh perspective. Stress management is facilitated by the use of various techniques, all of which are rational, easy to learn and simple to use.
If however you wish to examine the underlying causes of your symptoms, this is also something that hypnotherapy can help you with. The majority of clients find it much easier to concentrate on and analyse what triggered their problems once the immediate symptoms of anxiety, stress and depression have been alleviated; it is very hard to get a clear picture of anything when stress and anxiety are interrupting the train of thought. If you do feel it would be helpful to look at how the past has affected your present, hypnosis can help you do this in a calm, safe and constructive way, so that you can learn from the past rather than be a victim of it.
Whilst Cognitive Behavioural Therapy has been shown to be an extremely effective and quick form of therapy, a wide body of research indicates that its effectiveness is magnified when it is used together with hypnosis and hypnotherapy. The average number of sessions of cognitive behavioural therapy needed to successfully overcome a client’s problem is 20 – 25; Cognitive Behavioural Hypnosis takes on average just 3-6 sessions to achieve the same results, and CBT with hypnosis can achieve success even more quickly for habit reversal.
Treatment of Choice
The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence recommends CBT as the treatment of choice for a number of mental health problems. There is a wealth of evidence that a therapist trained in CBT can quickly and efficiently deal with such difficulties as, stress and anxiety,depression,phobias and emotional problems, performance anxiety (for example public speaking and “exam nerves”), bad habits (nail biting, smoking cessation, over eating or hair pulling, for example), tinnitus, insomnia, eating disorders and panic attacks. In addition to treating adults, it can be used safely and effectively with children and adolescents.
What makes you happy or unhappy, anxious or carefree does not depend so much on what happens to you but on how you respond to what happens to you. CBT – Cognitive Behavioural Therapy – changes the way you respond to what happens by looking at your thoughts (cognitions) and your behaviour. Very simply, the idea is that the way you think affects the way you feel – and the way you feel affects the way you behave.